Grantmakers in Health to establish ” Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Funders’ Network”On February 1, 2011 members iof Grantmakers in Health sent an email their members to announce the launch of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Funders’ Network. The

Grantmakers in Health to establish “ Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Funders’ Network”

On February 1, 2011 members iof Grantmakers in Health sent an email their members to announce the launch of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Funders’ Network. The email stated that:

“The purpose of this network is to: increase information exchange, support knowledge, allow grantmakers to build constructive relationships with other funders, and facilitate peer learning by allowing participants to hear what other funders have to say about opportunities, challenges, and potential partners in the field of complementary and alternative medicine …
“This face-to-face meeting will allow us to think strategically about what philanthropy’s role can and should be in shaping a future healthcare delivery system that integrates complementary and alternative medicine into conventional care settings.”

All recipients were “invited to attend the inaugural meeting of the Network at GIH’s upcoming Annual Meeting on Health Philanthropy.” The meeting will be Friday, March 4, 2011.  The CAM Funders Network is supported by funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Fannie E. Rippel Foundation, and the Samueli Foundation.

Comment:  This is a smart development and a great constituency in which to create visibility for “CAM” and integrative medicine, which still typically need a kick-start from philanthropy to get moving inside the mainstream delivery system. (See article on U Arizona Fellows in this Round-up.) This initiative is distinct from the Bravewell Collaborative of philanthropists. The Bravewell has, from shortly after its founding a decade ago as the Philanthropic Collaborative for Integrative Medicine, aggregated donors to back a few specific, strategic initiatives. Credit the 3 foundations that have taken the lead in organizing the meeting.

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National College of Natural Medicine receives $1.35-million gift from owners of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods  

The National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon announced on January 31, 2011 a $1.35 million gift from Bob and Charlee Moore, founders of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. The Moore family gift, the largest in NCNM’s 55 years, will fund NCNM’s Ending Childhood Obesity (ECO) Project and also help establish a research and teaching kitchen on NCNM’s campus. According to the release, the ECO Project is a free, community-based nutrition program that “aims to reduce chronic disease and morbidity associated with childhood obesity by promoting healthy food choices and empowering families through education and training.” Moore explained the gift: “We want to do more to inspire people to make changes in their diets-and we believe that our growing partnership with NCNM will accomplish that.” NCNM student clinicians presently delivery care in a wide network of community health clinical programs.

NCNM President, David J. Schleich, PhD noted that nutrition “is the cornerstone to good health, and the foundation of the medical education that we provide.” Naturopathic physicians have the highest level of clinical nutrition training of any physician-level practitioners. The ECO Project was developed by NCNM’s Courtney Jackson, ND, an adjunct faculty member who is the lead physician overseeing the new ECO team. For NCNM, the gift marks the launch of the school’s $25-million capital campaign. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods is described in the release as “a distinctive stone grinding miller of whole grains, founded in 1978 with the mission of moving people back to the basics with healthy whole grains, high-fiber and complex carbohydrates.”

Comment: One of the challenges for the licensed “CAM” fields is that few foundations, family funds, individual philanthropists or major corporations choose to bestow major gifts on their educational, clinical and research or community programs like the ECO Project funded here. Few government grants for education are open and in fact, very few NIH NCCAM dollars, relatively speaking, go to these “CAM” schools. All donors and granters favor conventional institutions and academic health centers. I can only think of 2 prior donations of over $1-million to naturopathic medical institutions.  The maturation of the fields, scores of good ideas, and access to integrative services are each held back. The generosity of Bob and Charlee Moore must be appreciated in this context. As one who sometimes looks for such dollars to bridge this healthcare education disparity, here’s hope that this is the beginning of a trend! Congratulations NCNM, and to the many individuals and families who stand to benefit from the ECO project.

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