Lori Knutson and the convergence of $10-Million and cultural creativity at Hackensack-Meridian Integrative Health and Medicine: Part 1
February 13, 2018
by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News and Reports Editor’s note: This analysis article is not edited and the authors are solely responsible for the content. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Integrative Practitioner. It was rare but not altogether unfamiliar news three years ago when philanthropists granted $10-million to shape what is now the Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health and Medicine. The bigger news for close observers of the field came with word that Lori Knutson, RN, BSN, HNB-BC would lead the New Jersey-based enterprise. One knew, with Knutson there, that something was going to happen! Now a report on Knutson’s first two years at Hackensack Meridian may be the best roadmap available for introducing into hospitals and their satellite facilities a delivery model that focuses on integrative health outcomes. Knutson reputation preceded her. She was for 12 years the pioneering director of the Penny George Institute at Allina Health. The learning at that inpatient-outpatient, entrepreneurial exercise in system change has mentored virtually every hospital integrative medicine leader who has had the good sense to read up and seek guidance. Knutson is anchor faculty at the Duke Program on Leadership in Integrative Medicine. That Knutson’s accomplishments have been forged not as a medical doctor but as a nurse in the nearly exclusively MD club of hospital-based integrative medicine leaders adds appreciation to what Hackensack-Meridian accessed in coaxing Knutson to move from Minnesota. This is the introductory column of what will be a multi-part examination of the Hackensack Meridian integrative strategy. These will run from time to time over the next two months. The present column will focus on Knutson’s door-opening leadership style. Subjects of later columns will be:
- multi-dimensional strategies to support practitioner well-being and resilience;
- integrative methods for relieving burdens on primary care practices
- moving integrative health practices into bundled payment programs
- deployment of nurse health coaches at multiple points in the river of care, and
- dogged work to move “upstream” to address the determinants of health.