The Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center (BHIC) is a collaboration between Vail Health and University of Wisconsin-Madison. These leaders in the study of novel behavioral health interventions will use the Innovation Center to enhance behavioral health care for patients in Eagle County and beyond. Led by Director of the Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center Dr. Charles Raison and with the support of a transformative donation from Mike and Mary Sue Shannon, Vail Health is committed to making the Innovation Center a world-class destination for behavioral health research, treatment and education.
The Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center resembles academic medical centers and research universities. Collaborating with researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison on initial studies focused on basic science and preclinical investigations, future collaborations are envisioned with other institutions.

Lecture Series

Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health Innovation is a monthly lecture series offered through Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison. The series features innovative leaders in behavioral health treatment and research and offers continuing education credit for mental health professionals. We encourage anyone interested in the topics to participate and learn.


Upcoming Lectures


Session 12 |  June 6, 2024  |  12:00 - 1:00PM MST  |  ZOOM (Online)
Social Genomics and Human Thriving

Presented by Steven Cole, PhD

Researchers have been studying how different aspects of our lives, like our social interactions, feelings, financial situation, culture, and surroundings, can affect our genes. They’ve found that these factors including others can influence our health, development, and overall wellness.

Surprisingly it was discovered that some people thrive and show resilience to these influential factors and are not as affected as others which suggests a new perspective on the nature of “the good life” and the evolutionary basis for how our brains control our genes.

Join Steven Cole, PhD from UCLA as he explains how our growing ability to map changes in genome activity in real-time offers a form of “molecular self-awareness” that can help shape behavior and lifestyle to maximize health and well-being.

Join us for the next Novel Approaches to Behavioral Health lecture in partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Past Lectures

Looking for past lecture details or want to watch a session again? 


Innovation Center Leadership

Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center Director Charles Raison, MD

Charles Raison, MD is a professor of human ecology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with appointments in the School of Medicine and Public Health and the School of Human Ecology. Dr. Raison’s research focuses on the examination of novel mechanisms involved in the development and treatment of major depression and other stress-related emotional and physical conditions. In pursuit of improved treatments for mental illness, Dr. Raison has taken a leadership role in developing and overseeing studies that—if positive—will support FDA approval of the psychedelic agent psilocybin as a novel treatment for major depression. Dr. Raison has been named one of the world’s most influential researchers by Web of Science, based on his work being cited approximately 30,000 times. He received the Raymond Pearl Memorial Award from the Human Biology Association “in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of evolutionary biocultural origins of mental health and illness.”

Program Administrator Christina J. Sauder

Christina Sauder oversees the administrative and regulatory aspects of Dr. Raison’s psychedelic studies at UW-Madison and collaborative whole body hyperthermia studies. She works with “on-the-ground” personnel in Vail to bring clinical operations and regulatory expertise to support psychedelic/consciousness research in Vail Health Behavioral Health Innovation Center-based studies.

Clinical Research Supervisor Chloe Sorensen

Chloe Sorensen manages the day-to-day operations of the OPT-IN and CHILL’D studies in Vail and is responsible for training members of the Vail Health research team on study protocols and procedures. Chloe also oversees patient recruitment and enrollment, data collection and management, the development of study materials and regulatory compliance.

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