The Urban Zen Initiative

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on May 01, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

In 2007, designer Donna Karan founded the Urban Zen Initiative, a nonprofit organization, to promote integrative medicine. Her initiative is inspired in part by her experience with her late husband, Stephan Weiss, during his challenge with cancer. Urban Zen’s first initiative is the Well-Being Forum, with a mission to create a working environment where the worlds of conventional and alternative medical practices unite to create new ways of healing, health and well-being, focused on the total human and medical needs of the patient. (The nonprofit’s other two initiatives are the preservation of indigenous cultures and the empowerment of children through spirituality.)

Facilities that are incorporating programs stemming from the Well-Being Forum include New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

For more information, see

Fitness Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5

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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at