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Monmouth University’s New Institute for Health and Wellness to Impact Community Health

Belinda Anderson, accomplished researcher, professor, and clinician named inaugural director

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.– Today, Monmouth University launched its new Institute for Health and Wellness (IHW) with the hiring of its founding director, Belinda Anderson, Ph.D., M.A. Ed.

The IHW is a campus-wide initiative that will serve as a central health and wellness resource for the university and surrounding community. A hub for education, research, and community engagement, the IHW will leverage Monmouth University’s existing academic programs in the health fields and regional partnerships with hospitals and other community-based partners.

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

“As we grow new undergraduate and graduate programs in the health sciences, we are taking a closer look at the roles we can play. We are well positioned to be a leader in innovating and collaborating with the healthcare industry in New Jersey to increase the quality of life for Monmouth County residents and the region more broadly.”

The IHW will not be embedded in a particular school, but will instead be a cross-disciplinary resource for health and wellness, echoing the current shift in healthcare requirements. Palladino looks forward to working with Anderson to refine and communicate the vision and mission of the IHW, and said he could see a new graduate degree in public health as a potential educational goal that the IHW would pursue.

“Improving healthcare by bringing together different healing traditions, translating research into tangible benefits for patients, and raising awareness of the importance of the patient narrative have been lifelong passions of mine,” said Anderson.  “I am thrilled to be the founding director of the institute, and am committed to working across the university and within the community to improve the lives of residents in the surrounding area and beyond.”

A formal photo of Belinda Andersion, she is standing outside with grass, a path, and a building in the background.
Belinda Anderson, Ph.D., founding director of The Institute for Health and Wellness

Anderson, an internationally recognized researcher and clinician, and experienced academic administrator and educator, will oversee the development and implementation of the IHW. This includes developing the structure, building new internal and external relationships, and identifying strategic projects to advance health and wellness in the region.

“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., MBA, FACEP, president of Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. Dr. Sable served on the search committee for the IHW director.  “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.”

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 is a widely published researcher, and currently serves on the National Institute of Health National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health.  Anderson is a federally funded 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. For the past 10 years, she also had a private practice as an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist at New York University Fertility Center specializing in women’s health and fertility.

“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 Monmouth University President Grey J. Dimenna.  “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.”

Throughout her career, Anderson has worked collaboratively to engage partners to support new projects. She most recently brought Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Pacific College of Oriental Medicine into a 10-year collaborative partnership involving interprofessional education programs and three federally funded research projects.

“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.  “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 earned her doctorate in molecular biology from the University of Sydney, 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.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Anderson came to the U.S. 22 years ago.  She currently resides in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey with her wife, Iris, and their dog, Castro.