The Ohio State University College of Nursing and Canyon Ranch Institute Partner to Transform Health and Wellness

Canyon Ranch Institute Logo                         College of Nursing logo

Initiatives will include curriculum development, community programming, research, teaching, and mentoring future health leaders

TUCSON, Ariz., and COLUMBUS, Ohio, January 3, 2013 – The Ohio State University College of Nursing and Canyon Ranch Institute (CRI), a 501(c)3 public charity, have partnered to join the two organizations in pursuing their shared commitment to transform the global health and wellness landscape.

Initiatives of the partnership include curriculum development, community-based programming, and collaborative research. In addition, The College of Nursing has added three Canyon Ranch Institute experts to its faculty: Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, CRI president and 17th Surgeon General of the United States, who serves as the Dean’s distinguished professor of health promotion and entrepreneurship; Jennifer Cabe, MA, CRI executive director and board member; and Andrew Pleasant, PhD, CRI health literacy and research director.

Dr. Carmona, who is a nurse, trauma surgeon, and professor of public health, is internationally recognized for the impact of his 2006 landmark Surgeon General’s Report about the dangers of second-hand smoke and his advocacy for lowering health care costs through prevention. “This partnership is about breaking away from the traditions that have shaped health and health care for decades,” says Dr. Carmona. “Dr. Bern Melnyk and I are fervent in our shared knowledge that the nursing profession is ideally positioned to develop, lead, and implement new approaches in the classroom and real-world settings that will enable tomorrow’s nurses and health professionals to positively impact their patients, colleagues, and communities, creating at last a true health care system that replaces today’s sick care system.”

“The partnership between Ohio State and Canyon Ranch Institute represents a critical step toward reimagining the way patient care is taught and practiced in this country. At Ohio State, we are educating the next generation of nurses to be educators as well as healers – to promote overall wellness in our communities so that more individuals lead happier, healthier lives both inside and outside of the hospital,” said E. Gordon Gee, JD, EdD, president of The Ohio State University. 

“The opportunity to partner with and leverage the immense expertise at Canyon Ranch Institute to impact positively the health and education not only of our students but also the Central Ohio community and state is enormous,” said Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN, chief wellness officer, associate vice president for health promotion, and dean of The Ohio State University College of Nursing. “By implementing CRI’s health literacy and Life Enhancement Program as one of our many innovative strategies to enhance health and wellness, our partnership will serve as a national collaborative model of how organizations can work together to spur increased innovation in health professionals’ education, wellness and prevention.”

One of the first examples of the new partnership will be a research/demonstration project of the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program® (CRI LEP).  Based at some Columbus, Ohio, community health centers, the CRI LEP will engage patients from low-income neighborhoods in a 12-session program to help them learn how to develop a sense of purpose and make healthy choices about physical activity, nutrition, and stress management. The program will be presented by an integrated team of Columbus community members, health professionals, and college faculty and staff who present the learning sessions and meet with participants one-on-one to ensure that each patient receives advice and counsel based on individual needs, abilities, and preferences.

CRI has health care organization partners in four additional locations where the CRI LEP has been in place for more than four years. A comprehensive evaluation plan encompasses all participants and has generated a growing body of outcomes that are statistically significant and show positive changes in participants’ physical and mental health and their health literacy.

Ms. Cabe and Dr. Pleasant are also collaborating with College of Nursing leaders to further develop its curriculum. “Our goal is to prepare students for positions in many sectors of society where their expertise in health literacy, health coaching, integrative health and prevention, and innovation and entrepreneurship can be applied in employment settings, public health programs, and beyond,” says David Hrabe, PhD, RN, OSU College of Nursing associate professor of clinical nursing and executive director of academic innovations and partnerships. “For example, many people spend the majority of their lives at work where their health and productivity is a major asset. By adding graduates from this new program to a company’s staff to integrate health and wellness, employers can strengthen their organizations for the future and demonstrate their commitment to their workforce.”

One of the first public offerings resulting from the partnership will be an interprofessional education (IPE) series to be held at Ohio State in collaboration with the college and the OSU Inter-Professional Education and Practice (IPEP) collaborative that is composed of 14 of OSU’s colleges and schools, including the 7 health sciences colleges, highlighting CRI expertise through a panel discussion on health and wellness. OSU students, faculty, and staff, and the general community will be invited to attend and participate in panel discussions that will feature CRI’s health and wellness expertise. Dr. Carmona’s inaugural lecture “Interprofessional Collaboration to Transform Health and Health Care Systems” will be held on January 23, 2013, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Ohio Union Performance Hall. A healthy lunch will be served at 11 a.m.  For more information or to RSVP, please contact  

Contact:                                                                                            Contact:

Jan McIntire, 520-239-8561, Ext. 4664                                             Kathryn Kelley, 614-688-1062                                                   


About The Ohio State University College of Nursing (

The Ohio State University College of Nursing is the world’s preeminent college known for accomplishing what is considered impossible through its transformational leadership and innovation in nursing and health, evidence-based practice and unsurpassed wellness. We exist to revolutionize healthcare and promote the highest levels of wellness in diverse individuals and communities throughout the nation and globe through innovative and transformational education, research and evidence-based clinical practice. Please visit us at

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 About Canyon Ranch Institute® (

Canyon Ranch Institute (CRI) is a non-profit organization that catalyzes the possibility of optimal health for all people by translating the best practices of Canyon Ranch and our partners to help educate, inspire, and empower every person to prevent disease and embrace a life of wellness. Canyon Ranch Institute and our partners believe in the power and possibility of a healthy world. More information is available at

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