Providing Natural Solutions for Male Sexual Health
There's not much we can count on in life, but if there's one guarantee, we can bet that our bodies change as we grow older. That's especially true for men as they age. One moment you're partying at the club, waking up refreshed, and hitting the gym. The next moment, getting out of bed is a chore. You're sore in places you never thought before, and hangovers don't just go away after a hot shower and a big breakfast.
And while sore joints and backaches can be treated with aspirin and ice, other signs of aging aren't as easy to treat. Of course, we're talking about challenges in getting and maintaining erections needed to satisfy your partner. At the extreme, we all know it as erectile dysfunction or ED for short but long before full ED, there are warning signs that things aren't working as they used to work. Hearing the ED word sends shivers down most men's spines. When you think about it, that makes sense - being unable to perform when you need to most is a scary thought.
If you're beginning to suffer from ED or male performance issues or you've been dealing with performance issues for some time, it may seem like nobody has any solutions or even really understands how these issues can impact your life and sense of well-being. However, ED of varying degrees is very common. More than 18 million men suffer from the condition in the U.S. Unfortunately, many of those men hide their performance issues without ever addressing them. If you're one of those men, and it feels like you're stuck in a rut with no help, we're here to tell you you're not alone. Proactive Wellness Centers, PLC is here to provide you with a long-lasting solution to help you regain confidence and perform like you used to.
Additionally, many men including the so-called "bio hackers" are using our treatments to PREVENT the performance decline in the first place. Why wait for the inevitable when you can implement strategies to prevent the decline in the first place.
The Proactive Wellness Center Difference
Our programs are all about reversing and slowing the aging process, preventing disease, and treating chronically ill patients. We utilize a three-pronged approach:
- 1. We equip patients with the knowledge required to take charge of their health and achieve optimal well-being.
- 2. We focus on disease prevention by providing a thorough evaluation using comprehensive diagnostics including the patient-supplied information.
- 3. We work with patients to implement a rejuvenation program consisting of various science-based treatments that reduce cellular degeneration, promote tissue regeneration and healing, and slow down the aging process..
We consider every individual as physiologically unique. As such, we don't subscribe to a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Instead, our programs focus on a customized approach, leveraging genetics and advanced testing, utilizing advanced therapeutics like Gainswave and addressing risk factors that, if avoided or modified, could have beneficial effects for reducing many chronic conditions that men suffer from year-round.
Our vision is to provide the latest in scientifically-validated therapies for reversing the aging process, preventing chronic disease, and optimizing health. For men whoare just starting to have challenges, or who have erectile dysfunction, or for the biohackers that just want everything optimized, one of those proven therapies is George Mason, VA
- Providing Natural Solutions for Male Sexual Health
- The Proactive Wellness Center Difference
- What is GAINSWave Therapy?
- What Makes GAINSWave Therapy in George Mason, VA Work?
- Other Treatments and Programs from Proactive Wellness Centers, PLC
- Achieve Your Wellness Goals at Proactive Wellness Centers, PLC
What is GAINSWave Therapy?
If you have ED or even a minor decline in sexual performance, there's a good chance you've already seen your primary care doctor. You've talked to them about the issues you're facing. And, if they're like many doctors, they prescribed you some pills and sent you on your way. Unfortunately, going this route doesn't do much to solve erectile dysfunction - you're just putting a band-aid on the problem. Plus, you're putting strange chemicals in your body via a "little blue pill" that may cause adverse side effects.
At the end of the day, you need a real-deal solution to ED, not a quick fix. The good news? A safe, non-invasive, injection-free answer to your problems exists. It's called GAINSWave therapy, and according to recent studies, it has shown an 85-92% success rate for mild to moderate cases of erectile dysfunction.
Reports from men who have used GAINSWave therapy in George Mason, VA report the following benefits:
- Stronger, Longer Lasting Erections
- Improved Sexual Pleasure
- More Blood Circulation and Flow
- Better Girth and Length
- Less Rest Needed Between Orgasms
- Enhanced Intimacy in the Bedroom
Unlike many ED treatments, you don't have to worry about surgery or drugs when you choose GAINSWave. This revolutionary treatment uses acoustic wave technology, also called pulse wave therapy, instead of surgery or pills, which helps to rebuild blood flow to the penile region, thereby boostings erectile strength and, by proxy, confidence.
But the benefits of GAINSWave don't end there. This therapy also breaks up micro plaques and boosts nitric oxide, which forms new blood vessels and collagen. That's exciting news for men suffering from Peyronie's disease, which is another condition specific to male sexual health.
Contact Us For Services
What Makes GAINSWave Therapy in George Mason, VA Work?
With time, men's blood flow decreases, sensitivity isn't what it once was, and blood vessels start to get thinner or even partially or fully blocked. With GAINSWave, high-frequency, low-intensity shockwaves rejuvenate areas of the penis that have suffered with age. For instance, micro plaques are removed, new blood vessels form, and blood flow increases. According to several clinical studies, enhanced blood flow from GAINSWave translates to more sustainable, rigid erections in 75% of men.
Though males in America are only beginning to realize the benefits of GAINSWave, it's a treatment that has been used for over a decade around the world. Backed by science and proven to rejuvenate vasculature in male erections, GAINSWave works without any pain or recovery time. In fact, it's possible to pop into Proactive Wellness Centers on your lunch break for a therapy session.
Proactive Wellness Centers' GAINSWave treatments feature:
- Low-Intensity Pulse or Shockwaves
- All Natural
- No Needles
- No Pills
- No Pain
- No Surgery
- No Recovery Time
- Quick Procedures
Because this procedure is needle, surgery, and drug-free, most men don't have to suffer through costly insurance claims or unsightly scarring. With GAINSWave and our comprehensive and personalized ED treatment plans, all you need to focus on is enjoying life, knowing your erectile dysfunction is a thing of the past.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Gainswave Therapy in George Mason, VA?
If you're a man over the age of 30 and want to optimize your performance or if you are suffering a decline in this area, GAINSWave may be for you. That's even more true if other treatments never worked. For many men, those unsuccessful solutions include pills like Viagra. If prescription pills don't solve your ED problems, GAINSWave is a great option to consider. Academic studies show that shockwave therapy is successful where PDE5 inhibitors (like Viagra or Cialis) fall short.
In fact, many urologists now consider shockwave therapy the greatest revolution in ED treatment in over a decade. Even men without erectile dysfunction use GAINSWave as a preventative therapy to keep their bedroom performance strong and avoid compromised blood vessels.
Some of the key benefits of GAINSWave procedures over other ED treatments include:
- No Drugs
- Backed by Clinical Studies and Extensive Medical Research
- Vast Record of Success
- FDA-Approved for Enhanced Sexual Wellness
- Available at Proactive Wellness Centers, PLC
What Should I Expect from GAINSWave Therapy at Proactive Wellness Centers?
If you're ready to begin your journey to a healthier, happier sex life, getting started at our wellness clinic is as easy as 1-2-3:
Make an Appointment: Give our office a call at 703-822-5003. One of our Clinical Intake Coordinators will answer any question you have and get you started. If you prefer, you can text "gainswave" to 833.341.0170, and our Clinical Intake Coordinator will get back to you personally and confidentially.
Prep: Once the intake process is complete, you'll schedule a time for GAINSWave therapy in George Mason, VA. You'll arrive at our wellness center for treatment at least 30 minutes before your appointment time. Procedure time is usually no longer than 30 minutes and occurs in our wellness center.
Enjoy the Benefits: Once your GAINSWave therapy session is over, you can get right back to what you were doing beforehand. Studies show that approximately 75% of men enjoy positive results like stronger, longer-lasting erections after treatment. Most men only need 6-12 sessions for optimal results.
Other Treatments and Programs from Proactive Wellness Centers, PLC
As the premier wellness clinic in Virginia and the metro D.C. area, we provide patients with a comprehensive list of treatments to slow the process of aging and treat chronic conditions. Our vision is to provide the latest in scientifically-validated therapies, like GAINSWave therapy in George Mason, VA, for reversing the aging process, preventing chronic disease, and optimizing health.
Some of the most requested services we offer include:
Low-T Treatment for Men
While not as widely discussed as menopause is for women, andropause is very real for men just as menopause is significant for women. Our Low-T program for men focuses on the unique needs of men who are suffering from andropause or low testosterone. The Program Testosterone replacement when clinically indicated, optimization of DHEA and Pregenenolone, combined with nutritional guidance, nutritional supplementation recommendations to optimize your health. For men where Testosterone has declined, the Low-T program is a necessary complement to the Gainswave therapy.
Depending on lab results and patient goals, the program may also include peptides to help patients optimize their health and body composition. If you can identify with some of the symptoms below, you are likely experiencing low testosterone / andropause and are a candidate for laboratory testing to determine if BHRT is right for you.
Symptoms may include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased stamina
- Loss of physical agility
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Prostate problems
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women
Like men, women's bodies change as they grow older. Often referred to as menopause, this time in a woman's life can be stressful when the body uses energy differently, fat cells change, and hormones decline.
Many of the common symptoms and conditions associated with menopause are widely known and discussed, but there are many that are overlooked. At Proactive Wellness Centers, we've seen patients misdiagnosed with other illnesses that were actually caused by a decline in hormone levels. Our BHRT program for women focuses on the unique needs of women who are suffering from the common as well as the lesser-known symptoms of menopause.
Those symptoms may include:
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Anxiety Attacks
- Vaginal Dryness
What are Bioidentical Hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are also known as natural hormones. They are substances with the same chemical makeup as the hormones produced in your body. Hormones are not drugs - they occur naturally and are found in every human on earth. BHRT replaces hormones at a physiologic level that is not harmful to the body.
If you're suffering through the symptoms of menopause, taking Midol isn't going to solve any problems. Fortunately, our BHRT program for women is designed to eliminate many menopausal symptoms. That way, we give women a chance to recapture their energy levels and vitality with drugs or surgery. Contact our office today to learn more about bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and how it can help you recapture the joys of your youth.
Bredesen-Protocol Strategies for Improving Brain Health
We believe that a healthy brain is paramount to overall well-being. Unfortunately, little is known about promoting brain health, lowering the risk of dementia, or stabilizing symptoms for patients experiencing early signs.
After much research, however, Dr. Lawson from Proactive Wellness Centers determined that the Bredesen protocol provides the best evidence-based approach to diagnosing and treating cognitive decline.
The approach, created by Dr. Dale Bredesen, is called ReCODE. This protocol involves multiple strategies to pinpoint specific health issues contributing to Alzheimer's Disease. The results of each strategy are measured using blood tests, dementia tests, cognitive evaluations, and other signs of overall health improvement. Now a Bredesen Certified doctor, Dr. Lawson now offers patients the full Bredesen ReCODE protocol to help them recover from debilitating illnesses like Alzheimer's.
Through this exciting approach, patients have shown dramatic improvements in cognitive function. In some cases, they achieve a reversal of symptoms and have even returned to work.
Proactive Wellness Centers' ReCODE program uses significant functional medicine experience and includes:
- Lifestyle Interventions
- Targeted Nutrients
- Therapeutic Diets
We're thrilled to add this promising Alzheimer's disease treatment for qualifying patients at Proactive Wellness Centers.
Chronic Disease Treatment
Long-term diseases like Lyme disease and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) can ruin a person's life and often leave them afraid to leave the house. To make matters worse, these chronic diseases are often initially misdiagnosed, complicating treatment and leaving the patient depressed and hopeless. And while some medical prescriptions can help, many chronic disease sufferers live without finding true relief.
At Proactive Wellness Centers, our innovative doctors have developed a comprehensive treatment program to address chronic diseases like CIRS and Lyme disease. Generally, our Chronic Disease Treatment follows SSRP protocols as defined below:
- Stop the progression of the disease while strengthening the immune system
- Stabilize patients by balancing hormones and restoring energy
- Reverse cellular, mitochondrial, and other damages caused by chronic diseases, based on lab markers and/or symptomatic expression
- Prevent further development of the chronic disease processes
Our SSRP protocol provides patients with a promising program based largely on the emerging bodies of evidence in the chronic disease space. This evidence is supported by peer-reviewed medical journals, clinical studies, and even double-blind placebo-controlled studies.
When choosing chronic disease treatments for patients, our team of doctors and clinicians focus on safety and efficacy before anything else. Typical therapies associated with our chronic disease treatment programs include:
- IV Vitamin Therapy
- Targeted Nutritional Supplements
- Compassionate Care and Personalized Service from Qualified Doctors
As an integrative practice, we use conventional medications when indicated, especially in cases of underlying co-infections and other areas where traditional medication offers the best course of treatment.
If you're at your wit's end living with a chronic disease, call Proactive Wellness Centers today. Our innovative treatments and therapies may be the key you need to unlock a new, healthy life.
Achieve Your Wellness Goals at Proactive Wellness Centers, PLC
From GAINSWave therapy in George Mason, VA, to Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy for women, our doctors are here to serve you with care, compassion, and a commitment to your health.
That's because, at Proactive Wellness Centers, we take a patient-first approach to every service we offer. Unlike some anti-aging clinics, we focus on your goals, your experiences, and how we can address your health and well-being needs. We believe with a full heart that your story matters, and we're ready and waiting to listen. If you're looking for personalized, functional, regenerative treatments that address root causes, you're only a phone call away from living a healthier life.
Hours Open Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM
Latest News in George Mason, VA
Mason Names Marvin Lewis Assistant Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
George Mason Universityhttps://www.gmu.edu/news/2023-04/mason-names-marvin-lewis-assistant-vice-president-and-director-intercollegiate
Fairfax, VA.—George Mason University President Gregory Washington has named Marvin Lewis as the Patriots’ Assistant Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Lewis, who signed a five-year contract, will become Mason’s sixth athletics director when he begins on July 1.The Germantown, Maryland, native boasts 15 years of athletic administrative leadership with various impressive NCAA Division I institutions. Lewis assumed senior leadership roles at Georgia Tech, University of Maryland, G...
Fairfax, VA.—George Mason University President Gregory Washington has named Marvin Lewis as the Patriots’ Assistant Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Lewis, who signed a five-year contract, will become Mason’s sixth athletics director when he begins on July 1.
The Germantown, Maryland, native boasts 15 years of athletic administrative leadership with various impressive NCAA Division I institutions. Lewis assumed senior leadership roles at Georgia Tech, University of Maryland, Georgia State, and most recently at Brown University as the school’s assistant vice president for athletics and recreation/chief operating officer.
“We are pleased to welcome Marvin Lewis to Mason,” Mason President Gregory Washington said. “His strong background in Division I athletics makes him a great choice to take Patriots Athletics to the next level. But, beyond that, what impressed me from the outset in talking with him are the values he holds dear that run similar to our own. We look forward to the great things he will do in setting the standard of excellence for our student-athletes in every way.”
During his tenure at Brown, Lewis led a brand and visual identity refresh, launched new fan engagement initiatives and premium amenities, developed a divisional strategic plan, and implemented a long-term financial model that elevates the baseline student-athlete experience. As a member of the executive leadership team, Lewis led the external relations team focused on revenue generation, fan engagement, strategic communications, and athletics and recreation storytelling. In addition, he oversaw the business and financial operations, facilities and events, human resources and talent development, and equipment operations. He served as sport administrator for several sports, including men’s basketball.
“I am attracted to George Mason because of its distinct blend of world-class academics, nationally competitive athletics, and the location in Northern Virginia. Mason is everything that is right about higher education, creating diverse and inclusive communities that enhance the experience for all students,” said Lewis. “There is tremendous energy and excitement around President Washington's transformational leadership and bold vision for the university and athletics. I am ecstatic to join his leadership team and Mason Nation!”
Lewis has served as an athletic department liaison with the ACC, Big Ten, Ivy League, and the Colonial Athletic Association. Lewis looks forward to partnering with the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“The A10 is one of the best conferences in the country,” added Lewis. “Its diverse membership and presence in competitive media markets makes it extremely attractive for recruits, student-athletes, and fans of highly competitive athletics. My goal is to position Mason to consistently compete for A10 championships.”
Lewis is regarded as one of the nation’s most respected up-and-comers in athletics administration, having been named to the CollegeAD Next Up list in 2017 and the 2018-19 College Athletic Business Management Association (CABMA) Manager of the Year. He successfully completed the prestigious NCAA Pathway Program for aspiring athletics directors and conference commissioners in 2020.
He began his rise in athletics administration at Georgia State and later assumed leadership roles at both Georgia State and Maryland. He then spent nearly seven years at his alma mater Georgia Tech as the senior associate athletics director for administration and finance before leaving for Brown in July 2021.
Lewis was also instrumental in the University of Maryland’s transition to the Big Ten Conference. Lewis chaired the Business and Travel Workgroup within the Big Ten Integration Committee, which analyzed the financial impact of the conference transition. He developed the comprehensive 12-year financial model for the Business and Finance Workgroup of the President’s Commission on Big Ten Integration.
A former two-time captain of the Georgia Tech basketball team, Lewis graduated with honors from Georgia Tech in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in management before becoming a licensed CPA. He later earned a master’s degree in taxation from Georgia State in 2008. The guard led the Yellow Jackets to the 2004 national championship game.
Interim Athletic Director Nena Rogers will remain in that role until June 30 before resuming her previous position as senior associate athletic director for academic services and Mason’s Senior Woman Administrator (SWA). Rogers’ strong leadership and continued advocacy for the department and its student-athletes over the past eight months has been critical during a significant transitional period that included the recent hiring of a new men’s basketball coach.
“We cannot thank Nena Rogers enough for her tireless efforts over the past eight months in making sure that our student-athletes continued to have everything they needed to be successful at the highest levels,” Washington said. “George Mason University will forever be grateful.”
What they are saying about Marvin Lewis
“George Mason is getting an outstanding leader who is very innovative and collaborative. I have had the pleasure of working closely with Marvin the past two years as my sports supervisor. He is a thoughtful leader who has a holistic approach in the development of student-athletes, coaches, and staff. Marvin’s experience as a student-athlete and administrator at the highest level has prepared him to lead and thrive at George Mason.” —Mike Martin, Brown University men’s head basketball coach
“Marvin is a world-class leader who had an immediate impact on my program, and our athletic department here at Brown. He is a winner, a motivator, he’s thoughtful and forward-thinking. He has played at the highest level of collegiate athletics, so he can relate to the D1 demand for peak performance and support. The athletes, coaches, and staff will greatly benefit from his leadership and guidance.” —Kia McNeill, Brown University, women’s head soccer coach
“George Mason hit a home run hiring Marvin Lewis to lead their athletic department. Marvin is an incredible leader of people. Marvin's leadership abilities and qualities will ultimately lead George Mason athletics to the highest level of success not only in the A10, but on a national stage. All coaches, administrators, and student-athletes at George Mason should be so excited to have a person like Marvin Lewis leading the George Mason team.” —Josh Pastner, former head basketball coach at Georgia Tech
"George Mason University has just landed a bright, dedicated, hardworking, loyal and, most essentially, a morally sound individual to lead the Patriots Athletics Department! Marvin understands commitment from coaches, athletes and students and he understands the significance of developing, then nurturing appropriate lines of communication with the various constituencies he will serve. Marvin’s experiences as a student, as an athlete and as an athletics leader are extraordinary! He possesses a keen sense about the value of outreach to others and how to foster togetherness. His warm and sincere personality, coupled with his enthusiasm and constantly positive outlook, will be a major resource for the entire George Mason University community.” —Paul Brazeau, ACC senior associate commissioner/men’s basketball
“I’m really excited for Marvin and his family. This is a great opportunity for him to continue his growth as an outstanding leader. He is a fantastic hire for George Mason. Having worked with Marvin for several years, I found him to be genuine, passionate, and driven to win. He worked tirelessly to provide a great experience for the student-athletes, the resources to compete at the highest levels, and the support necessary for health and well-being.” —Alan Drosky, Georgia Tech head coach, cross country and women's track and field
ABOUT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls nearly 40,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility. Learn more at gmu.edu.
Marvin Lewis named athletic director at George Mason
Former Georgia Tech basketball star Marvin Lewis has been named assistant vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics at George Mason University.The appointment, effective July 1, was announced Wednesday by Mason President Gregory Washington. Lewis, who signed a five-year contract, will become Mason’s sixth athletics director. He replaces ...
Former Georgia Tech basketball star Marvin Lewis has been named assistant vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics at George Mason University.
The appointment, effective July 1, was announced Wednesday by Mason President Gregory Washington. Lewis, who signed a five-year contract, will become Mason’s sixth athletics director. He replaces Brad Edwards, who left Mason in the fall to become CEO of NFL Alumni.
Lewis, a native of Germantown, Md., has 15 years of athletic administrative leadership, most recently as Brown University's assistant vice president for athletics and recreation/chief operating officer. He previously held senior leadership roles at Georgia Tech, University of Maryland and Georgia State.
“His strong background in Division I athletics makes him a great choice to take Patriots Athletics to the next level," Washington said. "But, beyond that, what impressed me from the outset in talking with him are the values he holds dear that run similar to our own."
During his tenure at Brown, Lewis led a brand and visual identity refresh, launched new fan engagement initiatives and premium amenities, developed a divisional strategic plan, and implemented a long-term financial model that elevates the baseline student-athlete experience, according to a Mason news release. He led the external relations team focused on revenue generation, fan engagement, strategic communications and athletics and recreation storytelling. He also oversaw the business and financial operations, facilities and events, human resources and talent development and equipment operations and served sport administrator for several sports, including men’s basketball.
“I am attracted to George Mason because of its distinct blend of world-class academics, nationally competitive athletics, and the location in Northern Virginia. Mason is everything that is right about higher education, creating diverse and inclusive communities that enhance the experience for all students,” Lewis said. “There is tremendous energy and excitement around President Washington's transformational leadership and bold vision for the university and athletics."
Lewis said he looks forward to partnering with the Atlantic 10 Conference, to which Mason belongs.
“The A10 is one of the best conferences in the country,” he added. “Its diverse membership and presence in competitive media markets makes it extremely attractive for recruits, student-athletes, and fans of highly competitive athletics. My goal is to position Mason to consistently compete for A10 championships.”
Lewis was named to the CollegeAD Next Up list in 2017 and was named the 2018-19 College Athletic Business Management Association (CABMA) Manager of the Year. He completed the NCAA Pathway Program for aspiring athletics directors and conference commissioners in 2020.
After his stints at Georgia State and Maryland, Lewis spent seven years at Georgia Tech, his alma mater, as the senior associate athletics director for administration and finance before leaving for Brown in July 2021.
A former two-time captain of the Georgia Tech basketball team, Lewis, who played guard, led the Yellow Jackets to the 2004 national championship game. He graduated with honors from Georgia Tech in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in management before becoming a licensed CPA. He later earned a master’s degree in taxation from Georgia State in 2008.
Josh Pastner, former head basketball coach at Georgia Tech, praised Mason's hiring of Lewis.
“Marvin is an incredible leader of people," Pastner said. "Marvin's leadership abilities and qualities will ultimately lead George Mason athletics to the highest level of success not only in the A10, but on a national stage.”
Mason's interim athletic director, Nena Rogers, will remain in that role until June 30 and then resume her previous position as senior associate athletic director for academic services and Mason’s Senior Woman Administrator.
“We cannot thank Nena Rogers enough for her tireless efforts over the past eight months in making sure that our student-athletes continued to have everything they needed to be successful at the highest levels,” Washington said.
George Mason University’s First-Gen+ Center Receives Research Grant From The American Talent Initiative
Fairfax. VA— November 16, 2022 – George Mason’s First Gen+ Center, a department within the division of University Life, has recently received a grant from The American Talent Initiative (ATI) for research regarding the effectiveness of resources provided to first-generation college students through a summer bridge program. The grant application was a result of a collaboration with the First-Gen+ Center’s Director, Dr. Amber Holton-Thomas and Dr. Graziella Pagliarulo McCarron, Assistant Professor of Leadership St...
Fairfax. VA— November 16, 2022 – George Mason’s First Gen+ Center, a department within the division of University Life, has recently received a grant from The American Talent Initiative (ATI) for research regarding the effectiveness of resources provided to first-generation college students through a summer bridge program. The grant application was a result of a collaboration with the First-Gen+ Center’s Director, Dr. Amber Holton-Thomas and Dr. Graziella Pagliarulo McCarron, Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies in the School of Integrative Studies, the current University Life Faculty Fellow in the First-Gen+ Center.
History of the ATI
The American Talent Initiative is a collaboration between Ithaka S+R, the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, and a collection of 341 universities. This organization aims to assist high-achieving students from low and moderate-income backgrounds in achieving a college education. The organization’s current goal is to help 50,000 high-achieving, lower-income college students graduate from associated universities by 2025.
About the First Gen+ Center and the Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP)
The First-Gen+ Center was announced as a new department within University Life in June 2021. Its mission is to support students who are historically underrepresented in higher education and their allies while specifically centering college students who identify as first-generation, who are undocumented, have refugee status, and those who have families with limited income.
The Student Transition Empowerment Program (STEP) is a program is one of many initiatives in the office but has a longstanding recruitment and retention history at Mason. STEP began in 1990 and continues to aid and retain first-generation college students through providing peer mentorship, workshops, and community building. The program also has a multi-year focus, meaning that students complete a 6-week summer program prior to their first fall semester and continue to receive support and mentorship through graduation and beyond. Lex Lewis-Semien, Assistant Director in the First-Gen+ Center coordinates the summer and multi-year curriculum and programmatic elements.
Details of the Study
This study explores the intersection of first-generation college student (FGCS) identity and summer bridge program experiences with the aim of creating scholarly and practical deliverables that support best practices in summer bridge programming. The mixed methods study will examine trends and Mason STEP Scholar experiences from 2019 to present and will also include the contributions of Mason STEP alumni and faculty/staff partners who have supported the STEP program. This collaborative project is a wonderful example of an university life-faculty partnership in service to first-generation college student support.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Holton-Thomas (email@example.com) or Dr. Graziella Pagliarulo McCarron (firstname.lastname@example.org)
US (VA): George Mason University adopts aquaponics program
On Thursday, April 6, 2023, Mason celebrates Mason Vision Day—an opportunity for the Mason community to come together each year to identify and support a deserving initiative on campus. This year's efforts address campus food insecurity, supporting Mason students who have limited access to sufficient or quality food. Food insecurity on college campuses is a rising, problematic trend that Mason is committed to combating.George Mason University Sustainability and the Greenhouse and Garden's Program are contributing to these effort...
On Thursday, April 6, 2023, Mason celebrates Mason Vision Day—an opportunity for the Mason community to come together each year to identify and support a deserving initiative on campus. This year's efforts address campus food insecurity, supporting Mason students who have limited access to sufficient or quality food. Food insecurity on college campuses is a rising, problematic trend that Mason is committed to combating.
George Mason University Sustainability and the Greenhouse and Garden's Program are contributing to these efforts, promoting healthy eating and helping Mason Patriots achieve food security. One way this team is enhancing food security on campus is through the recent installation of a new aquaponic food system located at the Presidents Park Greenhouse (PPG) on the Fairfax Campus. The PPG is an on-campus site for year-round food production that grows approximately 1,000 lbs. of fresh produce annually.
To support this new initiative, the PPG received generous contributions from Mason Facilities, the Patriot Green Fund, and the Auxiliary Enterprise Management Council. Donielle Nolan, Greenhouse and Garden's program manager, is spearheading this sustainable effort.
Mason Facilities leadership is proud of the Greenhouse and Gardens program and its contributions to campus food security and education. "Our greenhouse is an incredible asset to the campus community," said Greg Farley, director of University Sustainability. "It is very unusual for a university to grow—and serve—fresh produce to campus. We work hard to contribute to student food security and to teach Patriots of all ages how to grow and prepare fresh, nutritious foods. That makes Mason unique."
Nolan's newest staff members include 15 goldfish that grow plants organically, without the use of soil, creating a fertilized environment for many of University Sustainability's greens. The aquaponics system includes a 200-gallon fish tank and three grow beds for the plants—producing harvestable, donation-ready items, including vegetables, leafy greens, and herbs.
The Greenhouse and Gardens Program partners with the Patriot Pantry, a university program that provides food-insecure students access to nonperishable food and hygiene items and raises awareness about food insecurity within the Mason student population. The pantry is housed under the Student Support and Advocacy Center (SSAC) in the Division of University Life.
The Patriot Pantry serves hundreds of students every semester. The Greenhouse and Gardens Program helps fill the gap by providing free fresh produce for those who are food insecure via the Greenhouse and Garden's Program online portal. Donations include but are not limited to tomatoes, lettuce, kale, bok choy, and soon strawberries.
In order to grow and harvest the produce, the PPG relies heavily on its volunteers. Anyone can gain hands-on experience with both hydroponic and aquaponic systems while volunteering. Inside the greenhouse, participants can learn how to compost indoors with worms, harvest crops, sow, and transplant seedlings, solve pest issues using natural organic methods, and support a thriving farm-to-table sustainable food operation. Another perk of volunteering is the chance to try the produce grown and take some home, as there is usually a surplus.
"Most of the produce goes to donations for the Patriot Pantry, and when students volunteer, they get to take home harvest-ready produce and herbs," said Nolan. "We are always seeking ways to connect fresh food sources to those in need on campus."
Another way University Sustainability and the Greenhouse and Garden's Program is addressing food insecurity on Mason's campus through educating students on healthy, sustainable food preparation in the form of on-campus cooking events.
"Our program educates students about healthy eating to promote overall well-being and sustainability. Many students are hesitant to request or accept healthy, sustainable donations due to limited knowledge regarding preparation and cooking with fresh ingredients," said Nolan. "In addition, many students do not have access to a kitchen in their dorm rooms or do not have the time due to academic course load or employment obligations."
In November 2022, the program hosted its first cooking event, "Earthsgiving," yielding a large turnout of volunteers and students. Two free, sustainable cooking events are being held in Spring 2023. One in March and one in April to celebrate Earth Month. The March 31 cooking event is a partnership with the Patriot Pantry, Housing and Residence Life, Recreation, and Mason Dining to focus on education in preparing inexpensive meals using commonly featured items from the Patriot Pantry. The cooking event in April 2023 has an international food theme. Keep an eye out on the Earth Month website for details regarding upcoming events.
"There are so many opportunities to combine the sustainable aspects of food, as well as the food security efforts that are gaining popularity amongst our students," said Nolan. "These events help build community and educate and inspire students to eat more plant-based and home-prepared meals, which both promote environmentally conscious lifestyles as well as an increase in well-being."
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Virginia Elected Officials Praise George Mason University’s Mason and Partners Clinic Located in Prince William Shelter
National, state, and county leaders learned about the Mason and Partner Clinics, which prepare students to serve vulnerable populations and increase access to care for marginalized communities.Community partnerships and community-based care play an integral role in addressing the growing shortage of health care workers and the increasing demand for low-cost or free care among vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. At a shelter for unhoused individuals in Woodbridge, Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic staff work alo...
National, state, and county leaders learned about the Mason and Partner Clinics, which prepare students to serve vulnerable populations and increase access to care for marginalized communities.
Community partnerships and community-based care play an integral role in addressing the growing shortage of health care workers and the increasing demand for low-cost or free care among vulnerable populations across the Commonwealth of Virginia. At a shelter for unhoused individuals in Woodbridge, Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinic staff work alongside the Department of Social Services and the Prince William County Health Department to deliver care and educate students.
On Thursday, August 24 a delegation of state and local leaders visited the Mason and Partners Clinics to discuss how the MAP Clinics’ network of 10 clinics in Fairfax and Prince William counties helps serve underrepresented communities.
The delegation included: U.S. Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (VA - 7th District), Senator Jeremy McPike (VA - 29th District); Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (VA - 31st District), and Woodbridge District Supervisor, Margaret Franklin.
"The MAP Clinics are important partners in the communities we serve. The unique bridge-care model and co-location in places such as shelters address community gaps in service,” said Cheryl Oetjen, Interim Director of George Mason’s School of Nursing. The MAP Clinics are offered by the George Mason University College of Health and Human Services and School of Nursing.
“We provide care for vulnerable populations here in the community – delivering services – such as treating acute and chronic conditions and monthly preventative health screenings –that they might not otherwise receive. In addition, students’ clinical opportunities at the MAP Clinics prepare the next generation of nurses, social workers, informaticists, and nutritionists to work with marginalized populations. This reduces the stigma and increases the likelihood of students caring for vulnerable populations throughout their careers," said Rebecca Sutter, Professor and Director of the MAP Clinics explained.
MAP Clinic staff discussed the importance of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants to fund on-going curriculum development and training so Mason students are prepared to serve marginalized communities. MAP Clinics play a critical role in increasing access to care and linking clients to community systems of support for ongoing care, and helping patients navigate the health care system.
The delegation also examined the robust telehealth capabilities that the MAP Clinic expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The MAP Clinic shelter site has had 428 telehealth visits over the past year providing acute and chronic disease education and management including access to needed medications. Federal funding for telehealth has grown since 2020 to meet growing demand for access.
"We met with undergraduate and graduate students [at the MAP Clinic] who have hands-on experience while pursuing their degrees. I believe this is a win-win for them, but also for our most vulnerable residents while we have a shortage of healthcare professionals in our area. Everyone deserves access to health care and the MAP Clinic is helping all vulnerable residents. Thank you for all that you do," said Delegate Guzman. Guzman expressed her on-going commitment to helping find a permanent location and on-going funding for the MAP Clinic to help more individuals in need.
“The MAP Clinics’ impact reinforces the role of partnerships in serving the region and meeting the changing needs of the health workforce. The College continues to recruit, train, and graduate faculty and students who are committed to health equity and increased access to care,” said Dean Melissa Perry.
Since starting the shelter-based clinic in Woodbridge, the MAP Clinic has seen an increase in the number of clients who advocate for themselves, utilize Clinic services, and request appointments. There has been a 40% increase in MAP Clinic service utilization from 2021 to 2022. Over the last two years, the Clinic has provided care for 543 patients and have documented a 69% reduction in emergency room visits for shelter clients.
College of Health and Human Services faculty and staff present at the meeting included: