Waking up at Snow King Resort, you admire the sunshine spilling over the hills around Jackson as you brush your teeth. Downstairs, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and a wave from the parks & rec director you sat next to at the film yesterday greets you. You take your eggs and bacon to an arrangement of chairs that looks out over Snow King Mountain, chatting with others around you as you watch Jackson locals run, bike, and walk their dogs up the “town hill”.
There’s time to grab a second cup of coffee and trickle in for Dr. Foote’s keynote. He’s discussing what his team learned in the Epidaurus Project, a civilian and military physician-led effort to identify the core principles of patient-centered care and define the physical environment that would facilitate it. Now, they’re using scientific metrics to directly measure the whole-body effects of nature — and putting them into practice with the The Green Road Project to evaluate nature’s healing effects.
Bubbling over with thoughts, you and the others emerge from the breakfast room, You didn’t know any of the people you sat with before today, but you’re deep in conservation as you fill up water and coffee and set off for the next session.
The panel members identify themselves as the CEO and founder of Solera Health, a cardiologist and Director of the Environme Institute, the Director of Thought Leadership at Blue Shield of California, a Vice President from the American Medical Association, and a doctor/ Associate Medical Director of Market Innovation at Solera Health.
For the next three hours, they outline the evidence for nature as a social determinant of health and what potential it has to revolutionize preventative care and treatments.
The last three hours passed in a blur of lively-thought provoking discussion and you link up with one of the panelists to ask a few questions on your way to pick up your boxed lunch for the hike.
You and the other hikers meet up with AllTrails CMO/COO, the Medical Director for Nature & Forest Therapy & author, and the Founder of Walk With A Doc. You’re all headed up the same hill you saw locals enjoying this morning for the chance to stretch your legs, put nature as medicine into action, and enjoy the views.
Freshly energized from your hike and the conversations with fellow attendees, you bound back into Snow King. Skipping the coffee, you high-tail it into your next session.
The panelists this time are the Director of Urban Conservation in Kentucky at the Nature Conservancy, a doctor and the City Commissioner of an innovative southern city, the CEO/Founder of Solera Health, and the Founder/Executive Director of an outdoor recreation non-profit.
Building off the evidence presented in the last session, the panelists discuss funding mechanisms; how can we actually pay for active transportation corridors, greenways, parks, and interventions?
12 abstracts were accepted to showcase basic and applied research surrounding nature as a social determinant of health. As you peruse the posters, you chat with the authors and the Evidence for Action selection committee.
It’s another chance to dive into the nitty-gritty of the research that’s out there and the abstracts range from cardiology to neuroscience to psychology. The sessions sparks discussions around the economic and practical applications of nature as a social determinant of health.
Dine With A Doc
To end the day, you meander over to Jackson’s premier farm to table restaurant Gather for craft cocktails, locally sourced meat, and informal discussions led by Dr. Michael Suk of the AMA and Dr. David Sabgir, Founder of Walk with a Doc. Full of energy and bubbling over with fresh ideas, you unwind with colleagues before enjoying the moonlight mountains on your stroll back to Snow King.