August 26th, 2010
11:53 AM ET

TEDMED: Donna Karan designs for healing

You may recognize Donna Karan from her fashion lines, but she's also got a project going that aims to redesign patient care.

Karan founded the Urban Zen Foundation, an organization that aims to promote patient advocacy and well-being in health care, integrating alternative approaches such as yoga.

In this TEDMED video, she talks about  sponsoring an initiative at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York that's seeking to "treat the patient, not the disease." This includes a "sanctuary" in the hospital where patients and their loved ones, as well as doctors and nurses, and go to find peace and calm.

TEDMED is an annual event that brings together dozens of luminaries from a variety of fields to "demonstrate the intersection and connections between all things medical and health care related: from personal health to public health, devices to design and Hollywood to the hospital." TEDMED 2010 will take place from October 26 to 29 in San Diego, California.

Editor's note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta will be attending TEDMED in October and his coverage of the conference will be featured in "Sanjay Gupta, M.D."

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Greg G.

    I work in health care as an RN and there needs to be less rules created by govt, insurance & etc to allow different approaches to be applied and tested. Currently now what is enforced can not be changed without penalty. Its seems with every legislation more regulations written in stone get applied.

    August 26, 2010 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Veggiehead

    I agree with Karan in general, but I am put off by anyone who think Deepak is the Bomb. That man is BS squared.

    She is on target with her comments about treating the patient and not just the disease. I've experienced the patient-as-specimen thing in hospitals. Awful for the patient, painful for the loved ones.

    About yoga: I have found yoga to be extremely beneficial to my health. Yes, it can be a healing pursuit. But you need to be careful who you choose as a teacher. There are a lot of fake "yogis" out there - undertrained, arrogant, unkind, irresponsible. With the recent commercialization of yoga, and the availability of ridiculously short certification courses for teachers, there are people out there teaching who not only miss the point of the poses, but don't know human physiology well enough to avoid harming their pupils. For anyone new to yoga, or anyone who has tried it before and not felt it to be beneficial, I would suggest that you keep looking for the right teacher. It makes all the difference.

    August 26, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FreeSpiritGal

      Veggiehead, I completely agree with you about the teachers and Deepak... I guess, the first step to start somewhere and if you are smart enough, you will realize in time who is real and who is... You have to start somewhere.

      August 26, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
  3. FreeSpiritGal

    Thank you Donna! For years I have been a fan of your clothing design. Those are some of my favorite pieces that I still adore, they are classic. But now, I feel even more connection with your design line as your philosophy put in action to bring balance and wholeness to the medical community deeply resonates with me. Medicine is an ancient art of healing and we have lost touch with those roots of inner/outer healing, wholeness. Your project Urban Zen re-establishes that immeasurably valuable link between the body and soul. As someone who spent most of my childhood years in hospitals, I know first hand that your mission of healing everyone, from doctors to nurses to patients and their loved ones through the inner sanctuary, is of immense value and probably the most important aspect of healing.

    August 26, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply

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