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Quarterly News from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care; June 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Quarterly Report from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC): June 2009

Summary:  Many of you will know that I split my professional life between the Integrator (and related writing) and the organization featured here, the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC -, for which I serve as executive director. This article is, with minor edits, ACCAHC's June 2009 Quarterly Report. Its relevance to the integrative practice fields is that ACCAHC is the most significant ongoing commitment of organizations from diverse integrative practice fields to getting out of their silos and learning how to collaborate. Fifteen (15) organizations are members. Take a look at their work and offer them feedback.
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: The following report is something which I draft for the
Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) as part of my work as the emerging organization's executive director. The ACCAHC board of directors and members changes, edits and approve prior to circulation. I think it's pretty exciting what ACCAHC is developing and accomplishing, given the call for collaboration and teamwork in healthcare, and the relative dearth of examples. This is the first issue which was meant for broad public circulation. I plan to publish these going forward. ACCAHC, and the Integrator, welcome your feedback and comments. Hope you find these of interest.

Image Quarterly Report to Members, Participants & the Public

June 2009

3345 59th Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98116 • (206) 932-5799


Purpose:  This is the first ACCAHC Quarterly Report which will be directly circulated beyond our participants, member organizations, their member schools and colleges, and supporters. Feel free to circulate to others. We view these as an opportunity for you to provide feedback and ideas. This report covers action from January 2009 through May 2009. Please direct questions and responses to John Weeks ( ) or Beth Rosenthal ( ).

ACCAHC Leaders Meet at Northwestern Health Sciences University

ACCAHC Organizational Members

 July 2009

Councils of Colleges & Schools

Association of Chiropractic Colleges

American Massage Therapy Association Council of Schools

Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges

Council of College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Accrediting Agencies

Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation

Council on Chiropractic Education

Council on Naturopathic Medical Education

Midwifery Education Accreditation Council

Testing and Certification Organizations

North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners

National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (affiliate)

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (affiliate)

Traditional World Medicines & Emerging Professions

International Association of Yoga Therapists

National Ayurvedic Medical Association

Yoga Alliance



Sustaining Donors Group

Lucy Gonda

Leo S Guthman Fund

NCMIC Foundation

Bastyr University


May 10-12, 2009 witnessed an historic meeting for ACCAHC and for healthcare professional education. 48 professionals from the ACCAHC Board, Clinical Care Working Group, Education Working Group, Research Working Group and from ACCAHC member organizations committed three days of their time to advancing the ACCAHC vision and mission. This was ACCAHC’s first face-to-face meeting since incorporation in January 2008 and the first time all of ACCAHC’s working groups met.

The synergies were evident. The sessions began Sunday with meetings of the ACCAHC Special Interest Groups (Councils of Colleges/Schools, Accrediting Agencies, Certification & Testing Agencies, Traditional World Medicines, Student Organization Leadership – see under Special Interest Groups). In the evening reception and dinner, we set the stage for the work ahead: clarification of the “deliverables” we will target for ACCAHC work in the coming years. Participants were reminded that we have a solid base for moving forward through the original directions set by ACCAHC in 2005, and the Priority Recommendations of the National Education Dialogue. Specific project directions are still being clarified and will be reported next issue.

Northwestern Health Sciences University, Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, 40 Individual Members and Organizations Join Andrew Weil, MD in Supporting the Meeting

The leadership gathering received a wonderful boost in January when integrative medicine leader and author Andrew Weil, MD gave ACCAHC a $5000 challenge grant from his personal funds. There followed an exciting week in which, via group email, 7 organizations pledged $500 each and 33 of ACCAHC’s participants pledged at least $100, quickly over-matching Weil’s grant with $6700 to support the meeting costs. It was ACCAHC’s own NPR-like drive! (The list of all of the contributors is at Philanthropy/Project Donors.) We were then pleased to learn that receptions and dinners on both Sunday and Monday nights would be hosted. Northwestern Health Sciences University, which also donated space and exceptional personnel time in organizing the meetings paid for our opening reception and meal. The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine hosted us for a Monday reception and dinner. (See article below.) The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners subsequently chipped in to help sponsor the Tuesday breakfast. This all proved to be quite an out-pouring of support and affirmation of our mission. Thanks to all!

Conventional Medical Consortium Hosts ACCAHC for Joint-Session at the Hilton Minneapolis

A part of the value of meeting in Minnesota was to coincide with the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine, sponsored by Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM -, the organization of 43 medical schools. An invitation came to us through CAHCIM leaders Vic Sierpina, MD, chair, Adam Perlman, MD, MPH, chair-elect and Aviad (Adi) Haramati, PhD, founding vice-chair. Each of these leaders has been a strong advocate for greater collaboration between our two groups. They have forged ties with schools from ACCAHC disciplines at their own academic health centers and each helped lead the National Education Dialogue. The meetings began with introductions then slide presentations by Sierpina, about CAHCIM, and by John Weeks, about ACCAHC. (The ACCAHC slide show is available on request; contact .)  We then broke into joint working group meetings for 60 minutes to explore collaborative options. The executive committees of both consortia also met. Representatives from each sub-group then reported out ideas. In a letter to ACCAHC following the meeting, Sierpina and Perlman captured the spirit in the room: “We enjoyed very much the camaraderie and believe that it is very important that we keep appraised of each other’s efforts. It seemed as though some very lively discussions occurred within the working groups!” Among the outcomes of the historic meeting are commitments of the two executive teams to regular telephone calls and an expectation that, with the relationships now forming, collaborative links between members of the working groups will be made on a project basis.

Most of the 48 professionals from the ACCAHC Board, Clinical Care Working Group, Education Working Group, Research Working Group and from ACCAHC member organizations who committed three days of their time, May 10-12, 2009 to advancing the ACCAHC vision and mission.

ACCAHC Contributions at the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM)

The North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM), sponsored by the conventional Consortium was a great success, drawing 810 professionals from 24 countries. Individuals involved with ACCAHC and, more broadly, from ACCAHC’s disciplines, were represented in many capacities, as presenters of programs and posters. Of these, ACCAHC, a Participating Organization for the meeting, was instrumental in creating 2 symposia and one poster presentation.

  • ACCAHC Research Working Group co-chair Christine Goertz took the lead in a Featured Discussion, developed by the RWG, entitled “Practice-Based Research Networks: Meeting the Challenge of Reflecting CAM Clinical Practice.” Among those also on the panel were RWG members Heather Zwickey, PhD, Martha Menard, PhD and Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH.

  • Collaborative dialogue between David Rakel, MD, integrative medicine leader from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and ACCAHC executive director John Weeks led to the creation of a second Featured Discussion entitled “Health-Oriented Medical Homes: Defining Cost Effective Interdisciplinary Integrated Healthcare Teams in the Outpatient Environment.” RWG member Patricia Herman, ND, PhD presented on that panel.

  • Bryn Clark, LAc, Dipl.OM developed and presented a poster based on research led by ACCAHC entitled “Survey of MDs/administrators on competencies of licensed acupuncturists for practice on hospitals, integrated centers, and other conventional healthcare settings.” The research team included Weeks, who assisted Clark in the presentation of the poster, Clark, Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPH/HA, Catherine Niemiec, JD, LAc, Kory Ward-Cook, PhD and Pamela Snider, ND. The research project was funded by ACCAHC affiliate member, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, with which Clark and Ward-Cook are leaders.

In addition, through a grant from CAHCIM, a team led by the ACCAHC Research Working Group was able to grant 15 scholarships to attend NARCCIM to students in ACCAHC schools. Congratulations to the mixed-discipline group of recipients and thanks to CAHCIM for the grant. The next NARCCIM meeting is being planned for 2012. This is a not-to-be-missed conference. Among the excellent sessions were reports from ACCAHC-related institutions on partnerships with conventional medical schools for programs and strategies to enhance the culture of research in their institutions. It was great to see the presence of numerous ACCAHC participants among presenters, including those already named plus Anthony Lisi, DC, Kathy Taromina, MS, LAc, Wendy Weber, ND, PhD, Richard Hammerschlag, PhD, Lixing Lao, PhD, LAc, Mitchell Haas, DC, MA and Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAc.

Many of the participants in the historic joint meeting between the leadership of ACCAHC and the Steering Committee and working group leaders of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine

ACCAHC Co-Sponsors Event in the IOM Summit/Policy Week, February 23-27, 2009

ACCAHC joined with other organizations to co-sponsor the Integrative Health Care Policy Reception at the Samueli Institute on the evening of February 26, 2009. The reception was held amidst the most significant week of policy-related action relative to integrative medicine and integrated health care, including two hearings in the U.S. Senate and the historic, 3-day, National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public. The Summit was sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and funded through a $445,000 grant from the Bravewell Collaborative. ACCAHC’s imprint on the process was felt through the exceptional
commitment of board chair Elizabeth (Liza) Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA who served an intense 8 months on the IOM’s Planning Committee.

Goldblatt was able to elevate numerous dialogues relative to the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in quality, well-integrated education and patient care. Individuals associated with ACCAHC served on 3 of the 5 writing teams: Bill Meeker, DC, MPH (EWG), Wendy Weber, ND, PhD (RWG) and Patricia Herman, ND, PhD (RWG). Goldblatt and Janet Kahn, PhD, LMT (RWG) were among the speakers in plenary sessions. ACCAHC urged as many ACCAHC participants as possible to attend, to heighten the educational, research and patient care issues of interest to our disciplines in the dialogue; roughly 28 attended. We sponsored a networking breakfast on the first day for our related attendees as well as the Samueli Institute’s Thursday evening reception. Sponsorship seemed appropriate: ACCAHC leadership is in dialogue with Wayne Jonas, MD, CEO of the Samueli Institute about the Wellness Initiative for the Nation (WIN) which the Samueli Institute is promoting to help shift our culture to one which focuses affirmatively on the health and wellness paradigms taught in our schools.

Among the 28 ACCAHC-related attendees at the IOM Summit, February 25-27, 2009 Left to right: Richard Hammerschlag, PhD (RWG), Felicia Tomasko, RN (TWM), Bill Meeker, DC, MPH (CWG), Beth Rosenthal, PhD, MPH, MBA (assistant director), Donna Feeley, RN, MPH, CMT (Board, EWG), Patricia Herman, ND, PhD (RWG), R. Mark Davis (TWM), Elizabeth (Liza) Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA (Board chair), Lixing Lao, PhD, LAc (RWG), Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAc (EWG).

Short Notes on ACCAHC-related Publications

A textbook entitled Collaboration Across the Disciplines in Health Care (Jones & Bartlett), to which ACCAHC contributed a 30-page chapter entitled “Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Healthcare Perspectives” was published in March 2009. It’s a handsome volume, available through googling the title … ACCAHC has retained Sheila Quinn as a consulting editor on ACCAHC’s Clinicians and Educators Desk Reference on Licensed Complementary Healthcare Professions.  We are working toward mid-summer publication … A group of ACCAHC-organized writers helped strengthen an appendix entitled “Systems of Practice” in The ACP Evidence-Based Guide to Complementary & Alternative Medicine, edited by Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH and Katherine Gundling, MD. The book will be a key text for the nation’s internists. Among those who ACCAHC lined up to add content which is helping teach readers about our disciplines
were: for acupuncture and Oriental medicine, Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPH/HA and David Sale, JD; for naturopathic medicine, Michael Traub, ND and John Weeks; for Ayurvedic medicine, Felicia Tomasko, RN; and for chiropractic, Reed Phillips, DC, PhD and David O’Bryon.

Board Changes: Welcome Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko, MPH; Joseph Brimhall, DC Joins Executive Committee

ACCAHC thanks Holly Scholles, MA, CPM, LDM for her service on the ACCAHC board as we transitioned from project to independent organization. Scholles, who had been nominated through the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC), chose to step down for personal reasons. Her impact was especially felt in the Bylaws and policy areas. MEAC nominated Jo Anne Myers Ciecko, MPH, who was unanimously elected by the Board. Myers-Ciecko is a former director of one of the leading educational institutions for direct-entry midwifery, the Seattle Midwifery School. She currently serves as executive director of MEAC. Also on the Board front, Joseph Brimhall, DC, president of Western States Chiropractic College and immediate past-president of the Council on Chiropractic Education, has been selected to serve on the ACCAHC executive committee. ACCAHC founding chair Reed Phillips, DC, PhD has stepped back to a Board-only role.

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