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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

UMN Renames Centers in Honor of Earl E. Bakken

Ed Bakken

The University of Minnesota announced that it has renamed two health-focused interdisciplinary centers in honor of Earl E. Bakken, in recognition of his support of the university and his field-shaping legacy. The centers will now be called the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center and the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing.

“Renaming these centers is our way of honoring the spirit of discovery and innovation that Earl Bakken has instilled in everyone he has encountered through his work at the university,” states Eric Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota. “He has been an inspiration to our faculty, staff and students and his efforts have helped us become leaders in finding new ways to promote health and healing in the communities we serve.”

Both interdisciplinary centers break the mold in exploring new ideas and fostering innovation. Bakken has a unique appreciation for both the art and science of health care as demonstrated by his long-standing support for the university’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, focused on research, outreach and education of integrative health and well-being. The center launched the nation's first master's degree in health coaching, conducts pioneering research, consults with healthcare systems on care model innovation and supports corporate and community-based organizations advancing health and well-being programming.

Bakken was an early mentor for the center’s founder and director, Mary Jo Kreitzer, and he continues to be a strong advocate for integrative approaches to health and healing. “Mr. Bakken is one of our most illustrious and accomplished alumni, and his work has a continuing impact on millions of people daily around the world,” Kreitzer explains. “He has inspired us to think bigger, to try to fulfill the immense potential we have to improve the health and well-being of people and communities around the world.”

The new names for these centers will take effect immediately as a tribute to Bakken’s legacy, his ongoing mentorship of faculty and students and his support of the university.

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Read the full July 2021 Magazine