In the beginning, there were three of us. Working as nurses at Mercy
Hospital in Portland, Maine, we had become convinced that the most
effective healing requires a holistic approach: a concern not just for
the needs of the body, but for the intertwined needs of mind and spirit
as well. We wanted to explore the potential of a new kind of health care,
blending the science of medicine with the healing arts, to help patients
achieve optimal health.
To test our ideas, we convened a varied group of physicians, nurses,
and other healthcare providers to begin considering ways to introduce
holistic care into traditional clinical settings. The group grew
quickly. As our circle widened and word of our intention spread, we realized
that what we were conspiring to create answered a deep need for patients
and providers alike.
Our meetings were unlike anything any of us had experienced within hospital
walls. Meditation set the stage for reverent listening, creative thought,
and responsible decision making. Mothers comfortably breastfed their
babies. Administrators in business attire left their desks to participate.
Practitioners of varied disciplines spoke with intention and listened
with respect. Sometimes there were tears: of relief to have found such
a group, of impatience with “the
way things have always been done.” Most often, there was joy,
as we learned from and challenged one another.
Gradually, we began to focus on the need for a new center for good health,
a place where passion for healing would merge with the values of acceptance,
professionalism, and respect nurtured within our group. True North is the
realization of our dream—a
dramatically different kind of health care based on compassionate relationship,
collaboration, and mutual respect.