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Welcome Integrative Practitioner Online-Integrative Healthcare Symposium as an Integrator Sponsor! PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Welcome Integrative Practitioner Online-Integrative Healthcare Symposium as an Integrator Sponsor!

Summary: Happy news, friends and colleague: Please join me in welcoming a new Integrator sponsor!  Integrative Practitioner Online is a growing, virtual community of 3700 healthcare professionals, some 1000 of whom will get together, face-to-face, at their affiliated Integrative Healthcare Symposium in New York City, February 19-21, 2009. The business model of this new Integrator sponsor is about building community. I have come to know and like their lead personnel. This promises to be a great new platform and playground for advancing the Integrator's own mission. Take a look at who they are and what we're planning. Got any ideas?
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integrative medicine education, 2009
February 19-21, 2009 - New York City
"Community organizing" has heightened visibility this presidential campaign season. I am friendly to the concept, since I began to see my life work in this way 30 years ago. Bringing people together who may not be accustomed to working together. Finding and acting on shared interests. Linking. Finding ways to develop mutual respect. Gathering to help solve some problem. I announced the Integrator mission this way in 2006:

"Integration, by nature, asks us to open our peripheral visions. We are served to look at the whole of the field. We need to develop new fascia, new connectivity. Opportunities crop up in new places. These News and Reports are meant to provide you with tools, insights and connections to enhance integrated care in the environment you serve."
So it is with special pleasure that I announce to you that Integrative Practitioner Online and its affiliated Integrative Healthcare Symposium have chosen to become sponsors of the Integrator. Integrative Practitioner, an online community for healthcare professionals, is a business for which success means community building. The mission of its parent firm, Diversified Business Communications USA, is to "connect, educate and strengthen business communities through market-leading events, publications and emedia."

Services for community building

The Integrative Practitioner website, officially launched in January 2008, presently counts 3700 practitioners in its community. Over 1000 are expected to attend its February 19-21, 2009 conference in New York City. They/we are linked through various services and strategies, among which are:

  • Twice-monthly e-newsletter  Both information and perspectives. A mixed group of contributors write monthly columns, the back issues of which are here. I have been writing one of these, the leads to which I have sent out with my Integrator newsletter. The link this issue is a column entitled Does Hospital Care Need a Public Health Warning Label? See the full list of my Integrative Practitioner Online columns below.
  • Teleconferences   An example is a session with James Gordon, MD, on his new book, Unstuck.
  • Polls/surveys   Those who wish can weigh in on monthly topics.
  • Discussions  The topics are typically clinical and business oriented. A list of the top 10 are here.
  • Practice Building/business success  A regular theme in columns and discussions is sharing and, effectively, consulting on business strategies.
  • Conferences  The group began offering conferences as the CAM Expos in 2005 and smartly shifted their name to Integrative Healthcare Symposium. Integrative clinic leader and Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine steering committee member Woody Merrell, MD serves as conference chair. The meeting in January 2008 drew over 850 people into a gathering which was upbeat, fresh and multidisciplinary.The February 19-21, 2009 conference program is noted here.
  • Policy collaboration and advancement  I am working with IHS on two panels at the February 19-21, 2009 conference, one which I will moderate and another which will be moderated by Integrator adviser Bill Benda, MD. The first will be a high level look at integrative practice and federal healthcare action. On the panel will be Josephine Briggs, MD, Wayne Jonas, MD, Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD and a 4th person (not yet selected) who is deeply involved with the healthcare thinking that is alive in DC a month after the inauguration. Benda's panel will be an open dialogue with the audience in which he brings together executives of professional associations which have already begun collaborating on national policy. More on these soon.  

I was early on linked to the IP Online/IHS team as a member of the Advisory Board to both the site and their conferences. It's a remarkable, mixed group.
The sponsorship builds on relationships begun as columnist, conference participant and adviser.

Community of 3700, and growing
The Integrator IP/IHS connection: robust platform and playground for advancement ...

When Marydale Abernathy and Marnie Marrione of IP Online/IHS and I began discussing possibly building on our relationship a couple months ago, I was immediately intrigued. I told them that, in many respects, they are doing many things that some thought I might be planning to do with the Integrator.  This looked ideal: I knew already that I liked working with them. This way, by linking more closely, I would be able to focus on what I like doing best - namely, organizing and writing. Meantime, IP Online/IHS offers a robust platform for exploring and further organizing in the integrative practice community.

The relationship will evolve. Here are some elements presently on the table:

  • Healthcare Policy   As noted, we will be looking at ways to stimulate policy discussion and action, using a variety of IP Online/IHS tools as well as cross-links with the Integrator.
  • Organization profiles/directory  Ever get lost in the alphabet soup of the organizations with some apparent involvement in the integrative medicine zone? We're developing a plan for offering short profiles and links.
  • Expanding the audience for Integrator content    Integrative Practitioner will be re-publishing some Integrator content, or adding links. One certain plan: offering all issues of the Integrative Medicine and Integrated Healthcare Round Up.
  • Additional content  I'll be doing additional writing for IP Online, often linking it to your through the Integrator newsletter.

To me, this is a happy playground, with people I have already come to like, which makes the work of the
Integrator more robust and gives the mission - community organizing to better healthcare - a greater chance for advancement. As always, I will look forward to any of your ideas or guidance on how to make the most of this opportunity. Welcome!

Past columns from John Weeks written for Integrative Practitioner:

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for inclusion in a future Your Comments Forum.

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