Saki F. Santorelli, Ed.D., M.A. is Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, Director of the acclaimed Stress Reduction Clinic – the clinic of origin of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has made pioneering advances in Mind-Body and Integrative Medicine, through the clinical application of meditation and mindfulness in contemporary medical and health care settings.
Since 1980, Dr. Santorelli has worked with thousands of medical patients and has educated and helped mentor generations of practitioners of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR). In 1981, he became the first Intern in the renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and in 1996, became the Director of the SR Clinic. 20,000 patients, referred by more than 5,000 physicians, have completed this well-researched program and there are more than 720 MBSR programs around the world. During the course of the last thirty-years he has engaged in more than 30,000 clinical hours of MBSR, established a comprehensive teacher education and training program in MBSR and trained hundreds of business leaders and innovators in the private and public sectors, prison inmates, correctional facilities staff, clergy, and thousands of health care professionals in the US and internationally. A teacher for more nearly four decades, he has taught in every phase of formal education from pre-K to post-graduate education with a particular focus on the application and integration of mind-body and mind training approaches in contemporary educational settings and subject areas. Since 1987, he has delivered innovative mindfulness-based programs in academic medical education.
In his tenure as Executive Director, he envisioned and founded Oasis Institute –- the Center for Mindfulness’ school for mindfulness-based professional education and training. To date, Oasis Institute has trained more than 12,000 health care professionals worldwide. In 2003, he founded and continues to Chair an annual international scientific conference, Investigating and Integrating Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (11th annual meeting, April 2013). In 2011, he established the John and Tussi Kluge Research Symposium on Mindfulness – an annual professional meeting that explores the basic mechanisms of mindfulness and treatment approaches emerging from these basic science investigations. He has developed and implemented with his colleagues a wide-range of innovative public conferences, symposia, and “crossover” programs designed to make mindfulness more accessible to organizations, institutions, and governmental agencies within the larger society including ground-breaking efforts focused on the integration of mindfulness into leadership education, corporate wellness initiatives, and mainstream elementary and secondary education for teachers and students.
Dr. Santorelli has co-authored scientific papers on the clinical application of mindfulness and has written a number of articles, monographs and educational manuals on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) that specifically address MBSR standards of practice, teacher formation, competency, and readiness. He has directed particular attention to the development of self-knowledge and the education of the inner life of health care professionals and to understanding and articulating the dynamics of the patient-practitioner relationship when viewed through the lens of mindfulness. Likewise, he has written and presented about the converging roles of medicine and mindfulness in the relief of suffering and the innate ability of medical patients to learn how to more effectively care for themselves through training in mindfulness. His book, Heal Thy Self: Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine explores, in detail, the confluence of these multiple areas of inquiry.
He is a founding member and past Executive Committee member of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine and the UMMS Consortium representative. He is a Senior Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute and a Fellow of the Fetzer Institute. He has been a visiting professor at McGill University Medical School and the Lydia Rapport Visiting Professor at the Smith College graduate school of social work in the summer of 2006. He is an internationally recognized lecturer and workshop presenter. Most recently, he conceived of the Creating a Mindful Society Conference. Implemented through strategic partnerships, this two-day conference in New York City drew 570 in-house participants and more than 6,000 registered on-line participants who viewed the conference from around the globe.
Here's Santorelli talking about his work (recorded by the Omega Institute)