Laurel, Maryland (February 11, 2013) — Maryland now has an accredited university dedicated to integrative health. Howard County–based Tai Sophia Institute announced today that it has been awarded university status by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and will change its name to Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) effective March 1.

Located on a 12-acre campus in Laurel, Md., Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute) has established itself as a national leader in integrative health and wellness education since it became the first accredited acupuncture school in the nation in 1985. The university offers graduate degree and certificate programs in a wide range of health and wellness disciplines, including nutrition, herbal medicine, health promotion, health coaching, and acupuncture and oriental medicine.

“In achieving university status, we strongly feel that Maryland University of Integrative Health is on its way to becoming the preeminent institution in this country in the area of integrative health,” said Frank Vitale, president and chief executive officer. “This designation validates our academic excellence and is a significant milestone. It also positions us as leaders in bridging ancient wisdom and contemporary science.”

In recent years, rising healthcare costs, the limitations of disease-focused medicine, and the quest for more natural solutions have fueled a surging interest in integrative health in the United States. Integrative health, an evidence- and effectiveness-based model that considers physical, mental, spiritual, and lifestyle influences on health, is steadily becoming a desirable treatment option and career path for many people. Americans spend an estimated $40 billion annually on out-of-pocket integrative health-related products and services, and healthcare is the number one area of job growth in the nation.

“People from across the country are drawn to our institution’s educational programs and clinics, not only because of the academic rigor and clinical competence, but also because of our relationship-centered, whole person approach to education, health, and wellness,” said Dr. Judi Broida, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs for MUIH. “MUIH has a history of being a pioneer in our field and is one of a small number of regionally accredited academic institutions in the country exclusively committed to integrative health.”

In the last three years, Maryland University of Integrative Health has seen its enrollment increase from 400 to more than 730 graduate students and its academic programs grow from four to 18.

“The decision to change the institute’s name from Tai Sophia Institute to Maryland University of Integrative Health stemmed from the significant role the state of Maryland plays in the area of healthcare delivery combined with the desire to distinguish our specific areas of study and clinical services offered,” said Vitale. “Our goal in adopting a new name is to clearly represent our academic focus and to attract and engage prospective students on a national and international level.”

In an additional effort to reach a broader base of students, MUIH has plans to launch online delivery of some of its graduate courses in September for the first time in the institution’s history.

“This is a significant achievement and I applaud this designation from the Maryland Higher Education Commission,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. “The field of complementary medicine is commanding more attention each day from consumers and the medical community. I’m proud that the school’s innovative approach, with its forward-looking curriculum, has placed it on the leading edge of this movement. This recognition by MHEC is much deserved.”

About Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute)

Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) educates and trains practitioners and leaders in health and wellness through transformative and relationship-centered programs that integrate ancient wisdom and contemporary science. MUIH offers graduate degrees and certificates in a wide range of wellness fields, as well as programs for professional and personal development. The on-campus Natural Care Center offers compassionate and affordable healthcare from student interns and professional practitioners, and the university delivers more than 35,000 clinical treatments a year.

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