How can clinicians leverage the healing power of nature for better outcomes?

With all the talk about telehealth, artificial intelligence, and technology in healthcare, we often overlook the possibility or opportunities that lie in simple places like the outdoors. There’s been talk in the mainstream and alternative medicine circles about the benefits of nature and being outdoors, but what’s the evidence to support those claims? And if there is evidence, how can clinicians and organizations leverage the benefits of nature to improve outcomes for their patients and clients?

My guest this week, Laura Park Figueroa, is the owner and manager of Outdoor Kids Occupational Therapy in California. She developed her proprietary ConTiGO approach to nature-based treatment and is in the process of obtaining her PhD using it as the basis for her research. She’s also the host of the Mind Your OT Business Podcast, which I was a guest on a while back.

What we cover in this Episode:

  • What is Nature Based Therapy?
  • The applicability of nature-based interventions across clinical disciplines
  • How to partner with nature to co-facilitate a therapeutic outcome
  • The research about mental health and psychosocial factors and nature’s benefit
  • What kinds of licenses, certifications, etc. do you need to get started?
  • How to charge/bill etc. for this type of treatment delivery
  • The importance of being a reflective practitioner
  • How do we balance innovation in healthcare and evidence-based practice & knowledge translation?
  • The Importance of addressing expectations with clients and stakeholders


Connect with Laura:


For More:

If you enjoyed this episode: Join Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi), principal of Rehab U Practice Solutions and host of The Better Outcomes Show as he explores the possibilities of a new healthcare. Guests range from clinicians trying new techniques and treatments to executives and entrepreneurs exploring new service delivery methods, business models, and organizational structures. You can sign-up to receive new episodes delivered directly to your inbox by filling out the form at the top of this page.  Learn more about Rehab U Practice Solutions by reading The Manifesto for a New Healthcare, or listen to Episode 000.


Are You Ready to Take Your Organization to the Next Level?

If you run a clinic or practice and are looking to develop a strategy that leverages best practices, new technology, and marketing/messaging in a way that maximizes patient engagement & retention, please reach out. We’d love to talk with you about how Rehab U Practice Solutions can help your clinic bring in more patients, retain them throughout their course of care, and create uniquely impactful patient experiences.

Rafael E. Salazar II, MHS, OTR/L (Rafi) is the Principal Owner of Rehab U Practice Solutions and the host of The Better Outcomes Show. He has experience in a variety of rehab settings, working with patients recovering from a variety of injuries and surgeries. Rafi has worked in a variety of settings, from orthopedic and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, to academia, and even healthcare consulting. He spent the majority of his clinical experience working at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, where he was the lead clinician and clinical education coordinator for the outpatient specialty rehab program. In this role, he treated many veterans with chronic pain and helped to establish an interdisciplinary pain management program. He has worked on projects ranging from patient engagement initiatives to marketing communication campaigns to a multi million dollar project assisting the State of Georgia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities transition individuals out of state institutions to community residences. He also has experience as a core faculty member at Augusta University’s Occupational Therapy Program, as a Licensed Board Member on the GA State OT Board, and he serves on the Board of Directors for NBCOT. He works to help healthcare clinics and organizations deliver uniquely impactful patient experiences by improving service delivery through training & advisement and through courses & training programs.

Read his full bio Here. Read about Rehab U Here.

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