Integrative doctor Melinda Ring, MD selected as one of Chicago’s 100 most influential women The director of Northwestern Integrative Medicine, Melinda Ring, MD, was named one of Chicago’s 100 most influential women by Today’s Chicago Women. Ring was recognized for

Integrative doctor Melinda Ring, MD selected as one of Chicago’s 100 most influential women

The director of Northwestern Integrative Medicine, Melinda Ring, MD, was named one of Chicago’s 100 most influential women by Today’s Chicago Women. Ring was recognized for her work as medical director at Northwestern Integrative Medicine and as director of the integrative medicine curriculum at Feinberg School of Medicine. In her roles at Northwestern, Ring oversees the clinical outpatient and inpatient programs, as well as medical student and resident education in integrative medicine. Said Ring of the honor: “It is also deeply satisfying for me to see this recognition of integrative medicine and the value it places on considering the full range of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual influences that affect a person’s health.” Ring is co-chair of the upcoming International Congress for Clinicians in Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

Comment: Nice to see one of the new leaders of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine – Ring has served on the Steering Committee and as co-chair of the Clinical Working Group – awarded.

Health freedom warrior Clinton Miller dies at 91

Beth Clay, the former NIH staffer and Washington D.C. lobbyist, sent a notice that her mentor Clinton Miller died on July 24, 2013. Miller is known as a fighter for “health freedom.” In a eulogy posted here, Clay describes how Miller and his wife moved to Washington, D.C. in the early 1990s to lobby for access to alternative therapies. She credits the then leader of the National Health Federation with leading “the passage of the Proxmire Amendment that blocked the Food and Drug Administration’s arbitrary limiting of vitamin potency and set the stage for the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.” Miller subsequently worked with the Sunshine Health Freedom Foundation.

Comment: When Clay sent the notice I immediately replied to her that I have not been pleased with Miller’s association with efforts to protect individuals whose version of health freedom includes announcing themselves as doctors in a field of medicine (naturopathy) with no more than mail-order training. His organizations have fought to stop licensing of naturopathic doctors. That being said, his work in the early 1990s was important, and, while I never personally liked the utter polarizing that characterizes much of the NHF work, there was a time some decades ago when it was among the only dissident voices in a US health care which was in need of dissent. Miller championed choice. That alone is a fine legacy.

AANP announces 2013 awards: Clark, Gazella, Anderson, Brinkman, Marinelli, Ayush Herbs

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) presented its annual awards at its conference on July 13, 2013 in Keystone, Colo. Physician of the Year was presented to Denise Clark, ND, who as president of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors led a successful campaign for regulation. Karolyn Gazella, publisher of the Natural Medicine Journal, the official journal of the AANP, was presented with this year’s Champion Award which goes to a non-ND. Gazella has 22 years of publishing in the field of natural medicine. Others honored were Rick Brinkman, ND (President’s Award); Ayush Herbs, led by Virender Sodhi, ND (Corporation of the Year); Paul Anderson, ND (the VIS Award, which acknowledges a person who represents the VIS, the healing power of nature); and Rick Marinelli, ND, MAOM, posthumously awarded the Benedict Lust Award, a lifetime career achievement award intended to acknowledge extraordinary naturopathic physicians.

Comment: The assembled members of the profession celebrated Clark’s accomplishment repeatedly during the week, despite its status as regulation rather than licensing. I was particularly pleased to see Marinelli, who was a close friend and colleague, honored. I had a chance to collaborate with him in work with an Institute of Medicine committee on pain where he proved an influential voice, even as his cancer treatment overtook his ability to participate. His contribution was perhaps the most pronounced of any single naturopathic physician in any federal policy arena to date.

Ethnobotanist Rosita Arvigo, DN lectures for the American Holistic Medical Association

I report this piece to call attention to a remarkable contributor to herbalism in the Western hemisphere. The American Holistic Medical Association recently announced that Rosita Arvigo, DN will be lecturing on 25 medicinal botanicals from the Midwest. The naprapathic doctor is best known for her center in Belize where she has worked as educator, cultivator and community organizer around medicinal plants and healing since 1981. Arvigo has also been a National Cancer Institute field assistant. The lecture for the AHMA will be held in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan on August 25, 2013.

Comment: I had a chance to visit with Arvigo in her center in Belize in 1991. It was only while there that I learned how deeply her work penetrated not just herbal education but into community organizing around use, gathering and preparation of herbs. Truly a remarkable life and legacy, still expanding!