MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A former Medtronic executive and his wife have given a $2 million gift to Abbott Northwestern Hospital to expand a holistic healing program there, the hospital announced Tuesday.
The grant from Bill and Penny George is designed to broaden the availability of message therapists and other nontraditional professionals to more patients.
"We think this will be a national role model to show that integrative medicine works," Bill George said.
The George Center for Health and Healing, as the program will be known, also will conduct research on the effectiveness and best practices of techniques that help patients improve their quality of life or help prevent relapses.
Penny George, president of the George Family Foundation, which is providing the grant, said she learned about the value of having a "healing coach" after she was found to have breast cancer in 1996.
She said the coach helped her deal with the emotional, spiritual and even practical aspects of having cancer so that she could better face the future, no matter what course the disease took.
"If the hospital and conventional medicine couldn't guarantee recovery, then at least I could have a full life," she said.
Hospital CEO Denny De Narvaez said the healing approach at Abbott Northwestern will include additional services such as healing touch, acupuncture and spiritual counseling, as well as practical approaches such as quieter rooms and more collaboration between doctors and nurses.
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