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Shaolin Institute Launches Grand Opening of the New Orleans Shaolin Martial Arts’ Campus


New Orleans, LA (PRWEB) March 13, 2015

Martial arts of China, over 3000 years old, comes to New Orleans with its 1500-year Shaolin tradition at the Grand Opening of the Shaolin martial arts campus in New Orleans at Shaolin Institute on 1995 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70119. Along with that Grand Opening, the institute will unveil Kung Fu and Chinese cultural festivities, which includes fire crackers, a lion dance, Kung Fu and Tai Chi exhibitions, and weapons fighting on the street of New Orleans in front of the institute by City Park on March 21 through 22. There will also be a presentation of Zen meditation, woman’s self-defense, and a grand audition for a martial arts TV series—Badlands.

The Grand Opening Programs include but are not limited to the following:

1. Free healthy food

2. Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Lion Dance exhibitions on the street with live music

3. Door prizes to the first 20 sets (e.g., 50, 100, 250 in classes) of participants through the door on opening

    day

4. Free t-shirts, bounce-back coupons

5. A special raffle of a vacation airplane ticket to China

6. Audition for the Badlandsmartial artsTV series

7. Face painting for kids

8. Martial arts classes: Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Tai Gong, Kickboxing, women’s self-defense, nutrition and

     meditation healing and more.

This Shaolin Grand Opening represents a unique cultural collision and harmony between the west and that of the east. Close to 30 years ago, founder and chair of SCF (Shaolin Chan Foundation) and headmaster of Shaolin Institute, Shi Deru, also known as Shawn X. Liu, brought Shaolin Kung Fu, Qi Gong and traditional Tai Chi to the southeastern U.S., opening schools in Atlanta, Mobile, and New Orleans.

He has devoted his life to helping people and is doing so through community outreach efforts like World Tai Chi Day, Asian cultural celebrations, and martial arts performances by his highly acclaimed Shaolin Institute Performance Team.

Grand Master Shi Deru has helped many students overcome life-threatening conditions that did not respond well to conventional therapies. He credits success to the “cosmic conscious Qi”, “mindset” and “live style changes” of his students that comes with the training, practice and mastery of these ancient therapeutic techniques.

People of all ages, fitness levels, and abilities are invited to freely participate in many classes offered during the grand opening such as Qi Gong (“chee-gung”) breathing exercises and basic Tai Chi classes. These ancient arts involve simple, slow, fluid movements that, along with controlled deep breathing, create calmness of mind, body, and spirit. Tai Chi is low-impact, making it an ideal exercise therapy for the elderly, injured, and even disabled individuals (http://www.shaolin-world.net).

Many world renowned instructors and champions who have taught and trained at the institute, including Grand Master Wu Bin, mentor of movie stars Jet Li and Donnie Yen; Shi DeYang, the most famous traditional Kung Fu fighting form master of Shaolin Temple; Chen Zheng Lei, one of the most famous Tai Chi masters of China;Cung Le and Patrick Barry, well-known UFC fighters, the most prominent students of Shaolin Shi DeRu (Shawn Liu Xiangyang).

The institute’s mission is “to enlighten and empower everyone.” This helps each of the students to find his/her self-nature and the greatness within. Just as the institute slogan reads “A healthy body & a healthy mind,” the Shaolin Institute teaches a way of life: one that embraces all educational programs of traditional Shaolin. These traditions developed without limitations and are traced back to more than 5000 years ago in China.

The Institute offers cultural exchange programs: Chan life style, cultural ambassador and Chinese language.The Shaolin Institute inherited over 70 styles of internal and external martial arts as well as mind and body healing programs from the Shaolin Temple much beyond today’s mixed martial arts. (http://www.shaolin-world.net, Email: shaolinnola(at)gmail(dot)com, Phone: (504) 835-1877)







New Orleans-Themed Urban Design Competition Announces Four Finalists: Urban Land Institute To Hold Finale in April


Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 02, 2015

Four university teams, including two from Harvard University, one from the University of Maryland, and a joint team of students from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, have been selected as the finalists for the thirteenth annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Competition, an ideas competition that challenges graduate students to create proposals for the development or redevelopment of a designated site in a U.S. metropolitan area. The competition is open to graduate students who are pursuing real estate-related studies at universities in North America.

The 2015 competition challenged multidisciplinary student teams with the task of devising a comprehensive design and development program for parts of the Tulane/Gravier and Iberville neighborhoods in downtown New Orleans. This year’s competition is designed to simulate an actual urban design and development scenario, with certain details changed for the purposes of the competition. In April, a $ 50,000 prize will be awarded to the team with the winning proposal, with $ 5,000 of the total going to the school. Each of the remaining three finalist teams will receive $ 10,000. This year, 120 teams comprising 600 students from 60 universities participated in the first round of the competition.

The Tulane/Gravier and Iberville neighborhoods, which make up a historically rich area in the city’s core, contain a mix of residential, industrial and commercial zoning that includes manufacturing plants and other small industrial complexes, many defunct, others still operational. The competition scenario is based on a hypothetical situation in which community stakeholders, including residents, land owners, local businesses, and others in the area bound by the upcoming Lafitte Greenway, the eastern edge of the new medical district, and crossed by the elevated I-10 highway, have come together to create the North Claiborne Neighborhood Improvement Association (NCNIA) – a fictional entity created for the purpose of the competition. NCNIA is seeking a master plan proposal that not only transforms the area into a thriving urban neighborhood, but also highlights its locational advantages, including its proximity to the French Quarter, adjacency to the medical district, and interaction with the Lafitte Greenway.

While based on a hypothetical situation, the 2015 Hines competition reflects many real-life concerns of New Orleans. The competition addresses the city’s continued effort to develop sustainable neighborhoods that represent New Orleans’s uniqueness with the promise of economic innovation and inclusion, as well as access to cultural, employment, transportation, and housing resources. As part of these efforts, the city recently completed the Livable Claiborne Communities (LCC) study.

The finalist teams and development schemes include:


Harvard University: Inspired by the architectural and cultural heritage of the project site and its adjacency to major city destinations and amenities, “Claiborne Grove” recalls the rich landscape that once characterized North Claiborne Avenue and prioritizes redevelopment of the street most critical to the growth and transformation of the neighborhood. The proposal’s central design element is “the Grove,” a linear multi-purpose park and urban landscape sited below elevated Interstate 10.

Harvard University: The project “Tremé 2.0” lays at the southern tip of the old Tremé district, one of New Orleans’s first urbanized neighborhoods outside of the Vieux Carre Rampart. The proposed 23-acre development project anticipatesTremé continuing its great tradition of making innovative transformation to the Crescent City, as it did 200 years ago.

University of Maryland: “The Crossing” development sows the seeds of resilience across the Bienville, Iberville, and Lafitte neighborhoods. By connecting tourist and native, greenway and park, neighborhood and city, The Crossing functions not only as a marketplace of goods, but of ideas and relationships. This commingling of people and place fosters diversity, neighborhood cohesion, and economic opportunity.

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and University of Wisconsin – Madison: “Quartier Vert” creates a vision of a community that operates as an intersection between communities, corridors of activity, and a variety of users. Intertwined within each of these strategies exists a neighborhood fabric that suggests the interaction between the site and its neighbors. Capitalizing on the existing locational and socioeconomic advantages of the area, Quartier Vert seeks to revive and enhance the surrounding community.

“All of the finalists make bold proposals for re-envisioning an area that is rich in potential,” said Jury Chairman J. Michael Pitchford, president and chief executive officer at CPDC in Silver Spring, Maryland. “This year’s submissions provide new approaches for how a combination of uses all work together to create an attractive destination that is financially realistic. These entries are all reflective of an up-and-coming generation that will provide fresh ideas worth exploring in the creation of sustainable urban landscapes.”

The competition jury consists of renowned experts from diverse backgrounds in real estate development. Jurors represent a strategic mix of land use experts, including developers, brokers, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, urban planners, and policy officials. In addition to Jury Chairman Pitchford, other jury members are: Tara Carter Hernandez, president, JCH Development, New Orleans, Louisiana; Dennis Dornan, senior associate and studio director, Perkins+Will, San Francisco, California; Kyrus L. Freeman, partner, Holland & Knight, Washington, D.C.; Jeff Hebert, executive director, New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, New Orleans, Louisiana; Matthew Hopkins, director of architecture and sustainability, StreetSense, Bethesda, Maryland; Michael Horst, consultant, New York, New York; Stephen G. Leeper, president and chief executive officer, 3CDC, Cincinnati, Ohio; Maureen McAvey, senior fellow and Bucksbaum Family chair for retail, ULI, Washington, D.C.; Kathryn L. Reynolds, founder and chief executive officer, Vivelan Group, New Orleans, Louisiana; Halina Steiner, creative director, dlandstudio, Brooklyn, New York; and Byron Stigge, director, Level Infrastructure, New York, New York.

In addition to the four finalists, the jury selected eight team proposals for honorable mention. The jury commended the University of Pennsylvania with “The Zipper: The Lafitte Terminal” for its realistic graphics, stimulating neighborhood vision, and overall good sense of placement; the University of Michigan with “Rooted” for its clear and cogent schematic process along with a cohesive and thoughtful environment vision; Ball State University with “Carondelet Noveau” for its creative spaces along the highway blocks, stimulating visualization of the parkway, and the general treatment under I-10; the University of Oklahoma with “Pulse: The Beat Street District” for the proposed urban layout, general sense of connectivity, and the outline density near block J; a joint team from Kent State University, Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve University with “Delta Commons” for its distinct neighborhoods nodes and treatment of space under the highway; the University of Texas at Austin with “Claiborne Quarter” for its outstanding pro forma, good optimization of space, sense of scale, and key organizing element; the Georgia Institute of Technology with “Down the Line” for its phasing scheme, thoughtful relocation of the RV park, general space layout, and visual legibility; and the University of Oregon with “Urban Groves” for the diagrammatic visualization, a good optimization of real estate in plan, as well as the outlined cross section, and general presentation board design.

The Hines competition is part of an ongoing ULI effort to raise interest among young people in creating better communities, improving development patterns, and increasing awareness of the need for interdisciplinary solutions to development and design challenges. The competition is strategically structured to encourage cooperation and teamwork—necessary talents in the planning, design and development of sustainable communities—among future land use professionals and allied professions, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, engineering, real estate development, finance, psychology and law. The competition is designed as an exercise; there is no intention that the students’ plans will be implemented as part of any revitalization of the site.

In final phase of the competition, the student finalist teams will have the opportunity to expand their original schemes and respond in more detail. Next month, a member of each team will be brought to New Orleans to tour the site and revise their presentations. On April 9, finalist team members will present their schemes to the competition jury members during a public forum in New Orleans. The event will culminate with the announcement of the winning team.

For more information on the ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, visit: http://uli.org/hines.

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute (uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 34,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.







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The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists, Top Providers of Hair Loss Treatment, Provides Tips on How to Prevent Female Hair Loss


Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) March 11, 2015

The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists (http://www.CanadianHair.ca), a Toronto-based organization offering hair loss treatment for over 25 years, is providing tips on how to prevent female hair loss.

“Female hair loss is still somewhat stigmatized and not addressed much publicly. However, most females will experience some form of hair thinning by the time they reach middle age, meaning it needs real solutions,” says Ken Robson, founder of the Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists. “Thinning hair can actually occur when women are in their twenties, so it’s beneficial to know preventative measures as early as possible.”

Robson explains that diet is a determining factor in female hair loss. Not getting the required iron can lead to premature thinning and the loss of strength of hair follicles. Women who are vegetarians or vegans and not eating foods that are rich in iron may also notice their hair start to thin, making it crucial that vegetarians include greens like spinach and kale in their diet, as well as incorporate beans and tofu, which are strong sources of iron. (Source: “Are You Losing Your Hair? Here’s Help,” The Times of India, March 1, 2015; http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Are-you-losing-your-hair-Heres-help/articleshow/46397930.cms.)

“Scalp massages are another preventative measure that has shown some measure of success in preventing thinning hair in females,” he adds. “Massaging either coconut or argan oil into the scalp increases the blood flow, which theoretically infuses hair follicles with the necessary nutrients.”

Robson notes that women can even flip the direction of their hair. It may sound ridiculous, but when hair is flipped the same way over and over, it ends up laying on the scalp. Flipping in a different direction can add volume, Robson explains.

“With all that said, there comes a time when hair thinning or hair loss becomes inevitable and more drastic measures must be taken. But that’s what the Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists are here for. We offer clinical treatment for female hair loss with proven results.”

The best way for a female to know if they are a suitable candidate for hair transplant surgery is to visit the Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists’ web site at http://www.CanadianHair.ca to make an appointment.







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Global Wellness Institute and Scientific American Worldview Hold Roundtable on the Science of Wellness


New York, NY (PRWEB) February 25, 2015

The Global Wellness Institute™ (GWI) in partnership with Scientific American Worldview recently held an invitation-only roundtable on the topic of “The Science of Wellness: Hype or Hope?” Leaders from the medical, science, business, technology, research, media, workplace wellness and hotel/spa worlds gathered on February 11 at the Everyday Health headquarters in Manhattan for a wide-ranging conversation on the many ways that science and evidence-based medicine are impacting the wellness industry, and how wellness (and the growing medical evidence for wellness approaches) is impacting people, traditional medicine, private companies and public policy.

The discussion, co-moderated by Jeremy Abbate, VP, Global Media Alliances, Scientific American; Publishing Director, Scientific American Worldview and Susie Ellis, president and CEO of the GWI, included executives and experts from American Public Media, Cornell and Rutgers Universities, Delos, Everyday Health, The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine, Optum, Paramedical Consultants, Inc. (PCI), Patients Beyond Borders, Pegasus Capital Advisors, Six Senses, SRI International and Viacom Media Networks.

The leaders assembled identified numerous best steps forward to build a healthier world: from the need for powerful public health marketing campaigns around obesity and sedentary lifestyles – to a much more intense focus on cognitive/behavioral psychology to identify a “science of lifestyle change” for a world getting fatter and sicker – to a call for more (and more appropriately designed) clinical trials on wellness approaches.

A more detailed report on the recommendations emerging from this roundtable will soon be available at: http://www.globalwellnessinstitute.com/

Top Ten Recommendations – Experts gathered argued we need…

Simple, Provocative Public Wellness Campaigns: Some of the biggest “wellness successes” of the last century have involved powerful marketing messages (like the anti-smoking, “stop littering,” or “wear seatbelts” campaigns of the 20th century – or more recent ads visualizing how many packets of sugar reside in a can of soda). We need new health campaigns and public service announcements around weight loss/obesity and sedentary lifestyles that are simple, inspiring and are repeated over and over.

More Behavioral Sciences Research to Create a “Science of Lifestyle Change”: While medical research on the benefits of wellness approaches grabs headlines, the key to healthy populations is to begin to crack the code on helping people start, and sustain, lifestyle change. We know so little, and a more intense focus on, and new research in, the behavioral sciences and cognitive psychology (from brain plasticity to choice architecture) is critical if we ever want to create an evidence-based “science of lifestyle change and willpower.”

More, better-funded studies on wellness approaches: Clinical studies on wellness approaches represent the under-resourced “David” to Big Pharma’s “Goliath”. Average R&D costs for a new drug have reached $ 2.9 billion,* while funds for wellness clinical trials are drastically less (often under $ 100,000) – and the GWI estimates that (Stage 3) drug trials have around 100 times the participants: roughly 50 for a wellness study, vs. 4,000 for a drug trial. Without more, better-funded trials, highly respected medical organizations like Cochrane will continue to withhold positive recommendations in their meta-reviews on practices like meditation or yoga, even when there’s positive, preliminary evidence.

A Better Understanding of – and More Appropriately Designed – Wellness Studies: Clinical trials on wellness approaches often have unique qualities, and superimposing the double-blind model can be like fitting an “apple into an orange.” Placebo models don’t work when participants know they’re experiencing things like meditation or exercise, and wellness approaches often involve practitioners, so can’t be uniformly replicated (or regulated) like a pill. Short studies fail to capture the most meaningful outcomes for long-term, prevention-focused approaches, and all personalized medicines, like TCM and Ayurveda, defy the randomized trial model entirely. Another problem: most current studies on wellness approaches are performed on sick people (in the hospital setting), providing a limited view of their efficacy. Greater openness to analyzing (and valuing) outcomes from studies that can’t fit perfectly into double blind, or even randomized, trial designs is needed.

Doctors to Expand Their Understanding of the Wellness Concept & Consult the Evidence: Despite growth in integrative medicine, the medical experts at the roundtable agreed that the vast majority of physicians still narrowly equate “wellness” with testing (i.e., mammograms, osteoporosis checks, etc.), at which point the prevention “boat” has often already sailed. And while almost all doctors turn to evidence-based medicine databases to evaluate courses of treatment, “almost none” consult those databases for studies on wellness approaches – and the lion’s share of their required continuing medical education comes via drug companies. Medical systems, insurers and policy-makers must support more physician education around – and the “prescribing” of – wellness approaches like diet change, exercise, etc.

More Media Responsibility in Communicating Wellness Info: If people are unlikely to get much wellness information from doctors, they’re devouring it at media/digital channels, where there’s an explosion of reporting on the latest wellness studies and “miracle” breakthroughs. The rise of digital has been a double-edged sword: empowering people with unprecedented sources of health information (Google just reported that one in twenty searches is health-related), but also confusing them with contradictory, often un-contextualized new findings. More media responsibility, and more peer reviewing and curation of wellness studies by medical professionals, is needed.

To Stop Putting Wellness in the “Alternative Medicine” Bracket, If We Want to Serve Millennials: Entrenched healthcare systems and older generations have viewed medicine and wellness as separate, even antagonistic, domains, but the millennial generation (and younger) views health very holistically, where wellness, diet and exercise are not “alternative,” but key pieces in a total health puzzle. Medical systems and marketers that want to reach younger generations need to embrace that new reality.

To Recognize That Private Companies Are Often Leading in Applying Science to Wellness: Wellness is a $ 3.4 trillion,** consumer-driven market, and it’s private companies and public-private partnerships that are applying science to new wellness concepts the most creatively: from Delos building a lab with the Mayo Clinic to test and develop new “healthy for humans” features for the spaces people live and work in – to companies like Lighting Science creating healthy, nature-based lighting technologies – to new, billion-dollar “healthy cities” being developed globally, incorporating hospitals, education and every aspect of healthy living.

Workplace Wellness to Move Beyond Generic ROI Reporting and Focus on Culture Change: Companies are adopting workplace wellness programs at an explosive rate, but so many things are holding them back: from an obsession with ROI reporting that doesn’t measure results/returns against specific program components, to new signs that employee wellness is devolving into a “have/have not” situation. For instance, top executives may be embracing meditation at the World Economic Forum, but companies are increasingly profiting from penalties exacted from the most program resistant/high-risk workers. Successful workplace wellness initiatives must think beyond the “program” and focus on honest, top-to-bottom culture change.

Governments to Grasp That Health Is Wealth: Policymakers often perceive “wellness” as a matter of individual decisions and wellbeing, but the physical and mental health of national populations will increasingly decide national economic and political power. Countries focusing on prevention, and who can get healthcare spending under 10% of GDP, will increasingly have a global advantage.

Roundtable Participants:

Jeremy Abbate, VP, Global Media Alliances, Scientific American; Publishing Director, Scientific American Worldview

Dr. Brandon Alderman, Professor, Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Rutgers University

David Brancaccio, Host, American Public Media’s “Marketplace Morning Report” (NPR)

Anna Bjurstam, VP of Spas and Wellness, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas; Owner, Raison d’Etre

Alfredo Carvajal, President, Delos International and Signature Programs, Delos

Susie Ellis, Chairman and CEO, Global Wellness Institute

Dr. Steven Gundry, Director, The International Heart and Lung Institute Center for Restorative Medicine

Anne Hubert, Senior Vice President, Viacom Media Networks

Neil Jacobs CEO, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

Katherine Johnston, Senior Economist, SRI International

Dr. Nazlie Latefi, Chief Scientific Officer, Pegasus Capital Advisors

Clare Martorana, EVP and General Manager – Consumer Health and Wellness, Everyday Health

Beth McGroarty, Director of Research, Global Wellness Institute

Mim Senft, Wellness Director, Plus One Health Management, Optum

Mary Tabacchi, PhD, Professor, Cornell University

Susanne Warfield, CEO, Paramedical Consultants, Inc. (PCI)

Josef Woodman, CEO, Patients Beyond Borders

Ophelia Yeung, Senior Consultant, SRI International

Everyday Health donated its boardroom for the discussion. Lunch was provided by EXKi, a fair-trade certified, upscale, “quick-casual” restaurant that focuses on locally sourced, organic ingredients.

To learn more about the GWI’s roundtables, or the organization’s 2015 Global Wellness Summit being held in Mexico City from November 13-15, contact Beth McGroarty: beth.mcgroarty [at] globalwellnessinstitute [dot] com or (+1) 213.300.0107

*The Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, 11/2014

** Global Wellness Institute, “Global Spa & Wellness Economy Monitor,” 2014

About the Global Wellness Institute: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) is an international think tank that brings together leaders from the private and public sector to positively impact and shape the future of the wellness industry. It is the umbrella organization of the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) and the Global Wellness Tourism Congress (GWTC). The GWI is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the $ 3.4 trillion wellness industry, and WellnessEvidence.com, the world’s first online portal to the medical evidence for common wellness approaches, is a GWI initiative.







UMass Medical School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute Developing Smartphone App to Address Stress Eating


WORCESTER, Mass. (PRWEB) February 02, 2015

Researchers at UMass Medical School and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are developing a stress-eating smartphone app that will help users better understand why they overeat, with the support of a $ 2 million award from the National Institutes of Health.

Development of the “RELAX” application and a pilot clinical study to evaluate its effectiveness will be led by Sherry Pagoto, PhD, associate professor of medicine at UMMS, and Bengisu Tulu, PhD, associate professor in the WPI Foisie School of Business, joint principal investigators for the grant.

“Most commercial apps available today focus on tracking diet and exercise, but do not help the user understand why they are eating so much and/or exercising so little,” Dr. Pagoto said. “Our clinical and research experience suggests that stress is a very common trigger for overeating and it is a barrier to exercise.”

RELAX will have two components: a mobile application that will enable patients to track their daily activities using a smartphone and a web-based tool clinicians can use to access patient information to help inform treatment.

“We want to use technology to help patients in real time, during their daily activities, and also to enhance the effectiveness of the time they spend face-to-face with their physician or counselor,” Dr. Tulu said.

Using text inputs, barcode scanning, and GPS technology, the RELAX patient app will track eating patterns, daily activities, exercise, patient-mood, and stress inducing events. The app will provide the patient with an itemized list of foods consumed, indicate the times of day identified as high-stress moments, and illustrate the relationship between food intake and stress. The information collected will help the user to better understand his or her habits when it comes to emotional or stress eating.

For example, the patient-facing application will provide coaching for dietary choices or guided stress-reduction exercises to lessen the likelihood of overeating.

“Imagine a person driving into the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant, at a certain time of day, and getting prompted with a message asking them to think about what they are feeling and whether or not it is the right time to eat,” Tulu said.

Clinicians will be able to access their patients’ information collected through the RELAX patient app using the web-based application. The web tool will present information as easily digestible visual displays and feedback reports for the clinician to review.

Much of the time during traditional weight-loss counseling sessions is spent reviewing paper self-monitoring records and soliciting information from the patient about factors impacting their adherence, such as stress and stress eating. By using the RELAX web tool, clinicians can more quickly get to the heart of causal factors behind the patient’s eating habits, which can be difficult to identify using traditional counseling. The research team believes RELAX will help patients achieve better outcomes with fewer visits to their doctor or counselor.

The researchers hope the interactive design and the clinician’s ability to engage with the patient in a more data-rich way, both unique features of the RELAX application, will enable a more comprehensive approach to counseling patients about weight and stress management.

“We too often think of clinical problems in isolation and develop interventions focused on one problem,” Pagoto said. “The reality is that patients more often than not experience multiple issues that are very entangled. Just like clinical care, apps need to address the ‘whole patient’ to be maximally effective.”

RELAX is a three-year project. The first phase will establish the clinical and technical requirements for the mobile app and web-based tools. The second phase will cover technology development and usability analysis. The final phase will be a pilot clinical trial of the prototype RELAX applications with patients at UMMS and an analysis of the application’s impact on program delivery and costs.

“Part of our hypothesis is that the RELAX applications will result in a more cost-effective way to deliver this clinical program, so we also want to test that,” Tulu said. “The grant includes a rigorous business-case analysis of the prototype and pilot trial.”

RELAX is the latest in a series of collaborative research and development projects that blend the clinical and behavioral science expertise at UMMS with the engineering and computer science capabilities at WPI to help improve patient outcomes. Previous joint projects include development of a mobile application to promote weight management and a novel application and imaging system to help people with severe diabetes better manage their condition.

Also working on the RELAX program as co-investigators are UMMS faculty Edwin Boudreaux, PhD, professor of emergency medicine; James Carmody, PhD, associate professor of medicine; and Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine. The WPI co-investigators are Emmanuel Agu, PhD, associate professor of computer science; and Justin Wang, PhD, assistant professor, WPI Foisie School of Business.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI’s talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers in the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

About UMass Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), one of five campuses of the University system, comprises of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Graduate School of Nursing, a thriving research enterprise and an innovative public service initiative, Commonwealth Medicine. Its mission is to advance the health of the people of the commonwealth through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery with its clinical partner, UMass Memorial Health Care. In doing so, it has built a reputation as a world-class research institution and as a leader in primary care education. The Medical School attracts more than $ 240 million annually in research funding, placing it among the top 50 medical schools in the nation. In 2006, UMMS’s Craig C. Mello, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and the Blais University Chair of Molecular Medicine, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with colleague Andrew Z. Fire, PhD, of Stanford University, for their discoveries related to RNA interference (RNAi). The 2013 opening of the Albert Sherman Center ushered in a new era of biomedical research and education on campus. Designed to maximize collaboration across fields, the Sherman Center is home to scientists pursing novel research in emerging scientific fields with the goal of translating new discoveries into innovative therapies for human diseases.

Contact:

Michael Cohen, WPI                            

508-868-4778                        

mcohen(at)wpi(dot)edu    

Megan Bard, UMMS

508.856.2296

megan(dot)bard(at)umassmed(dot)edu







Natural Gourmet Institute Launches Certificate Programs in Writing for Food Media, Sustainable Meat, and Culinary Tours


New York, NY (PRWEB) October 16, 2014

Natural Gourmet Institute, the leader in health-supportive culinary education, is launching three new courses to add to their Certificate Program offerings: Writing for Food Media, Sustainable Meat and Culinary Tours.

Led by industry experts, these innovative programs are designed to give students the opportunity to enhance their education and gain expertise in numerous in-depth culinary topics.

“Since Dr. Annemarie Colbin founded the school in 1977, Natural Gourmet Institute has been pushing culinary boundaries” says CEO Anthony Fassio “with the launch of Certificate Programs, NGI is teaching students to look beyond basic culinary technique into how to integrate a holistic perspective of the food system into their culinary perspective.”

Led by Dawn Perry, Senior Food Editor at Bon Appétit, Writing for Food Media Certificate Program will teach students to develop concise, successful recipes appropriate for books, magazines and online media. During the 8-week course, students will write, develop and cook recipes to prepare them to be cross-tested, edited and photographed. In addition, students will hear from an impressive line-up of professional recipe editors, food stylists, and photographers, including Adam Rapoport, Editor-in-Chief at Bon Appétit and Mark Druckor, Restaurant Editor at Epicurious to learn what makes their jobs unique and what each looks for in a successful recipe. Tuesdays and Thursdays, February 26 – April 9, 2015 6:30 – 9:30pm.

Sustainable Meat Certificate Program students will learn the craft of ethical meat sourcing, butchery and fabrication. Offered in partnership with Dickson’s Farmstand Meats – one of New York City’s most sought after butcher shops – the course will provide students with a thorough understanding of grass-fed beef and pastured pork farming and butchery (including knife skills, whole animal breakdown, specialty cut preparation and charcuterie). The program will demonstrate how to raise animals with integrity, how animals fit into the ecology of the farm and the environment as a whole, how animal proteins fit into human health and diet, and teach respect through ethical handling and whole animal utilization. Farm Stay: March 19 – 20, 2015 Dickson’s Farmstand Meats: March 23 – 27; March 30 – April 1, 2015.

Culinary Tours Certificate Program: Led by seasoned culinary tour director and NGI’s Senior Director of the Chef’s Training Program, Chef Sue Baldassano, students will learn the fundamentals of one of the world’s most beloved cuisines on a six-day culinary tour of beautiful Oaxaca, Mexico. Throughout the trip, students will visit renowned restaurants and meet talented local cooks from whom you will learn traditional food preparation methods and recipes hands-on. The course will focus on classic dishes like tamales, mole sauces, corn, beans, tacos and much more. Students will also visit historical sites and meet local craftspeople – chocolatiers, weavers and knife-makers. Sunday, June 21, 2015 – Friday, June 26, 2015.

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About Natural Gourmet Institute

Founded in 1977 by Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI) is the leader in health-supportive culinary education. Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program is a comprehensive and professional program that trains students to meet the growing demand for culinary professionals who are able to make the connection between food and health. Natural Gourmet Institute also offers public intensives, hands-on instruction, demonstrations and lectures for the healthy cooking enthusiast. On Friday night, the school is transformed into an intimate dining room, where NGI’s Chef’s Training Program students and instructors prepare a three course vegetarian Friday Night Dinner that is innovative, delicious and beautifully presented. http://www.naturalgourmetinstitute.com







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