Louis A. Ritz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Office Phone:  (352) 273-5533
Email:              lritz@ufl.edu
Website:  http://www.ufspiritualityandhealth.org/directorsadvisors/ritz.asp

Education:

1980 Ph.D. (Neuroscience) University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
1980-1983 Postdoctoral Fellowship (Physiology) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Research  Summary:

The University of Florida Center for Spirituality and Health receives research funding that enters the University of Florida through the UF Foundation. Since its inception in 1999, the Center has received $1.85M from the Dharma Endowment Foundation and modest funds from other sources. A primary focus is on counseling, nursing, medical and premedical students, who will impact many patients/clients throughout their careers. The Center provides yearly support to the Department of Neuroscience for my administrative functions ($5K), for teaching classes in the University’s Honors Program ($5K each), and for website maintenance ($12K). In March 2017, a 5-year report of Center functions was provided to the College of Medicine Office of Research.

The Center has continued to offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate classes throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, through the College of Education, the College of Nursing, and the UF Honors Program. We have supported two student-initiated UF groups (The MOR Club and The Create Club), each with more than 650 followers on Facebook. Within the College of Medicine, our Center recently offered a “Mindfulness in Medicine” course, over 4 weeks, to 13 self-selected medical students.

During the past two years, we have formed a partnership with the UF Mindfulness Program (https://mindfulness.ufl.edu/). Dr. Grunwald and core team members of UF Mindfulness are also part of the UF Center for Spirituality and Health. To build the UF Mindfulness Program, funded for 1 ½ years by the UF Creative Campus Program, an interdisciplinary team was formed: (i) leadership: Dr. Sabine Grunwald, (ii) core team members: Dr. Monika Ardelt, Dr. Ana Puig, and Dr. Grunwald and (iii) 13 faculty & staff members representing various colleges and disciplines. Within the first year, an affiliate membership base was build comprising a mailing list of about 550 students, staff, and faculty with interest in mindfulness.

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