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ACCAHC Sponsors Integrative Health on the IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Professional Education PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

ACCAHC Represents Whole Person Health and Complementary and Alternative Professions on the IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education

Summary: The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) is a founding sponsor of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. According to the release, IOM established the forum to operationalize recommendations from two significant reports produced in the centennial year of the Flexner Report that both revolutionized and polarized health professional education after its publication in 1910. ACCAHC joins over 30 other education and health professional organizations in sponsorship. ACCAHC anticipates "bring(ing) core values of whole person, wellness-focused, patient-centered, integrative practices to this Global Forum with our academic colleagues from other disciplines and other nations." 

Consortium of Licensed CAM Academic Organizations will Urge Whole Person, Integrative, Health and Wellness-focused Explorations

The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) announced in an April 13, 2012 release that the organization is a proud founding sponsor of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education.

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Integrative health educational consortium
IOM established the forum to
operationalize recommendations from two significant reports produced in the centennial year of the Flexner Report that both revolutionized and polarized health professional education after its publication in 1910. The Lancet Commission's Educating Health Professionals for a New Century (2010) and the IOM/Robert Wood Johnson Report on The Future of Nursing (2010) each stressed inter-professionalism, team care and the importance of educating professionals for leadership and as change agents The Lancet Commission also focused on the globalization of healthcare and the need to better integrate health professional education with primary care, healthcare delivery and community and public health.

"ACCAHC is excited to bring our core values of whole person, wellness-focused, patient-centered, integrative practices to this Global Forum with our academic colleagues from other disciplines and other nations" states Elizabeth A. (Liza) Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, ACCAHC chair.

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Sponsoring forum
ACCAHC is an interprofessional collaboration, the core membership of which includes most of the councils of colleges and accreditation agencies for the 5 licensed complementary and alternative healthcare disciplines: chiropractic, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine and direct-entry midwifery. Members also include organizations representing Traditional World Medicine and emerging professions including Ayurvedic Medicine, Yoga therapy and homeopathic medicine.

Goldblatt will team with ACCAHC Executive Director John Weeks to represent ACCAHC on the IOM Global Forum committee. Weeks notes that another value ACCAHC brings to this table is the affirmative connection of many ACCAHC disciplines with the world's healing traditions: "A critical component of optimal healthcare throughout the globe is the intersection of biomedicine with the indigenous and local practices of diverse populations.  Core ACCAHC values include respect for the traditional systems and their optimal integration with biomedicine." Weeks adds that in the United States, this approach is often framed as the integration of the use of complementary and alternative therapies, practitioners and disciplines with conventional medicine.

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Goldblatt: representing ACCAHC on the IOM committee
ACCAHC will join the American Association of Medical Colleges, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Association of Schools of Public Health and over two dozen other organizations representing other disciplines and their educators as sponsors of the 3-year IOM forum.  The forum's central work product will be collaborative development of themes and speakers for a total of six, two-day public forums during 2012-2014. In addition, the Global Forum will be shaped by the discoveries and challenges in four innovative, international pilot projects in Uganda, South Africa, India and Canada. The forum is supported by a significant grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

This is the third Institute of Medicine project with which ACCAHC has been involved. Goldblatt was a member of the IOM committee that created the 2009 IOM Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public. ACCAHC nominee Rick Marinelli, ND, LAc subsequently served on the IOM committee that produced the IOM report Relieving Pain in America (2011) that recommended an integrative, team strategy.

Goldblatt adds: "We are delighted to join our colleagues from other health care fields. We anticipate significant dialogue via the richness of the themes the forums will present."ACCAHC's participation in the Forum is made possible through member dues and a $30,000 philanthropic grant.
*About the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC):  ACCAHC is a 501c3 organization the mission of which is to enhance patient care through fostering mutual respect and understanding among diverse healthcare professionals and disciplines. ACCAHC is a leadership organization. Core membership consists of the councils of colleges, accrediting agencies and certification and testing organizations from the 5 licensed complementary healthcare professions with a US Department of Education-recognized accrediting body (chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy, direct-entry midwifery - together representing over 350,000 licensed practitioners).

ACCAHC's leading projects include: publication of the Clinicians' and Educators' Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Professions; assisting educators and clinicians in developing and enhancing Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environments; expanding evidence-informed education in ACCAHC schools; engaging the North American interprofessional education/care movement; promoting a real world, patient-centered approach to research; providing collaboratively-developed perspectives on key policy issues; integrating representatives of patient interest in whole person care into key national health dialogues; educating leaders in health-focused care; and developing a Center for Optimal Integration web portal. See Accomplishments at a Glance on the website. www.accahc.org; www.optimalintegration.org

Comment:
This is a very exciting involvement, personally of course, and for integrative health ideas as we embark on the century after the Flexner century. The ACCAHC disciplines will have a lot to learn from their colleagues. We believe we have some content to add. In a discussion before the ACCAHC board made this huge commitment to sponsor - we're still looking for another $30,000 to support costs - one said: "Wouldn't the best innovation be to graduate professionals who focus on wellness, on getting people healthy, and helping them stay healthy." What a bodacious thought! Then again, what Flexner recommended was way outside the box of practice in his time. Who wants to enter the 22nd Century wondering if we can get over being so reactive in our healthcare treatment?

The Global Forum will develop two, 2-day forums each year from 2012-2014 on topics on innovation in health professional education. Some may be particularly of interest for the integrative community. They will each be exceptional networking opportunities. Mark the dates for the 2012 forums (August 28-29, November 29-30) and sign-up
here with the IOM for updates on content.   


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