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Brief Notes: IMA's Berger, Hegetschweiler Offed, Fratkin Honored, ABC/Ernst, Weil/NDs, plus ... PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Brief Notes:  IMA's Berger, Hegetschweiler Offed, Fratkin Honored, ABC Celebrates Ernst, Gorman Foundation, Bloom/Shor Push Again ...

Summary:  Integrative Medicine Alliance founder Karl Berger moves to emeritus status ... Alternative health care insurance promoter Steve Gorman has set up a foundation to honor his recently deceased spouse ... American Specialty Health dumps former VP Kurt Hegetschweiler, DC, and public affairs action ... Jake Fratkin, OMD honored by AOM teachers ... Edzard Ernst, MD,  granted American Botanical Council's research award ... Colorado Bloom/Schor ND duo push licensing for 8th time ... Mid-Atlantic Kaiser's IM leader Lydia Segal, MD, takes a break ... Andrew Weil, MD stumps for ND licensing in NY ...
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Karlo Berger, IMA founder
Karlo Berger
, the founding energy behind the Boston-area Integrative Medicine Alliance has left the board after 8 years of service. Berger, a shiatsu therapist and integrated healthcare consultant, will remain as emeritus member. The IMA has been a powerful networking and integrative care advancement engine in New England, among the most significant regional alliances in the country. In a note in the recent IMA newsletter, Berger is honored with these words:
"Throughout his time with the IMA, Karlo has remained thoughtful, sensitive, visionary and with a strong sense of social justice. He has always functioned by building relationships and with a mindful approach to all people. The IMA was founded on his vision and has grown under his stewardship into a voice calling for healthcare that is more effective and more human in its approach."
Also stepping down is IMA's administrative director and board member Joan Straus, who works in her day job as a senior project manager at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Leskowitz, at the ballpark
Ever wonder about distant prayer as applied to sports? Rick Leskowitz, MD, CAM leader with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, who wrote an Elsevier text on complementary medicine in rehabilitative medicine let me know he's "branched out a bit for straight clinical integrative medicine." I went to the link he provided and found cleverly titled The Joy of Sox: Weird Science and the Power of Intention. Enter and you will see that Leskowitz is attempting the heroic integration of the love of baseball love and frontier medicine in a movie project. You will find a photo there of Larry Dossey, MD, with an opinion on sports as a spiritual path. Now there is something here that deserves an integration award ...

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Honored: Elaine Anestos Gorman
Insurance broker Steve Gorman has focused since 1985 on discovering, creating and promoting health insurance plans which cover services of complementary and alternative medicine providers. Gorman has a newly revamped newsletter at his  Alternativeinsurance.com site. The work closer to Gorman's heart now is the creation of the
Elaine Anestos Gorman Foundation with a mission of raising consciousness about inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Ms. Gorman died of IBC last August. The site is www.RememberElaine.org.

Despite efforts, I haven't received a call-back from Kurt Hegetschweiler, DC, since I learned a few weeks back that he was offed from his long-time position as vice president for American Specialty Health (ASH). Sources say the entire public affairs arm of ASH was gutted - a loss for a number of organizations which have come to depend on ASH grants. One theory has it that ASH, the dominant player in managed CAM in the United States is cleaning up its expense line to make pretty its revenues over expense for a sale. The controversial Hegetschweiler, formerly president of the chiropractic associations in California and later for the American Chiropractic Association was close to ASH CEO and founder George DeVries for most of his stay with the firm, though sources say that relationship may have soured some in the last year. ASH's DeVries, and Hegetschweiler with him, have frequently been in the scopes of Hegetschweiler's former colleagues at the ACA. While some have clearly wished that the cleaning out of public affairs was a sign of troubles at the dominant ASH, the firm was able to shuck that off with a March 1, 2007 release which publicized their contract to cover core chiropractic benefits for the 200,000 members of Aetna of Arizona.

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Author and teacher Fratkin
Author and lecturer Jake Fratkin, OMD was honored as teacher of the year for 2006 by the
American Association for Teachers of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In the note honoring Fratkin, the association noted, among other things, that his "seminars exemplify the work and preparation that goes into delivering information in a clear, concise, effective manner through the use of teaching aids/props, organization of materials, and interfacing with the audience."

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Edzard Ernst, MD
More recently, the American Botanical Council (ABC) announced on May 8, 2007 that nationalized Brit Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP, was named the recipient of the Norman R. Farnsworth Botanical Research Award. The prolific Ernst is founder/editor of FACT - Focus on Alternative and Complementary Medicine and holds the Laing Chair in Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter & Plymouth. The award ceremony included a taped segment from Ernst in which he shared a story about joining a group of associates in self-testing an artichoke extract as a hangover remedy. It failed. ABC also honored another German by birth, Dr. Eberhardt Teuscher as the recipient of the James A Duke Botanical Literature Award. Teuscher was honored for his 2003 book Medicinal Spices which was translated into English in 2006.

Lydia Segal, MD, integrative medicine leader for a decade with Kaiser Mid-Atlantic sent a note that she will be exiting her work, for a time. She'd been in touch a few months back about my family sabbatical in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. I learned last week that
while she's not going for as long as she wants, Segal's off for 10 weeks, as she wrotes "to India touring around, to Maldives diving on a live aboard and hiking and monasteries and meditating in Bhutan.  All fun. No work. Just need a break."  Enjoy!

Massage therapy research leader Janet Kahn, PhD, who is also executive director of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium, shares that her colleague and friend Doug Alexander is launching a new website, Massage Therapy Resources. I took a look. The clean site offers a mix of online continuing education possibilities, practice building, and more.

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Bloom & Schor - a moment away from their 7th licensing campaign
Rena Bloom, ND
and Jacob Schor, ND, are once again leading a campaign for licensing of naturopathic physicians in Colorado. It's their seventh effort according to Schor. On February 15, the Colorado House Health and Human Services Committee listened to five hours of testimony pro and con on HB 1192 to license naturopathic doctors. Late in the evening, they voted 9-2 in favor of moving the bill on to the House Appropriations Committee. Go to the Colorado Association's site and click on the media update button in the left column to view the action. It is the steadfast, time-consuming work of professionals like Schor and Bloom about whom I wrote in my appeal to the Dr. Rogers Prize and Bravewell  organizations. Why not honor those, who, like Schor and Bloom, serve their clients while concurrently working endless, unpaid hours to create the licensing and advancement campaigns which have expanded consumer choice in US health care?

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Weil: stumping for the NDs
Speaking of the licensing of naturopathic physicians, Andrew Weil, MD has weighed in strongly on behalf of ND licensing in New York. I saw a podcast of Weil's comments on the site of the 
New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians. (Thanks Vanessa Esteves, ND cand., for bringing it to my attention.) Weil, interestingly, is the integrative medical doctor who some naturopathic physicians most love to hate. The irony is that Weil's message is closest to their own, with a shared centricity on the healing power of nature - the vis medicatrix naturae. The similarities leave some NDs concerned that his form of "integrative medicine" moves right into their zone. Whatever the ND concerns, Weil has certainly been going to bat for the expansion of ND licensing, on both coasts. He had a public role as an advisor in the successful licensing in California a few years back. New York, and the work of the NYANP, is a top target of the American Medical Association's Scope of Practice PartnershipIn your face, AMA SOPP ... . .



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