Think Tank to Explore Nature Rx as a Social Determinant of Health

Evidence supporting parks and green spaces as a health resource continues to grow, as does the medical practice of doctors prescribing time outdoors as a way to address chronic disease.

At the same time, insurance companies are embracing new models of preventative care, including “upstream” approaches that focus on promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors.

On Tuesday, October 16, from 8 a.m.—12 p.m. at the Snow King Resort Hotel, an invite-only think tank with some of the country’s leading experts will identify opportunities for mainstreaming “Nature Rx” as an integral element of national healthcare delivery systems.

The think tank is being led by Dr. Michael Suk, the System Wide Chairman of the Geisinger Musculoskeletal Institute and one of the country’s earliest and most ardent proponents of the connection between public health and public lands.

Participants include Diana Allen, Chief of Health Promotion with the National Park Service’s Healthy Parks Healthy People; Dr. Garth Graham, President of the Aetna Foundation; Brenda Schmidt, Founder and CEO of Solera Health; and Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer of WebMD.

Topics to be explored include:

  • The success of the Healthy Parks Healthy People program in advancing the role of parks and public lands as a health resource (Diana Allen)
  • The role of social media in shifting attitudes to action in the social determinant of health (Dr. John Whyte)
  • Incorporating mobility and physical activity as a critical element of value-based care (Brenda Schmidt)
  • The case for incorporating Nature Rx as a benefit of insured health (Dr. Garth Graham)

A breakfast discussion will be followed by a workshop in which participants break into small teams to develop the opportunities identified during the panel.

The think tank will conclude with report-outs on key findings, as well as the articulation of action steps that can be taken by interested participants to advance the effort.


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