A Natural Connection: Exploring Positive Outcomes in Health and Healing Through Nature


On September 12, 2016, Texan by Nature and Houston Methodist Hospital are partnering to host a symposium that will bring together some of the nation’s top researchers, physicians, and policymakers to share their knowledge on the connection between health and nature, highlight some of the recent findings on the positive benefits of nature on health and well
being, and to encourage dialogue intended to spur further research collaboration in the future.

The symposium, A Natural Connection: Exploring Positive Outcomes in Health and Healing Through Nature, will review many reasons why nature is good for you, as well as how nature may play a part in the healing process. And that’s a big deal, because findings in the field could have far reaching impact on public recreation, medical treatments, mental health, city planning, and how we live and work each day.

Connect to Learn More

Texan by Nature is excited to collaborate with Houston Methodist to enhance knowledge and call attention to the mechanisms in nature that lead to improved health. If you want to follow along with Texan by Nature during the event, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for live updates. Have a question? Send it our way using the hashtags #explorehealthandnature and #naturallygoodforyou. Now, get a sneak peek at the incredible speakers lined up to present their work below:

Get to Know the Experts

Each speaker at the symposium has a unique research focus and background, but they’re all unified by their interest in how nature can increasingly be used in healthcare to improve lives.

Marc BoomMarc Boom is the president and chief executive officer of Houston Methodist. Dr. Boom holds a B.S. in Biology with High Honors from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.D. with High Honors from Baylor College of Medicine.



FrumkinHoward Frumkin is Dean, and Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, at the University of Washington School of Public Health. He is an internist, environmental and occupational medicine specialist, and epidemiologist.



FranzErin Franz is the Founding Executive Director of Texan by Nature, where she leads the organization’s mission to spur Texan-led conservation that produces tangible benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources.



MaryCarol Hunter (Associate Professor, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan) is a landscape architect and ecologist with a research program that encompasses social, psychological and ecological aspects of sustainable urban design.



BratmanGregory Bratman is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, in the Center for Conservation Biology and the Stanford Psychophysiology Laboratory. He is exploring approaches for evaluating the psychological impacts of nature, and how these can best be incorporated into the paradigm of ecosystem services.



TawakolAhmed Tawakol is a cardiologist with a clinical and research focus on cardiovascular imaging. He is Co-Director of the Cardiac MR PET CT Program and Director of Integrative Bio-Imaging Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.



YarvisCOL Jeffrey Yarvis is a published social work and military scholar in the field of psychological trauma. He has conducted international research and partnerships in Canada, Iraq, Germany, Ukraine and Romania on issues related to PTSD and presented his work to over 100 national and international conferences.



LumsdenAlan Lumsden has developed an international reputation as a leader in the field of endovascular surgery.  His work has resulted in numerous scientific articles, abstracts, books, book chapters and presentations. His research interests include developing newer methods of minimally invasive therapy.



ScarlettLynn Scarlett is the global Managing Director for Public Policy at The Nature Conservancy. She currently chairs the Science Advisory Board of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and co-chairs the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Roundtable.



BufordTina Buford currently serves as the Vice President of Texan by Nature. She also is a director of the Sand County Foundation whose sole focus is supporting voluntary conservation on working lands through ethics, science and incentives.



PickettCynthia Pickett-Stevenson is director of the Center for Excellence in Education, established by the late Admiral Rickover and Joann DiGennaro, co-chair of the Methodist Hospital Foundation, Methodist DeBakey Heart Center Council, and senior cabinet member of the Houston Methodist President’s Leadership Council.



MillikanReverend Charles Millikan takes great pride in being a United Methodist pastor who has the wonderful opportunity to serve in places that make significant difference for the church and our world.



Look Out for the On-Demand Webinar and More Symposia to Come

This symposium will be the first in an ongoing series of symposia presented by Texan by Nature as part of our commitment to bringing awareness of natural resource issues to new audiences – across varied industries and sectors in both rural and urban Texas. So stay tuned to catch the next one, and be sure to sign up for our email newsletters so you don’t miss out.

A Natural Connection will soon be available on the Texan by Nature website as an on-demand webinar. So get ready to #explorehealthandnature with us!