2022 Health & PLAY Institute at the Conference on the Value of Play

The 2022 Health & PLAY Institute is a half-day series featuring leading health professionals and researchers from across the country.  The institute is part of the 2022 IN PERSON Conference on the Value of Play: THE NATURE OF PLAY.

Building on the inaugural Online Health & PLAY Institute, the second annual Health & PLAY Institute (HAPI22) kicks off with lunch on Monday, April 4 in Clemson, SC.

This year, we will examine the synergies between play and health through the lens of the conference theme, THE NATURE OF PLAY. 

Topics include:

  • “The Nature of Play” – Stuart Brown, MD
  • “The Therapeutic Benefit of Nature PLAY an Acute and Chronic Pain” – Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, MBA
  • “Pushing Through a Fixed Notion of Play” – Brooke Buckley, MD, FACS
  • “National Study of Playgrounds” – Deborah A. Cohen, MD, MPH & Meghan Talarowski, PLA, ASLA, CPSI
  • “Environmental Determinants of Emotional Intelligence: Role of Nature Play and Greenspace Exposure” – Matthew Browning, PhD
  • …and “Movement Snacks” with Darryl Edwards

Speaker details and Registration information is below.


Meet Our Experts

Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, MBA, (Moderator) is a leading advocate on health and nature, outdoor recreation as a gateway to better health, and play for life champion as our Moderator for the Health and Play Institute. Dr. Suk is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Professor and Chair of the Musculoskeletal Institute at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania. In his role as a Steering Committee Member for the US Play Coalition, Dr. Suk helped to create the Health and PLAY Consortium that aims to build momentum in exploring and promoting the VALUE of play as a tool for improving health.   Dr. Suk also serves on numerous Boards including the American Medical Association, Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Associations and SHIFT at the Center for Jackson Hole. Previously he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior and Senior Advisor on Health and Recreation to the National Park Service.

Stuart Brown, MD, is Founder of the National Institute for Play.  His background in psychiatry, the evolution of human and animal play, as well as his clinical research into the causes and prevention of violence, have shown him that authentic play is a state of being which can be accessed and used by everyone, and that play is as important to humans as vitamins or sleep.

Brooke Buckley, MD, FACS, is Chief Medical Officer at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. She is a board-certified general surgeon and national expert on physician well-being. Dr. Buckley has dedicated a significant portion of her training and professional life to organized medicine and taking a broader look at medical care delivery, with specific interests in emergency surgical care, health-care delivery to rural communities, and physician wellbeing.

Deborah A. Cohen, MD, MPH, is a Research Scientist for Kaiser Permanente Research and Evaluation.  Dr. Cohen’s work focuses on improving the food environment, so that it promotes moderation and the consumption of healthy foods. She is also investigating how the design of playgrounds can encourage more people to be physically active and whether park prescriptions promote more physical activity.

Meghan Talarowski, PLA, ASLA, CPSI, is Founder and Executive Director of Studio Ludo in Philadelphia.  Meghan believes that play environments in the United States can, and should, be better.  She is a licensed landscape architect and a certified playground safety inspector whose research focuses on how the design of play environments impacts physical health and social behavior of children and caregivers.

Matthew Browning, PhD, is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Virtual Reality and Nature Lab, Clemson University.  His research career encompasses three domains (nature, health, virtual reality) and the intersections between them. Dr. Browning’s research aims to improve human health and well-being through environmental interventions, both physical and simulated.  His collaborative research expands awareness of the protective impact of urban greening on health.  Dr. Browning has published nearly 50 peer-reviewed articles and ranks among the top 15 most productive/cited scholars on nature and health based on PubMed metrics.

Darryl Edwards is the founder of the Primal Play Method® and a physical activity, health and play researcher. The Primal Play Method® fuses the science of evolutionary biology with exercise physiology and play psychology.  Darryl is author of the best-selling book “Animal Moves.”


Registration Information for the 2022 Health and PLAY Institute

  • The Health & PLAY Institute is part of the  2022 IN PERSON Conference on the Value of Play: THE NATURE OF PLAY.
  • Health & PLAY Institute (Monday) ONLY/Single Day option — $75/person (includes lunch)
    This will give access to the Health & PLAY Institute series ONLY on Monday, April 4.
  • Coming Soon!  ADD-ON CME Opportunity Online Health & PLAY Institute plus (6) CMEs — $100/person
    Includes access to our 2021 Online Health & PLAY Institute sessions eligible for up to (6) AMA PRA Category 1 Credits with the successful completion of the related Activity Evaluation Forms.

Register for the full 2022 Play Conference OR choose the Health & PLAY Institute (Monday) ONLY/Single Day option.


The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, park and recreation professionals, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The  2022 IN PERSON Conference on the Value of Play: THE NATURE OF PLAY   explores play across the lifespan, play in the workplace, play in the classroom and address universal issues of access, equity, inclusion and more.  The conference features weekly live headliners and networking events, dozens of recorded educational and research presentations and much more.