The Center for Health & Nature has identified academic leaders, conservation leaders, and physician-scientists from around the country and world who are engaged in research related to symposium topics. The symposium will consist of three keynote speakers, followed by four research concept pitches related to the symposium themes:

  1. Nature as Preventative & Restorative Medicine
  2. The Health Role of Nature in Cities
  3. Nature as Chronic Disease Management

Research may also include the following foci, but are not limited to:

  1. Population health – relating to a particular subset of the population such as seniors or school-age children
  2. Access to nature – inequities in the extent to which nature is available as part of daily life
  3. Quality and safety – the effect nature can have on either quality of treatment or safety implications
  4. Patient experience – the impact of exposure to nature on patient experience
  5. Workforce wellness – the impact of nature on overall wellness of any given workforce group
8:00 a.m. Symposium Check In, Registration & Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Center for Health & Nature Symposium Welcome
Edward A. Jones, MBA, President and CEO, Houston Methodist Research Institute
Carrie L. Byington, MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Services, The Texas A&M University System
Joni Carswell, Texan by Nature
9:15 a.m. Convocation
Reverend Charles Millikan, Houston Methodist
9:20 a.m. Designing Systems to Prevent Physician & Nurse Burnout
Terri Menser, PhD, MBA, Houston Methodist
9:35 a.m. Heart Health Nature Study Overview
Bita Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE, Houston Methodist
Karla M. Kurrelmeyer, MD, FACC, FASE, Houston Methodist
Aruni Bhatnagar, PhD, FAHA, University of Louisville
10:00 a.m. Break
10:10 a.m. Keynote Speaker 1
Assessing Long Term Exposure to Urban Nature and its Health Benefits
Perry Hystad, PhD, Assistant Professor College of Public Health & Human Sciences, Oregon State University
10:45 a.m. Keynote Speaker 2
Nature and Health: NIH Funding Examples, Opportunities, and Challenges
David Berrigan, PhD, MPH, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
11:20 a.m. Keynote Speaker 3
Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative 
Florence Williams, journalist, author, podcaster and public speaker
Noon Lunch
12:30 p.m. Speaker Panel
Moderator: Cynthia Pickett-Stevenson, JD, Texan by Nature & Houston Methodist
1:05 p.m. Urban Green (Infra)structure for Pedestrian Health
Chanam Lee, PhD
1:20 p.m. Q&A
1:30 p.m. Virtual Reality Gardening and Stress Prevention for Oncology Patients:
Bring Nature Indoors 
Renee Stubbins, PhD & Xiaohui Xu, PhD
1:45 p.m. Q&A
1:55 p.m. Break
2:10 pm. Developing a Tool for Measuring Landscape Performance on Public Health
Galen Newman, PhD
2:25 p.m. Q&A
2:35 p.m. Influences of Virtual Window on Hospital Patients’ and Caregivers’ Health & Well-Being
Zhipeng Lu, PhD
2:50 p.m. Q&A
3:00 p.m. Vision Panel (State of Research Panel)
3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks
Laura W. Bush, former First Lady and Texan by Nature Founder