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Issues #47-#50 - July-Aug 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Issues #47-#50 - July-Aug 2008

Issue #50 - August 28, 2008

August 28, 2008

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: August 1-15, 2008

A Medscape piece on pharma and medical professional organizations has its natural products parallels ...  Integrative medicine programs at U Kansas and New Mexico expand to new clinical facilities ... Quinn assists U Kansas in establishing a unique fellowship program for an MD, DO or ND ... Pelletier's CHIP program adds Pfizer, Pepsi and GlaxoSmithKline as participating firms in exploring integrative medicine in employee health ... Boston's Integrative Medical Alliance teams with Tufts to give experience in complementary therapies to conventional health professions students, clinicians ... Rafal's "mind heals" program in Rhode Island ... Alexander technique expert Jean Louis Rodriguez shares a widely reported BMJ trial which could launch expanded interest in the little utilized but powerful patient-centered approach ... Big kudos: population-based, group-oriented mind-body program for adolescents led by James Gordon, MD shows positive outcomes in Kosovo ... Team co-led by Moshe Frenkel, MD publishes a dozen integrative oncology papers in Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America ... Bethany Hayes, MD is looking for practitioners for True North Center ... More ...

August 28, 2008

Top 10 Reasons to Attend IHPM's Employer-Focused Conference October 15-17, 2008

Do you care about access to integrative services? Then maybe learning the language and culture of the stakeholder, the employer, that most determines access deserves prioritization. "Integrative medicine" will be integrated into the October 15-17 employer-focused conference of the Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM). But the greater value to the integrative practice community may be venturing into those sections of the conference which are not identifiably "integrative medicine" in order to discover the ways that the thinking of proactive employers may be surprisingly aligned with your own. Listen to Debra Lerner, PhD, Jame Prochaska, PhD, NCCAM's Richard Nahin, PhD, MPH, Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO and others. Here are a Top 10 of reasons for stepping out of your box and attending this conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. More ...

August 28, 2008

Toward an Integrated History of the Integrative Practice Movement

[From my Integrative Practitioner Online column] My recent participation in a forum of leaders of seven integrative practice-related organizations included some organized sharing of mission statements of these organizations via the work of Bill Benda, MD, the forum's moderator. We were struck by similarities. It reminded me that the separate histories or our various organizations also include a good deal of common ground in the timing of the founding of many or our organizations. Look at the organizational fecundity of the 1977-1988 period. More ...

August 26, 2008

Can Chiropractic Be "Integrative Medicine?" Lehman's Patient Survey and a University President Weigh In

A challenge for advocates of patient-centered care may be actually following what patients want. Take a look at the brief survey of patients by University of Bridgeport faculty member James Lehman, DC, MBA and consider its implications. Significant subsets of DCs and MDs probbably won't like following patients down that path. Then look at the view of "chiropracty", I mean "Chiropractry," or is it "Chiropractice," or maybe it's "chiropractic medicine" from Jim Winterstein, DC, president of the multidisciplinary National University of Health Sciences. Both argue, in very different ways, that "integrative medicine" is not and should not be viewed as a profession-specific term. More ...

August 23, 2008

Report on Professional Advancement: 900 Gather for Naturopathic Conference with Holistic MDs

Over 900 NDs, MDs and others gathered August 12-18, 2008 at the Arizona Biltmore for the annual convention of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). The Cleveland Clinic sponsored continuing medical education credits for medical doctors learning from NDs at the NDs conference, a first. Three score members of the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA) attended, mixing things up in meetings, on the dance floors and in the pools. A plenary panel and private luncheon convened leaders of 7 national professional and educational organizations to consider joint policy efforts. Expansion of a residency program was described. AANP executive director Karen Howard announced that a Congressional Resolution, developed by the AANP, had been introduced to advance wellness and empowerment in any medical reform plan. Presentations on international opportunities in at the Harvard-Dubai Healthcare City and in Nicaragua added additional spice to the offerings. Here is a look at the naturopathic medical profession through the lens of one of the most robust, future-thinking practitioner gatherings in recent years. More ... 

August 23, 2008

Bhaswati Bhattacharya, MD: Lessons from an Ayurvedic Experience of Sustainable Integration

Bhaswati Bhattacharya, MD, MPH, MA, an veteran integrative and ayurvedic practitioner and educator based in Brooklyn, New York, is consulting with an ayurvedic healing center in India which has been "economically viable since 1941." Aware of the sustainability issues with integrative care in the United States, Bhattacharya deconstructs the experience at the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Chikitsalyam and Research Institute into 12 characteristics which she asserts are guides to quality, sustainable care. Hers is an unusual list, with a few exotic touches. Anyone for softening all consultants through submergence in healing oil?   More ...


Issue #49 - August 7, 2008

August 7, 2008

From Research to Practice: Samueli Institute's Work on Integrative Medicine in the Military

Perhaps the best way to gauge the impact of a healthcare researcher's work is whether medical practice changed. By such a measure, the Samueli Institute's robust military research initiative relative to integrative practices, led by Joan Walter, JD, PA is showing significant success. Pilot projects in auricular acupuncture, for instance, have led to education of Air Force doctors in a novel, 5-point auricular acupuncture protocol. A Yoga Nidra trial is incorporated in a program for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder. Here is a look at some Samueli Institute initiatives that are transitioning from research to practice. Will these breakthroughs one day shift civilian care? More ...

August 6, 2008

Your Comments Forum: Riley on how "integrative medicine" was coined, plus Spelman, Crites, Bark, DellaGrotte

Ever wonder the origins of "integrative medicine" as a descriptive term? David Riley, MD, recounts the story ... Laura Crites, executive director of the Hawaii Consortium comments on a proposed strategy for the IOM Summit ... Bodyworker Josef DellaGrotte has additional suggestions for Intel and otehr employers on the value of body work ... Linda Bark, RN, found good news at the recent Health Forum conference and suggests a Samueli Institute text as a resource ... Tai Sophia's Kevin Spelman comments on Stargrove's work on drug-nutrient interactions ... plus an anonymous follow-up to Glidden's naturo-centric view of "integrative medicine" ... More ...

August 6, 2008

Zunin's Hawaii Blue Cross Pilot Shows Benefits from Integrative Outpatient Pain Program

In 2005, Hawaii's major Blue Cross Blue Shield carrier, HMSA, contracted with Manakai O Malama, the integrative clinic founded by Ira Zunin, MD, MPH, MBA on an unusual integrative, outpatient pilot for some of their most costly, pain-ridden, disabled members. The elaborate approach included diverse mind-body approaches, Feldenkrais and Yoga, and group acupuncture. Zunin, who was interested in a thorough biopsychosocial model, observes of the positive outcomes - reduced anxiety and depression, lower disability, reduced opiate use - that the ethical value in group process has both "carrot and stick" sides. Here is the pilot, with its outcomes. More ...

July 31, 2008

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: July 16-31, 2008

Report shows hundreds of million in savings to states from wellness model ... Center for Disease Control director Gerberding calls for "changing the conversation" in order to make the U.S. the "healthiest nation" via new CDC campaign ... Licensed complementary healthcare practitioners still not included in healthcare workforce dialogue ... Debate at the University of Bridgeport to focus on whether chiropractors should follow the New Mexico model of primary care chiropractic with limited prescribing rights  ... NCCAOM pushes to get acupuncture and Oriental medicine recognized as a profession by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ... AMA and OB/Gyn opposition to homebirth sparks debate on ABC news site  ... Chiropractic lobbying may open a door for all "CAM" colleges ... Wake Forest integrative medicine's Kathy Kemper, MD, MPH shares new integrative clinical services ... True North's Bethany Hays, MD honored by the Institute for Functional Medicine with the 2008 Linus Pauling Award ... More ...

July 29, 2008

Time for a Heretical Model?  Ballard, Quinn, Manahan & Simpson on "Integrative Medicine"

The last Integrator issue included views on whether "integrative medicine" is inclusive or denies other disciplines. In this set of comments: Tom Ballard, ND, a part of the naturopathic medical field for 30 years describes how his excitement about "integration" has panned out as an unhealthy "assimilation." Sheila Quinn, a long-time leader in integrated health care, offers a few perspectives, including that of a patient. Holistic medicine pioneer and contributor to Rakel's Integrative Medicine, Bill Manahan, MD, finds himself aligned with a "heretical model" of leveling the playing field. Holistic nurse Sonja Simpson, RN, wonders if any of this will amount to better patient care. Thoughtful submissions on what Manahan rightfully called "an elephant in the room." More ...

July 29, 2008

Is "Integrative Medicine" By, For and About MDs?

[From my column at Integrative Practitioner Online] Three recent encounters with initiatives in “integrative medicine,” plus the letters received at the Integrator, strongly suggest that this field will increasingly be viewed as an MD subsidiary unless remedial action is taken to affirm a more inclusive role for non-MD integrative medicine professionals. I am not sure what to think about this. Here are my reflections for my column of this title for Integrative Practitioner Online.
More ...

Issue #48 - July 17, 2008

July 17, 2008

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: July 1-15, 2008

Commonwealth Fund reports double cost, horrible outcomes of US medicine ... Expansion of low-cost community acupuncture models featured by AAAOM and in Philadelphia weekly ... Alaska's Native-owned, community-focused, team-oriented healthcare approach approach shows huge cost savings, increased practitioner satisfaction through a relationship-centered approach ... Ian Coulter, PhD offers insight into strengths and shortcomings of health services research as the "holy grail" for integrative practices ... Holistic board requires self-care knowledge in re-certification ... AHMA celebrates 30th birthday ... Chiropractic organization and NCMIC clarify manipulation/stroke evidence for 16,600 neurologists ... Cohen and Dumoff combine for webcast seminars on legal issues for integrative clinics and spas. More ...

July 16, 2008

Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH & Christy Lee Engel, ND, LAc on the Discussion of Rakel's Integrative Medicine

My back-and-forth with David Rakel, MD, on the meaning of "integrative medicine" as it is presented in his influential textbook of the same name led to two quick responses from excellent observer/participants in the integrative practice arena. Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH, directed the integrative clinic affiliated with the UCSF Osher Center before taking his present position with Revolution Health. Christy Lee-Engel, ND, LAc has been a principal or affiliate with the two most significant integrative clinic initiatives in Seattle and has also held leadership positions at Bastyr University. Here are their perceptive enrichments of this discussion. More ...

July 10, 2008

Michael Levin: Statins for 8-year-olds and Mayo Clinic's Whole Practice, Integrative Treatment

The big medical news just after Independence Day was that, following new American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, thousands of children will soon be dependent on statins for cholesterol management. Integrator columnist Michael Levin muses on this news together with a virtually unnoticed whole system, integrative Mayo Clinic study which found that lifestyle, supplements, diet and yoga or Tai chi not only lowered cholesterol but also weight and who knows what other positive outcomes. Are statins parenting replacement therapies? More ...

July 7, 2008

Regarding Drop-Value, Antecedents and Whether It's All About MDs: David Rakel's Integrative Medicine Textbook

Integrative Medicine, developed and edited by David Rakel, MD, makes quite an impression. The 1238 page volume, with over 100 authors, 97% either MD/DO or medical-school affiliated, marks an arrival and launching pad for that field. The text asserts a body of knowledge and is immediately a political tool for the advance of that field. I was reminded, on reviewing the book's look and feel, of a moment two decades ago when A Textbook of Natural Medicine, was published. That book allowed the re-emerging field of naturopathic medicine to claim it was modeling a new form of science-based, integrated care. What does Rakel's remarkable contribution assert about "integrative medicine" and in particular about the value of other disciplines? Here are my reflections plus Rakel's comments on the book's intent, and some next steps. More ...

July 5, 2008

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: June 16-30, 2008

Kaiser Permanente models natural pharmacy in managed care ... American Acupuncture Council offers acu-coding book ... Successful Massage Envy franchise operation purchased by huge Indian conglomerate with strong wellness interest ... URAC developing accreditation standards for wellness programs - comment period now ... Details on the AMA's Scope of Practice Partnership campaign against expanding scopes of other disciplines: NDs and midwives taking heat ... Healthcare advisers for presidential campaigns have loose links to integrative practice movement .. IOM puts annual waste in US healthcare at over $1,000,000,000,000 (that's one trillion wasted, or a lot of what might have been fully-reimbursed integrative care) ... A few words about Penny Simkin, a quiet hero of empowering healthcare, plus more. More ...

July 2, 2008

Guest Column: Peter Glidden, ND, Lashes Out Against His Idea of MD-led "Integrative Medicine"

Naturopathic physician Peter Glidden, ND, sent me this column on a dare. He didn't think I'd publish it. Glidden blasts much of the so-called "integration" effort, lambasting MD-directed "integrative medicine" in particular." In truth, I held this for a few months. But I think that Glidden does capture sentiment frequently expressed by members of the distinctly licensed complementary healthcare professions as they observe the ascendancy of the "integrative MD." It's just that it's usually not shared in mixed audiences - such as the Integrator readership. What do you think? More ...

July 2, 2008

AAAOM's Qi Unity Interview with Integrator Publisher-Editor John Weeks on Research Priorities for Integrative Care

Where should we prioritize research investment to help maximize the value to the public health of integrative practices? Does all the talk of healthcare reform and "transformation" need a parallel push to re-focus our research agenda? Qi-Unity, the monthly e-newsletter of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, recently published an interview with me on my perspectives on these and other research agenda questions. Here is the link to the AAAOM interview. Send your comments back here to What do you think we should be advocating for a research agenda? How can we get there? To go to the AAAOM site, click here ...

Mailed July 8, 2008

July 2008 mailing #1 - Issue #47

June 22, 2008

AMA SOPP Escalates Campaign Against Nurses, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Midwives and Others

In June meetings, the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) kicked off an escalating round of attacks on the advancement of other healthcare professions. Targeted this year were all disciplines with doctoral-level training, as well as licensed midwives. Chiropractors, naturopathic physicians and nurses - who cited Wilk v AMA - are among those quick to challenge the AMA. The AMA actions are part of that guild's divisive AMA Scope of Practice Partnership (SOPP), announced in January 2006. Meantime, one action at the House of Delegates meeting suggests that the snake on the AMA's caduceus may be biting its own tail. Resolution 235 is an effort to keep the AMA's own specialty societies from legislative actions that seek to restrict each other's scope of practice. More ...

June 22, 2008

IHPM/Employer Focus: Intel Explores Manual Therapies as an Onsite Musculoskeletal Pain Solution
Why would an employer want to explore a complementary therapy? How might a pilot project be established? This article describes a relationship between microprocessor giant Intel, researchers looking for onsite solutions to low-back pain at the Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM), and the Dorn Companies, which hires licensed massage therapist to supply a Rolfing-based manual therapy to employees. Outcomes of this pilot project will be reported at the IHPM's fall conference in Scottsdale, October  15-17, 2008. More ...

June 22, 2008

Guest Column: Marc Miccozi, MD on His Spa-Biz Course and the Role of the Spa in CAM Integration

Marc Micozzi, MD,PhD, convened an early federal exploration of complementary and integrative medicine, wrote the first academic textbook on complementary and integrative medicine, worked with Dr. Koop on his website (may it rest), and ran an academic integrative medicine program. Lately he has been thinking outside of mainstream delivery, specifically in the spa/wellness zone. He notified the Integrator of a relationship he has teaching in an online certification program through UC Irvine's School of Business. I invited his direct comment on the spa field. Here is Micozzi's commentary, and some information about the program. More ...

June 20, 2008

Columnist Levin:  $24-Billion Savings through Supplement Interventions Says Lewin Group

Integrator columnist Michael Levin recently had occasion to read a series of reports, prepared by the internationally-known health care consulting firm, The Lewin Group. The subject: possible cost impact of pro-actively using a few dietary supplement interventions for a handful of conditions. The outcomes were compelling. Levin argues that this kind of work, funded by the dietary supplement industry, exemplifies forward thinking collaborative effort needed to advance the integrative and natural health fields. The story of this strategic funding will be familiar to chiropractic. More ...

June 20, 2008

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: June 1-15, 2008

Among those noted University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine designated a Center of Excellence by Arizona Regents ... Council on Naturopathic Medical Education gains 5 years from the USDE ... US/China accord on traditional Chinese and integrative medicine ... Integrative MD/ND/LAc Goshen Cancer Center awarded ... Trustee features integrative medicine for Boomers ... Integrated community care leader Community Health Centers of King County becomes HealthPoint ... The debate over the JAMA St. John's wort for ADHD article ...  National advertising campaign for chiropractic and the IOM use the Alternative Medicine Inc. study on cost savings ... AMI's state partnerships grow ... Chiropractic associations in agreement on pediatrics specialty ... More ...

June 19, 2008

How the IOM-Bravewell Integrative Medicine Summit Could Make a Difference: A Proposed Action Plan

Do you think the National Summit on Integrative Medicine can make a difference?  Planning for this February 25-27, 2009 gathering, sponsored by a partnership of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and the Bravewell Collaborative, is under way. I organize my recommendations around areas where exploration of integrative practice could have a significant impact on the nation's health care crisis. The high notes are a health-oriented approach, outpatient services, the patient-centered medical home, respect for multiple disciplines, researching whole practices as basis for managing chronic disease, and whole cost accounting.  How do you think this Summit might create possibilities which the IOM's 2005 report didn't already open? More ...

June 19, 2008

Institute of Medicine Names Planning Team for Integrative Medicine Summit: Snyderman to Chair

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences has announced a 12-person planning committee which will oversee development of the February 25-27, 2009 National Summit on Integrative Medicine and Health of the Public. The IOM is sponsoring the Summit in partnership with the Bravewell Collaborative of philanthropists. Here is a look at the 12 member team, chaired by Ralph Snyderman, MD, plus some musing on the not very integrated mix. Nine are MDs, suggesting that to the IOM, "integrative medicine" is an MD franchise. The Bravewell philanthropists have made a substantial commitment to make this happen. More ...

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