In partnership with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Claremont Graduate University is the home of the Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies, a research hub and living laboratory for health and well-being that is unique in higher education.
Bearing a name that means “People of the Pines” (which refers to the original inhabitants of the area who are the ancestors of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians), the center brings together our experts and students with outside scholars and partners to redefine healthcare and improve lives, especially for vulnerable populations in the Inland Empire region of Southern California and beyond.
We are not simply aspiring to make a difference. Our faculty’s achievements in many disciplines have already shaped the conversation about well-being and what it means to flourish. Deep expertise, combined with the flexibility that a university our size provides, will allow us to quickly identify opportunities and pursue them. Learning and discovery are not linear. Neither is our approach to integrated health.
CGU works with more than 300 health-related organizations to improve the quality of life, especially in communities most in need. Our goal is to provide powerful, impactful solutions to seemingly intractable challenges.
Scholars across CGU’s seven schools and divisions are conducting innovative research on proactive and behavioral approaches to health in a variety of areas, including prevention strategies, chronic disease management, and health-driven technologies that provide accessibility to support networks and programs.
All of these efforts come together in a 23,000 square-foot facility at the southeast corner of the university campus that served for 50 years as The Claremont Colleges’ central bookstore. Once renovations are completed, the center will house CGU’s School of Community & Global Health as its anchor tenant.
Complex issues demand approaches that transcend discrete fields. At CGU, we call this transdisciplinarity, and it is at the heart of our educational model. We are recognized leaders in numerous disciplines, and the synergies we create inspire new ways of looking at challenges and opportunities. This will be manifestly evident in our approach to integrated health.
Transdisciplinarity has been embedded in our DNA since our founding in 1925. It involves taking on complex problems important to society and including diverse stakeholders to find a resolution. Because of our unwavering resolve to apply our expertise in ways that benefit those we serve, we are embarking on an endeavor that will dramatically improve health and well-being for those living in underserved, vulnerable communities.
Here are just a few examples of how our experts have already made a difference:
The emerging interdisciplinary research field of Persuasive Technology, focused on how interactive technologies and services can support positive behavior change, holds great promise for improving and extending lives. Professor Samir Chatterjee’s MyHeart app, for example, helps patients by collecting diagnostic data and other feedback on a daily basis that is monitored remotely by hospital caregivers, who can determine whether intervention is needed.
Proactive Health Management
Research across CGU is addressing root causes of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity, as well as disease management and follow-up care. “Diseases of despair”—drug addiction, depression, and suicide, among others—are reducing life expectancy, especially in underserved communities. Faculty are studying a range of holistic approaches and interventions that pay particular attention to the needs of these communities.
Understanding the government labyrinth— what makes a policy effective or ineffective— can improve social and economic outcomes. Professors in the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation are studying the relationship between social justice and well-being, and research in the Division of Politics and Economics is focusing on the efficacy of federal health programs such as the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid managed care.
CGU is a leader in the field of Positive Health Psychology, which explores how to maintain physical and mental well-being despite the presence of otherwise harmful physical, social, or environmental conditions. The Adolescent Moral Development Lab is addressing questions around purpose and gratitude, with a focus on youth growing up in poorly resourced communities.