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INM President Speaks at Harkin on Wellness Symposium, Receives Award for Naturally Well Program

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Seattle, Wash. — Michelle Simon, ND, PhD, president and CEO of the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM), joined a panel of experts on early health education at the Harkin on Wellness Symposium, April 3, 2024.

The Harkin Institute also recognized Naturally Well, INM’s childhood nutritional education program, as one of the leading initiatives nationwide to enhance young people’s well-being.

Youth advocates, policymakers, education leaders, teachers, and pediatricians came together at the symposium to explore evidence-based and innovative practices for protecting health and wellness in schools. Instilling habits that support mental and physical health helps offset challenges children face as they navigate a post–COVID world.

Speakers on Panel 1: Healthcare Support for Student Well-Being at the Harkin on Wellness Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo by Scott Morgan.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy led a fireside chat on schools’ responsibilities to address persistent mental stress. Dr. Kathy Either, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adolescent and School Health Division, delivered the keynote speech.

While numerous strategies propose to address the national emergency in child and adolescent mental health, implementing effective solutions on a large scale is crucial. The symposium emphasized K–12 schooling as a vital avenue for establishing children’s well-being. Apart from life at home, most children spend the majority of their time at school.

Evidence suggests that structured curricula with hands-on, collaborative, and whole-health components contribute to better mental health and academic outcomes. Incorporating practices like mindfulness, gardening, and food preparation provides fundamental opportunities for learning.

INM’s partner, EJE Academies Charter School, was recognized at the Harkin Symposium for its leadership in promoting healthy lifestyle coursework. Naturally Well is part of EJE’s 3rd- and 5th-grade curricula, a model for K–12 wellness education.

About INM

The Institute for Natural Medicine is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the human potential for health by promoting whole-person care enriched by nature’s medicine.

About the Harkin Institute

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement exists to inform citizens, inspire creative cooperation, and catalyze change for social justice, fairness, and opportunity.

Media Contact

Wyn Delano
Institute for Natural Medicine 

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The Institute for Natural Medicine, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. INM’s mission is to transform health care in the United States by increasing public awareness of natural medicine and access to naturopathic doctors. Naturopathic medicine, with its person-centered principles and practices, has the potential to reverse the tide of chronic illness overwhelming healthcare systems and to empower people to achieve and maintain optimal lifelong health. INM strives to fulfil this mission through the following initiatives:

  • Education – Reveal the unique benefits and outcomes of evidence-based natural medicine
  • Access – Connect patients to licensed naturopathic doctors
  • Research – Expand quality research on this complex and comprehensive system of medicine

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Our dedicated content team of professional staff writers represents decades of experience covering essential natural health topics in an accessible, evidence-based, and engaging way. Guided by a shared passion for holistic well-being, each and every one of our writers strives to empower our readers to take charge of their health.

Supported by a rigorous fact-checking and medical editing process from licensed naturopathic doctors that examines the latest in peer-reviewed research, our team brings their in-depth knowledge of natural health practices into every piece of content we produce. We strive to be the gold standard for evidence-based natural medicine, providing trustworthy information and inspiring narratives to help you live your best health, naturally.

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