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Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up: February 18- March 2, 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Integrative Medicine and Integrated Health Care Round-up:  February 18-March 2, 2009

Summary: Plan on the North American Research Conference, May 12-15, Minneapolis! ... New Jersey med school and massage school for tie in accredited massage program for service to the underserved ... Resource on school-based yoga ... Northwestern Health Sciences University has unique opportunity for new VP/provost ... Licensed acupuncturists beefing up "action agenda" ... Educator Steiner Leisure in huge contract for massage, acupuncture, spa, fitness services ... IM leader and Integrator adviser Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH, re-emerges at Sausalito-based Carvallo Point ... More on policy: Does the Obama $634-billion for healthcare reform include a real shift toward wellness? ... Congrats to TAI for an investment in a relationship with U.S. Senator Mikulski, plus AP article on IOM, Redwood on Jonas' WIN, and Peer Barry Chowka tearing down the house ...
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Research

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Be there! May 12-15, 2009, Minneapolis
North American Research Conference: be There or Be Square - May 12-15, Minneapolis!


If you have any interest in research in complementary and integrative medicine - and i hope you do, given the myriad questions we all have - there is just one place to be from May 12-15, 2009. Take a look at the incredible array of offerings - accepted abstracts, forums, keynote speakers , plus possibilities of 6 local site tours - that will be part of the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM). The conference, hosted by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, with some 2 dozen Participating Organizations, is a relatively rare happening. The last was in May of 2006.  A global mix of over 1000 attendees is expected from many disciplines. I urge you to take a look at the site. Scroll through the endless array of research offerings. Great riches here! The opportunity to peer into what we are accomplishing, and where leaders in the field believe we need to be going - and to impact that processes through interactive sessions, is unsurpassed. For a look at a report on the 2006, meeting, see "Inspiring" and Robust Research Conference on CAM-IM - First Impressions," May 29, 2006.
Comment: As one sign of the inclusive spirit of the conference organizers, the conventional Consortium chose to donate 10 scholarships to the Academic Consortium for Complemenmtary and Alternative Medicine which this licensed CAM counterpart will be dispensing.

Academics


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Unique, accredited cancer massage program
Massage school links with integrative program for cancer program to serves the underserved


An article in Massage Today (COMTA-accredited program services the underserved, February 2009) focuses on new Jersey-based Institute for Therapeutic Massage (ITM) which has partnered with the Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ICAM) and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to initiative the first "oncology massage" program in the nation which has accreditation through the leading massage accreditation organization, the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.  Through carving this network of relationships and accreditation, the clinical training of
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Perlman: Found a way to get massage to the underserved
the ITM program's students includes 125 hours of massage therapy to patients at UMDNJ’s University Hospital Cancer Center in Newark, N.J. Adam Perlman, MD, MPH, director of the ICAM is quoted as stating that “partnering with CAM institutions like ITM is a mechanism that UMDNJ, and our Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, is pursuing in order to provide the population we serve with access to therapies such as massage in a way that is financially sustainable.” ITM is led by founder and executive director Lisa Helbig.
Comment: I recall the "aha!" moment for Perlman at the National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Health Care when he saw this way through the challenge of providing CAM services to the underserved. This kind of partnership is an excellent, beginning model, for bringing these services in. Congrats to Helbig and Perlman for forging the ties.
Yoga in the schools: An exceptional resource
As I write, I am listening to the live webcast wrap-up of the IOM Summit. One theme is the need to integrate education in health across the lifespan. This is a shout out to Karma Carpenter, LICSW, RYT for her passionate, volunteer work in linking individuals who are seeking to enhance access to school-based yoga programs. As Carpenter points out: "School Yoga promotes health, and improves academic achievement with positive behavior and cognitive skills." Check out her not-for-profit School Yoga Organization. This K-12YOGA site has an opt-in for the K-12 School Yoga Monthly Newsletter, for those interested in regular updates. Keep it up Karma!

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Unique opportunity for the right academic
Northwestern Health Sciences University seeks
provost and VP for academic affairs

Bloomington, Minnesota-based Northwestern Health Sciences University, a top multidisciplinary academic center which is a national leader in developing integrative models of research, practice and academic relationships invites applications for the position of provost and vice President for Academic Affairs.
Northwestern Health Sciences University is a private, professional, non-profit university, with an enrollment of approximately 900, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.  Northwestern offers a variety of natural health care educational programs including chiropractic, acupuncture and oriental medicine, and massage therapy.  In addition, Northwestern conducts clinical research and provides patient care through several outpatient clinics and interdisciplinary community partnerships.  Northwestern recently completed a 48,000 square foot addition and an award winning healing garden on its beautiful 25-acre campus in Bloomington, Minnesota, which is conveniently located near some of the area’s largest, most popular attractions. Contact: Dr. William Elkington, Chair, Provost/VPAA Search Committee  
Comment: This is an exceptional position for the right individual. The Northwesten is linked on educational issues to the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing, to the Woodwinds Campus of the HealthEast Health System, where it runs a clinic, has a robust research department, is a significant national influencer in the integration movement and is loaded with fine professionals. Notably, NWHSU is among the site visits for the NARCCIM conference noted above. Take a look!

Professional Action


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Action time for the LAcs nationally
AAAOM establishes "Action Corps" to advance its professional agenda

In a February 17, 2009 note to members, the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine announced a "comprehensive new agenda
to achieve the long-term priorities of the AAAOM and AAAOM-Student Organization: the AAAOM Action Corps (AC)." The plan foresees team in the areas of legal and legislative research, insurance reimbursment, media, and membership benefits. The announcement was a call for application. All activists will receive various benefits. Doug Newton, with AAAOM, will manage the Corps. The online application is here. There was no evidence that non-LAc's could not participate. Applications are requested by March 16, 2009.


Business

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Huge deal for educator, service provider for massage, acupuncture, spa, fitness services
Steiner Leisure in major deal for massage, acupuncture, spa services with Celebrity Cruises


In an announcement late last year, Steiner Leisure Limited, a worldwide provider of spa services, announced that it will provide massage, acupuncture, spa and other services on a wide array of cruises ships.
The agreement is with Celebrity Cruises, and runs through December 31, 2013, according to Leonard Fluxman, CEO of Steiner Leisure. Steiner Leisure owns and operates five post secondary schools (comprised of a total of 17 campuses) located in Miami, Orlando, Pompano Beach and Sarasota, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; Charlottesville, Virginia; York, Pennsylvania; Salt Lake City and Lindon, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona; Westminster and Aurora, Colorado; and Groton, Newington and Westport, Connecticut. The note describes Steiner as "offering degree and non-degree programs in massage therapy and, in some cases, skin care, these schools train and qualify spa professionals for health and beauty positions within the Steiner family of companies or other industry entities."

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Jacobs: New position at Carvallo Point
Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH to Head up Services at
10,000 Square Foot Cavallo Point Facility

Sausalito, California-based  Cavallo Point Lodge, recently named one of the top 10 new "American Landmarks" by Travel & Leisure has landed a top integrative physician, Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH, to help build it's health and integrative medical services. The 142 room destination also has a 10,000 square foot health spa and fitness facility with which Jacobs is associated. Jacobs, an Integrator adviser, is a unique player in the integrative care world, with  resume which includes start=up pof the inteegrative clinic at UCSF, participation a couple of dot-com start-ups, a multi-year stint with Steve Case's Revolution Health and long-time yoga practice and research experience, plus a surfing love that brought him back home to the Bay Area.

National Policy

Listening post facto: US Senate hearings and IOM Summit

Those who wish can listen to the two U.S. Senate hearings on integrative health care principles by clicking in here for February 23, 2009 and here for February 27, 2009 in which the subject was "Integrative Care: A Pathway to a Healthier Nation. U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chaired the latter, announces his intent to make sure complementary and alternative medicine are included in any health reform and that it is "time to end discrimination against alternative healthcare practices." The statements of the presenters can be downloaded. Meantime, the Institute of Medicine has promised to post audio of it's February 26-28 National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public within the week. Many of the papers and presentation slides are already available. For those of you who didn't listen in to any of the simulcast, check it out. The Integrator is sponsoring a follow-up discussion. Please join with your commentary! What happened? Where do we go from here? Check out this article to get you thinking.

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Does his $634-billion for healthcare foresee paradigm shift to wellness?
Disconnect: Obama "Health Reform Reserve" and "integrative health policy week"


Announcement today of Obama's budget package, which includes a $634 "health reform reserve" included some hopeful language. The one paragraph summary in the New York Times 9February 28, 2009) listed some intrguing targets:

"With higher taxes on the wealthy and savings squeezed from health care providers, drugmakers and insurers, Mr. Obama would create a $634 billion, 10-year “health reform reserve” as a down payment to finance disease prevention, wellness programs and research on cost-effective treatments ultimately to cut health care costs. More than any other expense, health care is driving future projections of unsustainable deficits. The health reserve would also be used to create affordable insurance programs for individuals and employers." (Bold added)
However, a quick search of how "health reform reserve, including an additional, focused New York Times article, includes no mention of "wellness" and no hint of the "shift toward a wellness paradigm about which US Senator's Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) are fond of speaking. There is some mention of the effectiveness research and US Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) suggests and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) note only in a Wallstreet Journal editorial that "costs also will go down as more people get the preventive care and the timely effective treatments they need."
Comment: The Baucus/Kennedy language sounds like immunication and early testing, rather than a profound shift to a wellness society. Coverage of the Obama announcement focuses on the battles that will break out among those whose oxes will be gored. As the Integrator's savvy reporter on the Mikulski heaing, Daphne White, notes in her coverage of the first Mikulski hearing on Monday: "Only time will tell whether the ideas presented at this hearing will actually be taken 'off the floor' – as [James] Gordon put it – and be placed 'on the table.' The health care wars are just beginning." (Daphne White Reports on Mikulski's US Senate Hearing on Principles of Integrative Health, Feb 23, 2009.) The media was not present at either of the two hearings. Few of Mikulski's associates were present. Nowhere was the idea of a White House Office on Wellness floated.  Friday morning, February 28, 2009, as these new accounts of Obama's plan hit the media without reference to wellness or integrative health, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) was promising an audience of 500 at the IOM Summit that the health reform legislation will take us away from the disease care approach. We have our opening here, still. Good to hear. We have our work ahead of us.

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Duggan: Long relationship with Mikulski nets dividends
Crediting long-term relationships: Tai Sophia Institute and US Senator Mikulski (D-MD)


Those who listened to the Monday, February 23, 2009 hearing on the principles of integrative health care will have noted that U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), principally responsible for convening the hearing, drew heavily on the Tai Sophia Institute, in her home state. Credit Robert Duggan, Tai Sophia's co-founder, for an abiding interest in policy issues, and relationship creation. Both he and Sister Charlotte Kerr, also associated with the TSI, were among the panel of presenters. One reaps what one sows.

Reform-related media: AP on IOM, Jonas Interview, Chowka concerned

Those interested will find a widely-printed Associated Process article on the IOM Summit printed in various places across the country. First printed February 23, the article was happily titled "Moving Nation from Sick Care to Wellness Care."  The New Tork Times version is here. Meantime, sometimes Integrator writer Daniel Redwood, DC, editor of Health Insights Today, for Cleveland Chiropractic College, notifies that he has posted an interview with Wayne Jonas, MD, on the Wellness initiative for the Nation. See article here ...  Redwood also notes that always stimulating Peter Barry Chowka has posted another of his posts opposing governmental intervention and its role with health care alternatives. Chowka's NationalHealthLine includes a lengthy February 28, 2009 posting entitled: Red Alert: Big Brother Barack is Coming and Health Freedom Is Hanging by a Thread. Chowka, a long-time colleague, is not too friendly toward many perspectives expressed here, and his work is stimulating, particularly given to excesses of government against healthcare alternatives through the years.


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