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The Integrator Blog. News, Reports and Networking for the Business, Education, Policy and Practice of Integrative Medicine, CAM and Integrated Health Care. - Welcome to Inner Harmony Group as an Integrator Sponsor
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Welcome to Inner Harmony Group as an Integrator Sponsor PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Welcome to Inner Harmony Group as an Integrator Sponsor!

Summary: Peter Amato's Inner Harmony Group, based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has provided national benchmarking experience for integrative clinics as well as pioneering programs in a public elementary school for what Amato styles "integral education."  For more than a decade, he's pioneered to establish an integrative clinic business model which runs in the black - an accomplishment which he and his CEO Steve Szydlowski, MBA, DHA, have achieved in recent years. (Their work was reported in the Integrator in July 2006). I am pleased to announce that the Inner Harmony Group has chosen to help move the Integrator mission with a 2007 sponsorship ...
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Peter Amato, Inner Harmony Group Founder
I am pleased to announce that Inner Harmony Group (IHG) has chosen to become a sponsor of the Integrator. Peter Amato, founder and chair of the Scranton, Pennsylvania-based, multi-faceted IHG operation and I have known each other for much of the long ride of integrative medicine
and, as he frames it, "integral health," over the past decade. We got to know each other when he founded the Inner Harmony Wellness Center in his home town a decade ago.

While sponsorship includes some business advising, most of the value of sponsorship is, essentially, a donation in support of the Integrator mission. I asked Peter via e-mail his reasons for making the sponsorship commitment and he kindly wrote back:

"I am supporting the Integrator because I know John Weeks gets it. This is not what he does... it is who he is. That to me is phase one integral! A man aligned with his intention. The Integrator is a vehicle which cuts across all boundaries in energetically emerging a higher order of system, or model of care. John Weeks is the co-captain of these emergent properties. The Integrator represents a voice of collective consciousness in healthcare which we need in transcending the myth we are currently living and experiencing."
I immediately wrote back and told him I would send this on to my mother right away. Which I have.

The four-pronged business model of the
Inner Harmony Group includes integrative clinic operations and consulting with others, programs in recovery and addiction services, "integral education" programs in the schools and a newer line of corporate consulting. Inner Harmony now operates out of two clinical locations with a third in development in the Pocono Mountains.

Benchmarking Success in Integrative Clinic Practice

Amato's experience with Inner Harmony provides one of the nation's benchmarks for integrative medicine practice. Inner Harmony hung in through many worse-than-lean years before crafting a successful business model, which now runs in the black, w
ith no present philanthropic support, under the business direction of Amato's CEO for the clinic and business adviser Steve Szydlowski, MBA, DHA. Szydlowski is also on the faculty in the graduate program in health administration at the University of Scranton.

I was recently asked by Mary Hardy, MD, to provide some of the best thinking on integrative medicine business strategies for the Clinical Working Group of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. One of the documents I sent was an Integrator article from last July entitled Inner Harmony's Winding Road to Health (and Profitability). It includes a little, useful sidebar:
"Amato's Lessons for Running an Integrative Clinic in the Black." It's an excellent top 7 list for any integrative clinic operator. I am discussing with Szydlowski and Amato a plan to run an Integrator series of data-based articles which can take readers through the evolution of the Inner Harmony business model.

Amato recently shared with me that an additional program Szydlowski has worked out for Inner Harmony is a partnership as an "after care" service for the new Cancer Treatment Centers of America facility in Philadelphia.

and Programs in Education, Recovery, Cancer Care and Leadership

SteveSzydlowski, MBA, DHA, Inner Harmony Group's CEO
I checked in with Amato on the program Inner Harmony Group has offered in "integral education" to students in a Scranton elementary school which I reported here last July. In a project funded through the US Department of Education, IHG had shown significant benefits to students from "integral education." Among the process IHG uses in its model are breathing, yoga, stress-reduction and "the importance of silence." Amato shared that they are awaiting news on whether the program will be refunded.

Has the program survived the end of the grant cycle in the past half year? "There is sustainability," states Amato, clarifying that "the teachers are using the programs but not all the same, so there is ebb and flow." He specifies that "it's hard for some of the teachers to hold the space" during the day for the services.

Another focal area of Inner Harmony activity is addiction and recovery. Amato and IHG recently produced for the 2nd year in a row a pre-conference session at the Spirit Recovery Conference sponsored in part by the Betty Ford Center.

IHG has presented outcomes of its work in various forums. At the American Public Health Association meeting each of the last two years, Szydlowski presented on Inner Harmony's cancer care research which used integrative modalities
- therapeutic massage, mind-body and Reiki - to complement conventional treatment. IHG also presented a poster in 2006 and will again this year at the Health Forum/American Hospital Association meeting on Integrative Medicine for Healthcare Organizations. Later this year, Amato will be speaking at an International Leadership Conference meeting which will roughly coincide with the publication of a new book on leadership in which he contributes one of the chapters.

Comment: As most of you know, the Integrator is usually more newsletter than blog. My ability to take the time to report - to interview, research, write, layout and manage - is basically due to the Integrator sponsors (plus a few of you who have subscribed/donated, thank you). So it is wonderful to have this boost from Amato and the Inner Harmony Group as the Integrator moves into its second year. I am also pleased to have IHG on my masthead, so that the diversity of content is reflected in the breadth of stakeholder sponsors. For me, Amato's sponsorship is also a return to working with a friend and colleague of many years.

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