What is Wholehearted Health?

wholehearted

\ ˈhōl-ˈhär-təd \

1: completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic

2: marked by complete earnest commitment: free from all reserve or hesitation

–wholeheartedly  adverb

*Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2018

At the University of Indianapolis, we embrace a holistic approach to improving wellness in every sense of the word–physical, mental, community and social. This commitment to service comes from a place of academic excellence, infused with empathy and service.

Alumni, faculty, students and staff make professional and personal choices to impact the well-being of communities and individuals. With more than 120,000 hours of service each year, including caring for the health of the underserved, the University’s sense of purpose has never been stronger. Through research, community partnerships and service-learning, we are working together to find solutions to some of today’s most critical issues and complex challenges. We understand that curiosity, research, innovation and interprofessional collaborations are necessary to make the world a healthier place.

Physical Health has long been a focus of the University as we prepare students to influence well-being through nationally-ranked nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and athletic training programs. UIndy graduates go on to improve the lives of patients and to help athletes reach new heights and maintain the optimum competitive physicality. These alumni work in innovative clinical environments and are certified to practice leading-edge therapies. In all cases, they share the thoughtful understanding that Bryan Gezon ’13, ’16 demonstrates as he helps patients of all ages overcome serious orthopedic injuries through physical therapy (see page 14). Others go on to play key roles in healthcare industries, such as Paige Dooley ’85 and Jean Putnam ’17 (see page 18). Gezon, Dooley and Putnam represent the thousands of UIndy alumni who are contributing in dynamic ways to the health of our nation.

Mental Health is central to the concerns of our day, from addiction to suicide to gun violence to aging. The University is preparing those whose life work will be in these areas. Across the College of Applied Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, and Shaheen College of Arts & Sciences, students are working alongside faculty to drive important research and service. New programs, such as the recently launched master’s and graduate certificate in addiction counseling, bridge psychology, counseling and nursing to prepare healthcare workers to treat the growing population of individuals suffering from addiction (see page 6). The University’s programs in art and music therapy are making a difference for those facing anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (see page 10).

Community Health requires individuals, businesses and organizations to collaborate toward common goals, and like so many initiatives, steady progress is being accomplished from multiple sources. Construction and facilities renovations are contributing to a neighborhood renaissance on the Indianapolis southside and generating a ripple effect (see page 12) with tangible social and economic benefits for surrounding areas. A recently added community garden is creating opportunities to plant and harvest fresh vegetables, with the goal of providing nutritious food and education on healthy eating habits to the local community. The arts are a powerful force as a catalyst for positive change and UIndy’s “pARTnerships” (see page 20) are examples of how this commitment produces symbiotic relationships, draws world-class talent and infuses cultural richness into the lives of students and neighbors. This dedication to community health is most evident, both locally and around the globe, in our students’ volunteer and service-learning activities that are highlighted in this issue.

Social Health is at the core of the University’s values as we continue to engage the most pressing issues of our day. Service-learning initiatives and partnerships like the collaboration of the Center for Aging & Community with Joy’s House to help Alzheimer’s patients, as well as the University’s work with the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) to strengthen neighborhoods, provide countless opportunities for students and faculty to give back. The Teach (STEM)³ program partners with area schools to provide mentoring and preparation for career changers in STEM fields to pursue teaching opportunities. This initiative, as well as the University’s Master of Public Health program, creates space for students to make a positive difference.

Technology is integral to all aspects of wholehearted health. It facilitates the ability to learn, research and provide healthcare services, in both the classroom and clinical environments. The Health Pavilion is bringing together the disciplines of nursing, health sciences, psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training and social work. It is a deliberately collaborative exchange of ideas with a curriculum that creates experiential learning for students and provides patients with superior levels of healthcare. Simulation labs, campus clinics and hospital internships are just a few examples of our dedication to improving quality of life at the University of Indianapolis for students and the greater community.

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