Mindfulness conference draws global experts Investigating and integrating mindfulness in medicine, health care and society
For the ninth year, the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society (CFM) at UMass Medical School is hosting its annual International Scientific Conference for Clinicians, Researchers and Educators. More than 500 registrants from 15 countries on five continents will converge at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Norwood from March 30 to April 3 to explore the basic mechanisms of mindfulness, and the translation of these mechanisms into effective treatments, interventions and educational programs in service of the greater health of the public. “This meeting is unique to UMass Medical School in terms of its size and its scope in exploring the new field of contemplative neuroscience,” said Saki Santorelli, EdD, MA, associate professor of medicine and executive director of the CFM. “Studying the effect of mindfulness practice on the basic biology of the brain, and its relationship to human health and behavior, has become a well-established field.” The four-day conference offers attendees more than 75 research forums, presentation dialogues, workshops, keynotes, breakfast roundtables and post-conference institutes, with a special evening event also open to the public. Shoulder-to-Shoulder: An Evening of Mindfulness Practice is a new symposium program that will reinforce and celebrate the vital link between the first-hand practice of mindfulness and the ability of clinicians and educators to teach this to others, and for researchers to ask the right kinds of investigational questions. The program will be led by CFM founder and Professor emeritus of Medicine Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, Dr. Santorelli, and CFM faculty Melissa Blacker, MA, and Florence Meleo-Meyer, MS, MA. Blacker and Meleo-Meyer also direct the Center’s Oasis Institute for Mindfulness-based Professional Education and Innovation.
Beginning this year, a full-day research symposium that ushers in the first day of the annual conference will be named the John and Tussi Kluge Research Symposium on Mindfulness in honor of long-time CFM supporters John Werner Kluge and his wife Tussi Kluge, who is an MBSR instructor in the United States and Germany. As well, this year’s conference is dedicated to the memory of John Kluge. “Naming an annual research symposium after John, who died in September 2010 at the age of 95, and Tussi, will indelibly associate their names with the pioneering mission they shared with CFM to integrate meditation and mindfulness into mainstream medicine and health care and the larger society,” said Santorelli. To learn more about the conference and to register, visit http://www.umassmed.edu/cfm/conference/index.aspx. About the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society For 32 years, The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the UMass Medical School has been a visionary force and global leader in mind-body medicine. The center has pioneered the integration of mindfulness meditation and other mindfulness-based approaches in mainstream medicine and health care through patient care, research, academic medical and professional education, and into the broader society through diverse outreach and public service initiatives. Directed by Saki F. Santorelli, EdD, MA, since 2000 and founded in 1995 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, the Center is an outgrowth of the acclaimed Stress Reduction Clinic, the oldest and largest academic medical center-based stress reduction program in the world. Related links: Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society EXPERT’S CORNER: Strategies for coping with holiday stress