Health Integration and Resiliency Center 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit

Founded: 2002

Founder: Dr. Jerry Sonkens

Area of expertise:

Educating health care professionals and consumers about evidence-based integrated health and resiliency “best practices.”

In 2001, Dr. Jerry Sonkens, a Salt Lake City-based doctor treating cancers of the head and neck, asked himself the question, "Why do patients with a similar diagnosis have different responses to treatment?"  He speculated that “mental attitude and emotional/spiritual resilience” played important roles, but knew of no evidence-based theories at the time that supported this conclusion. In discussing his observations with other physicians, Jerry learned that they too often saw similar results----when patients responded with resolve and optimism to their challenges, they often had a better outcome, suffered less acute side effects from treatment, and had a higher quality of life whether they ultimately outlived the diagnosis or not.  Jerry quietly speculated that there might be a relationship between “healing,” and being made whole with one’s mental, emotional and spiritual approach to the disease.  This led him to attend a 2001 Harvard University School of Medicine conference on healing the body, mind, and spirit.  It changed his life. 

 Jerry returned home and co-sponsored an international conference with Harvard in Salt Lake City in 2002.  500 attendees from 37 states and 4 countries joined together to learn the latest research on healing the mind, body and spirit integrating the best of conventional medicine with complementary care.  Enthusiasm generated by the conference was contagious; Jerry along with other Salt Lake City-based physicians, nurses, and chaplains founded SHIM (Institute for Spirituality and Healing in Medicine). The message was simple and compelling:  Emerging research showed that one’s mental state, emotional/social connectedness and deep connection to spiritual belief had a measurable impact on one’s quality of life, longevity and outcome. 



1. Social Connectedness


2. Optimism


3. Purpose


4. Hope


5. Gratitude


6. Belief


7. Forgiveness


HIARC History


2017-Present- Ex-Offender Project  HIARC launches regular weekly Resilience Training for former felons, released on parole or probation, through the Utah Department of Corrections.  This fragile population faces very significant challenges in reintegrating into a productive healthy life in employment, housing, family and social relationships.

2016-HIARC Launches Strategic Personal Resiliency (SPKR) for Kids  Teaching and mentoring parents in cultivating resilient children.

2014- Health Integration and Resiliency Center (HIARC)  SHIM changes name to better reflect our mission to advance whole person care.

2012- 2017- Annual Integrative Health and Resiliency Conference  SHIM aligns with University of Utah Department of Health Promotion and Education in expanded effort to incorporate integrative health practices into general awareness.

2003-2011- SHIM continues to sponsor annual conferences  SHIM continues education efforts with annual conferences and monthly workshops with the support of many groups including Sorenson Foundation, HCA-St. Marks and others.

2002- Harvard Spirituality and Healing in Medicine Conference  SHIM co-sponsors conference with Harvard Medical School in Salt Lake City. Nearly 500 participants from 37 states and 4 foreign countries attended lectures on integrative health practices.2002 -SHIM (Institute of Spirituality and Healing in Medicine) Founded  SHIM founded to help bring to light the benefits of evidence-based health practices in health care and disease prevention.


HIARC Conferences

Key-Note Speakers

Key-Note Speakers 2017 HIARC Conference

Yotam Heineberg, Ph.D. -Compassion, Resilience, and Teamwork in Healthcare Settings

Lee Smith, MD & Keith Karren, Ph.D. - Mind-Body Medicine - How Creating an Internal Locus of Control Improves Health Outcomes 

Christine Stewart, RN - Effectiveness of Healing Touch  

David Derezotes, Ph.D. - Working with Spirituality in Everyday Health Care 


Jerald Duggar, DC - The Wellness Shift - Making A Case For Functional Medicine 

Key Note Speakers HIARC Conference 2016

Glen Richardson Ph.D. - Conceptual Overview of Integrative Health and Resiliency  

Michael Spigarelli, M.D., Ph.D., MBA - Integrating Together: Trust and Confidence 

Fred Luskin, Ph.D. - Forgive for Good  

Fred Luskin, Ph.D. - Evening Workshop: Forgiveness Workshop   

Timothy P. Mellin, DC, DAAIM, CW2 -  Integration of Veterans into Civilian Life Using Integrative Modalities 

Amy Locke, FAAFP, M.D. - Holistic Wellness and Aging 

David Derezotes, Ph.D., LCSW -  Creating Individual, Institutional and Community Transformations 

The following videos are made available FREE to the public thanks to the  J.W. Marriott Library at the University of Utah.