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The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine prides itself on molding the best and brightest students into the finest healthcare professionals in the field. A world-class faculty, facilities and curriculum create the perfect environment for a traditional medical education, and the School of Medicine is constantly striving to improve upon its already high standards. To that end, a series of "pathways"—or concentrations—are being implemented to better develop well-rounded medical professionals who will graduate equipped to treat patients more effectively.

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway will focus on preparing students for excellence in the field of multi-dimensional and holistic wellness, equipping them with the knowledge and training to encourage healthy lifestyles in themselves and future patients. Wellness Pathway content, including a speaker series, practical applications in healthy cooking, relaxation techniques and more, will add approximately five hours to existing medical school students’ weekly workload. Participants will emerge with an understanding and appreciation of wellness that encompasses mind, body and spirit, as well as social and environmental factors. They may also elect to pursue a joint degree in one of several related fields, such as the MD/MS in nutrition, via the Biomedical Investigation degree program.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Mandel Wellness and preventive Care Pathway is to provide participants with insight and skills in wellness and health promotion as it relates to the domains of the mind, body, spirit, social interactions and the community.

The vision is to incorporate and advance the promotion of health and wellness at the individual, family, institutional, professional and community levels.


The Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway aspires to:

  • Help medical students develop and maintain healthy self-care habits;
  • Familiarize medical students with multiple domains of health and wellness, including mental, physical, emotional and social;
  • Teach students skills in at least two of these domains to demonstrably improve long-term patient and self-care; and
  • Develop leaders to advance the promotion of health and wellness at the individual, family, institutional and community levels.


One of five pathways underway or in development within the School of Medicine (Healthcare Innovation, Humanities, Urban Health and World Health), the Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway is being organized under the leadership of Dr. Hope Barkoukis, PhD, RD, LD, along with an advisory group of interdisciplinary faculty, curriculum leaders and other stakeholders.

There are several elements planned for the pathway, including:

  • Creation of a student wellness committee dedicated to creating and identifying wellness opportunities on campus and beyond. Examples include physical, outdoor, stress-relieving activities;
  • Frequent 45-minute lunch and learn sessions on topics like nutrition, resilience, emotional intelligence and conflict resolution;
  • A student-led learning community tasked with identifying worthwhile research projects related to health improvement;
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring training led by faculty expert to develop ability to help those in need;
  • Conflict resolution, cultural diversity and advanced communication skills workshops led by experts in the field;
  • Skill training to introduce and refine reflective writing, progressive relaxation techniques and behavior modification strategies;
  • Community outreach through participation in local multi-sector efforts to improve community health through an emphasis on prevention, wellness and collective action (examples include: University Wellness Committee, Health Improvement Partnership - Cuyahoga County, Healthy Cleveland Initiative.);
  • Monthly spiritual wellness sessions focused on an array of topics like mindfulness and meditation, how values impact vocation, and understanding grief; and
  • Just What the Doctor Ordered: Food as Therapy lab, where students will meet monthly to integrate the evidence based science of nutrition and disease prevention they have learned with hands-on cooking participation and demonstrations led by experts.

The Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway is poised to launch in phases. Nutrition components of the pathway were launched in 2016 as Phase I. It will culminate with research projects completed by students that will be evaluated against a rubric designed to measure impact through analysis of pre-and post-Pathway assessments.

To improve access to wellness-related information for students in the pathway and those that are not, this central website has been developed to aggregate the opportunities for participation. Additionally, a monthly, electronic newsletter and social media campaign is planned to keep participating students current with the latest news.

Philanthropic opportunities

Private support to endow the pathway itself, as well as a professorship to oversee it has already been secured. For complete success of the pathway, however, funds are needed for scholarships to reward the best and brightest students who will voluntarily supplement their education and be named Wellness and Preventative Pathway Scholars upon graduation.

$100,000 - $1,500,000 - Endowed Scholarships

Scholarship funds for participating students will drive interest in the program, attract the most passionate students and serve as an investment in the future of well-rounded, patient-centered healthcare professionals. Partially endowed scholarships can be established at $100,000, and fully endowed at $1,500,000.