Mount Sinai Beth Israel Center for Health and Healing

The Continuum Center for Health and Healing

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Center for Health and Healing
245 Fifth Avenue, 2nd & 3rd Floors
New York, NY 10016

Woodson Merrell, MD, Executive Director

Telephone: 646-935-2259, 2265, 2257, 2255


Today many men and women are looking beyond conventional medicine to keep themselves well.  Increasingly, their choices include integrative approaches that address the mind, body and spirit in restoring health.  The Mount Sinai Beth Israel Center for Health and Healing stands at the forefront of this evolution in health care—helping to develop a new type of medicine that combines the best of conventional medicine, traditional indigenous medicine and expanded healing approaches.

Founded in 2000 as part of the Beth Israel Medical Center, the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Center for Health and Healing is one of the largest and most comprehensive integrative health care centers in the country.  Conceived by Woodson Merrell, MD, Executive Director, the Center was envisioned as a facility that would offer conventional medical care and a wide array of additional healing approaches using an integrative approach.

Because of its continued success, in 2007, the Center was designated the Department of Integrative Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center (MSBI) with the specific aim to introduce and incorporate the integrative medicine approach throughout the inpatient and outpatient facilities at MSBI.

Since its inception, Center staff has been committed to relationship-centered care and a collaborative working environment.  This approach considers the individual’s physical, psychosocial, spiritual, cultural and environmental needs in order to support healing on all levels.  Providers at the Center see over 3,000 patients per month.  In addition, the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Center for Health and Healing oversees a robust program for inpatients at the hospital. 

The following is a list of the Center’s services and accomplishments:

  • In 2001 the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Center for Health and Healing received an architectural design award from the Boston Society of Architects. The design of the Center enhances the patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual resources through responsive planning, selection of environmentally friendly materials, and the creation of a distinctive, non-traditional healing environment.
  • Primary care, one of the mainstays of the Center, focuses on optimizing health, preventing illness and treating acute and chronic conditions. An integrative perspective emphasizes all aspects of an individual’s life, including family (both adults and children) and community and includes diet, exercise, stress reduction, self-care and spiritual renewal.
  • In addition to primary care, a wide range of other healing arts are offered, including acupuncture, cranial therapy, East Asian medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, massage, meditation, mind-body medicine, nutrition, physical therapy and personal training, Reiki, yoga, and psychotherapy.  The medical specialties offered include internal medicine, orthopedic and sports rehabilitation with a physical therapy unit, gynecology, women’s health services, otolaryngology, cardiology, dermatology, ENT, podiatry, and chiropractic.  In addition, the Center has a natural apothecary that offers high quality herbs and dietary supplements.
  • The in-patient program expansion led to two self-care programs: one for nurses via The Charles Evans Integrative Stress Management Program and one for physicians in training via The Rubin Resident Wellness Initiative at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.  The Urban Zen Initiative at MSBI provides integrative yoga services to patients in the hospital and is coordinated with the Urban Zen-sponsored Integrative Yoga Training Program.  The  Department's in-patient healing arts providers offer medical yoga, acupuncture, Reiki, holistic pastoral care and employee and medical self-care and stress reduction training in the inpatient setting.
  • The Research Division, under the direction of Benjamin Kligler, MD, Director of Research and Vice-Chair of the Department, has a robust research team that actively conducts and collaborates on research studies to determine the safety and effectiveness of expanded healing approaches for a broad range of health conditions.  The goal of the program is to test new models of moving integrative healthcare approaches more swiftly into widespread clinical use. The major focus is on research in acupuncture, nutrition, mind-body medicine, and online behavior change support  with a special interest in testing models of care delivered in the group setting to support wider dissemination and a more cost effective approach.  The research group is currently conducting trials of a group-oriented integrative approach of two common and difficult to treat conditions, chronic pain and irritable bowel syndrome as well as the use of a diabetes app it developed for low literacy underserved populations. The research group is also experienced in qualitative methodology and cost-effectiveness research.
  • An integral part of the Department’s mission is to train health care providers in integrative approaches to health promotion and disease prevention.  Under the leadership of Dr. Kligler, programs are designed for medical students, residents, fellows, attending physicians, faculty and other health care providers.  The on-going Continuing Education Program in Integrative Medicine for Physicians offers weekly trainings featuring experts in the field.
  • The Web-based education programs for patients and health care professionals, under the direction of Marsha J. Handel, MLS, Director of Informatics and Online Education, focus on expanding knowledge of evidence-based treatment options and supporting active patient participation in their health care.  To date, six online consumer education programs have been produced, the latest being an NIH-funded multimedia, English/Spanish website on integrative approaches to chronic disease.  In 2015 the Center will launch the grant-funded Diabetes: Your Way app, designed to fill a gap in support for Black and Hispanic people living with type 2 Diabetes.