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Integrator Potpourri: Urban Zen, Integrative Peds, UHC Vs Chiro Peds, NCCAM Loan Replacement, plus PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Integrator Potpourri: Urban Zen Update, Integrative Peds, UHC Vs Chiro Peds, NCCAM Loan Replacement, CAM EXPO Changes

Summary: Donna Karan's Urban Zen Initiative has announced next steps following their May 2007 10-day New York City integrative medicine event ... National chiropractic groups have united to oppose United Healthcare's decision to no longer cover pediatric adjustments ... Meantime, the Integrative Pediatric Council, which includes a chiropractor board member announced its website ... Members of which disciplines are participating in the NIH NCCAM's loan repayment awards program? Here is the answer ... CAM EXPO has changed its name to Integrative Healthcare Symposium and started a community-building website, Integrative Practitioners Online.
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Donna Karan, integrative medicine, Urban Zen
Dona Karan - the force behind Urban Zen
1.   Urban Zen" Learnings and Next Steps

Those of you intrigued with designer
Donna Karan's significant foray into the integrative healthcare and yoga space in her May 2007 Urban Zen Initiative (UZ) forum in New York City (see related Integrator article) may be interested in an update sent to participants. The UZ notice declared the 10-day forum a success and ticked off key "learning" from the participants:

  • Incorporate holistic education in nursing, medical, and professional schools.
  • Provide opportunities for doctors and practitioners for holistic self-care and healing spaces in institutions.
  • Launch lobbying campaign to educate insurance companies and heads of corporate healthcare plans and insist they adopt practices to include integrative care and promote lifestyle changes.
  • Lead advocacy campaign to educate public and encourage them to insist on access to integrative options.
  • Create educational opportunities for children.
  • Advocate change model from symptom-based to patient-centered.
  • Create more forums for key healthcare influencers like insurance company executives.
  • Start advocacy campaign to bridge gap between Eastern and Western medicine.
  • Create an accessible network of holistic options and practitioners through UZ Foundation.
  • Create space within hospitals for alternative care and training such as restorative yoga.
  • Make integrative options available to healthcare providers including self-care.

UZ did not claim to be moving on all of these fronts. They indicated that they are moving on some and clarifying their relationship with others. UZ also announced that it is taking over a floor of the Beth Israel Medical Center and rebuilding it as a UZ "optimal healing environment." At Memorial Sloan Kettering, UZ's other health system partner, they are coordinating the services of yoga instructors. UZ also announced that they have "lived up to our commitments and have
funded Friends In Deed and the Bravewell Collaborative."

Comment: If you haven't been to the www.urbanzen.org site, take a look. In video clips, Karan reflects on the initiative, as do a patient, Hillary Clinton and the Dalai Llama.

Image2.   Chiropractors Battle United Health Care Over Coverage of Pediatric Services

A September 2007 missive from managed care giant United Healthcare announced that the firm will not cover pediatric adjustments. Their decision was due to
"a recent review of the clinical evidence in published peer-reviewed medical literature (which) leads us to further conclude that chiropractic services for treatment of children and adolescents is unproven…"  All of the leading chiropractic organizations have shown unity in opposing the action. The American Chiropractic Association Council on Pediatrics issued a statement on October 7, 2007 together with a response to UHC. The ACA group chastised UHC for failing to cite any references to support their decision. The chiropractic group  then references the "dozens of (conventional) treatments that UHC covers that do not have peer-reviewed studies conclusively proving their effectiveness to treat a given condition." The Council accuses UHC of an "unethical" double standard.

integrative medicine, CAM, pediatrics 3.  Group Launches New Site for Integrative Pediatrics Councils

A  note from Larry Rosen, MD, arrived with news that the Integrative Pediatrics Council (IPC) has launched a new website. The address is www.integrativepeds.org. The organization's goal is to "connect pediatric integrative medicine (PIM) practitioners and organizations across the world." The organization appears to practice the integration it preaches. The board includes two naturopathic physicians (Wendy Weber, ND and Mathew Baral, ND), a social worker (Lynn Getz, MSW) and a chiropractor (Elise Hewett, DC).

Comment: Interestingly, IPC board member Hewett is the chair of the ACA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics which is leading the charge against the United Healthcare, noted above. It might serve  Hewett to see if the IPC might back her organization's appeal.

NCCAM, loan replacement
NCCAM loan replacement programs
4.   Who Is Getting Those NCCAM Loan Repayment Awards?

Janet Kahn, PhD, executive director of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium recently shared with members of her steering committee (on which I serve) some interesting data from the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The data show that a significant percentage of the NIH's loan repayment awards have gone to naturopathic physicians and chiropractor/PhDs. The research award requires a doctoral degree and therefore will not be available to acupuncturists unless they have the recently awarded Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) degree.

Fiscal Year   Total  ND MD  DC-
 2005  8  2  1 2  0  
 2006  9  3  1  1  
 2007  13  4 1  3  

Comment: For the naturopathic physicians, the NIH offers the only access to federal loan repayment program.

conferences, integrative medicine, CAM6.   CAM EXPO Changes Name to Integrative Healthcare Symposium, Initiates Online Forum

The CAM EXPO, formally known as the International Complementary and Natural Healthcare Conference and Exhibition, has changed its name to Integrative Healthcare Symposium. The organization next conference will be in New York City, January 17-19, 2008. See www.ihsymposium.com. Diversified Business Communications, the Maine-based corporation which runs IHS, also announced that it is developing an "interactive community" at www.integrativepractitioner.com. According to Marnie Morrione, conference director, the website is "
designed specifically to address the needs of the integrative healthcare practitioner." Diversified views the initiatives as mutually supportive, with the website representing "an expansion of the Integrative Healthcare Symposium into the online realm." Morrione states that the firm hopes that the Integrative Practitioner site will "serve as a destination site that will enhance and foster dialogue in the integrative medical community." A soft-launch of the site is scheduled for early November.

Disclosure: I serve on the Integrative Practitioner advisory board, and will contribute a column and some Integrator links to the site.

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