New Institute Health Wellness

University Launched New Institute for Health and Wellness

The University announced the establishment of its new Institute of Health and Wellness (IHW), a campus-wide initiative that will serve as a central health and wellness resource for the University and surrounding community, on Tuesday, Sept. 18. 

The IHW will leverage the University’s existing academic programs in the health fields and regional partnerships with hospitals and other community-based partners, and will be an organization for education, research, and community engagement. 

Belinda Anderson, Ph.D., the new Director of the IHW, explained that a significant part of her job includes getting funding, managing projects, and creating and strengthening partnerships with other organizations. “My job as Director will involve shaping the Institute’s focus and goals,” she said. “The Institute’s activities will encompass education, research, community service and collaboration, and will be interdisciplinary. I am responsible for collecting feedback from internal and external stake holders to collectively determine the Institute’s priorities.” 

“My goal is to develop the IHW so that it embodies the needs, interests and passions of our faculty, students, staff, and external partners,” Anderson said. “I’d like to see the IHW improve the lives of those on campus and in the surrounding community through education, research and service related to health and wellness.”

Michael Palladino, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, explained, “The concept of the Institute for Health and Wellness was developed through interactive conversations across campus and with external partners during Monmouth’s most recent strategic planning process. It is a direct response to the disrupted healthcare landscape, and an emphasis on preventative medicine, public health and population health management.”

The IHW will not be associated with a particular school, but will instead be an interdisciplinary resource for health and wellness. Palladino said that he could see a new graduate degree in public health as a potential educational goal that the IHW would pursue.

“We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Anderson to this role, as she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience traversing many aspects of academia, research, and management following a nearly 30-year career in higher education,” said University President Grey. Dimenna, Esq.  “With more than 40 percent of our academic offerings directly related to the health professions, and our strong ties to the region’s prominent healthcare organizations, we are confident that Dr. Anderson can help solidify Monmouth as an educational leader in the health sciences.”

“Our organization is committed to supporting creative approaches that improve health care delivery, and our partnership with Dr. Anderson and Monmouth University is an exciting opportunity to work on health and wellness initiatives that will benefit our community,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., President of both Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, and a member of who served on the search committee for the Director of the IHW. 

Sable continued, “Education is a key element as we explore innovative and forward-thinking concepts that can bring together diverse stakeholders and address some of our largest health concerns. We are excited about the launch of the Institute for Health and Wellness and the vision of its leadership team.”

Throughout her career, Anderson has worked collaboratively, engaging partners to support new projects. She recently formed a ten-year collaborative partnership involving interprofessional education programs and three federally funded research projects between the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.

“I have had prior successful experience with start-ups at universities. In Australia I created a successful research program at an institution that was not research focused. Under my leadership, we secured federal funding and partnered with a large government research agency,” Anderson explained. “Healthcare is ultimately about helping people to lead happy and healthy lives, and having been a clinician, I understand what that involves in working one-on-one with patients.”

“Dr. Anderson is the practical visionary the institute needs to succeed,” said Bill Arnold, MHA, President and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health Monmouth Medical Center and member of the IHW director search committee in a University press release.  “Her demonstrated track record of success both in and out of the classroom, combined with her experience in bringing together diverse constituencies to advance common goals, will serve her well in this new role.  We look forward to working together on health and wellness initiatives in the region.”

Anderson previously served as the academic Dean at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York, and is an associate clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She currently serves on the National Institute of Health National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health. Anderson is an investigator on projects related to education and promoting health and wellness, including acupuncture clinical trials, a residency training program for medical doctors, and training acupuncturists in evidence-based medicine.

Anderson earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Sydney before coming to the U.S. to earn her master’s in acupuncture and Oriental medicine from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and her Master’s degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University