Patient Experience
Here to heal
Program Promotes All-Encompassing Wellness
For every 10 adult Americans, at least six have a chronic condition — such as cancer, stroke, or Alzheimer's disease. There is now a place where these patients and their families can turn for the next generation of healthcare, one that looks beyond the exam room.
The Cook Family Health Education and Learning (HEAL) program at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital will open this year. After receiving a life-altering diagnosis, a patient can join HEAL to find ways to cope with the challenges of an unpredictable health journey and reconnect with the spiritual side of healing.
"HEAL offers companionship on the journey to recovery plus the ability to find the resources to recuperate in the fastest time possible," says Benjamin Renfrow, director of operations, outpatient clinic programs at Houston Methodist The Woodlands. "It's anything that the patient needs outside of the clinical scope of care — outlook, perspective, stress management, and even healthier lifestyle recommendations."
HEAL will provide patients and their families many opportunities to fulfill well-being goals. Yoga, meditation, and tai chi will dot the activities schedule. Cooking classes will enliven the teaching kitchen, and local chefs will demo how to make healthy, affordable meals. A salon will feature wigs and prosthetics fittings to help boost self-confidence.
Following a lead gift from John and Marchita Cook, plus others from generous community members, the unique project sparked the interest of the Mabee Foundation. Trustees awarded a challenge grant, encouraging others to join in supporting HEAL. If the fundraising goal is met by July 2023, the Mabee Foundation will close out the project with a generous gift.
"HEAL will give patients the assurance someone truly has their back and is taking their needs into account, guiding them every step of the way," says Renfrow. "And without philanthropy, HEAL would not exist. It's a product of the giving nature of our community that will evolve with patient needs."