Resources including key content, discussion topics and action items in integrative healthcare policy.

Integrative Practitioner and the Integrative Healthcare Symposium (IHS) are each interested in assisting clinicians andstake-holders access information and action related to bettering federal healthcare policy and academic practices. Our focus is on the inclusion of integrative practices, wellness and whole systems approaches. This page is dedicated to linking you to emerging ideas, identifying potential connectivity and fostering action. Please contact me with your ideas.

– John Weeks, IHS/IP policy and education content leader

Integrative Practitioner Articles on Policy

Other Articles

Policy at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium, February 25-27, 2010

Join with policy-oriented colleagues at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium, February 25-27, 2010.  Two policy panels and countless informal conversation will be devoted to policy action. Panel participants include staff to US Senator Harkin and hands-on Beltway players like Wayne Jonas, MD and David O’Bryon, JD. Leaders of 8 national associations will participate in a second panel, with a focus on coalitions. (See the details and participants and program notes below.) Come, be heard, and get involved!


This past year, a few organizations have stood out for their action in Washington, DC related to integrative practice and wellness in the federal healthcare policy debate.


This multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder 501c4 lobbying organization played a significant role in placing language relative to licensed complementary and integrative practitioners in some early versions of legislation. They have also worked significantly to build support for anti-discrimination language. IHPC sends alerts and fosters action on key issues. Organizations institutions representing acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine and homeopathic medicine are among IHPC’s Partners for Health. IHPC’s advocacy page is here.

This coalition of 35 organizations was formed in 2006 to counter the American Medical Association’s Scope of Practice Partnership campaign through which the AMA is seeking to limit scope expansions and licensing efforts of other disciplines. Involved are the AAAOM, AANP, ACA and IHPC. (See organization list below.) The organization focuses on state efforts but sent letters to the Obama administration promoting effective use of non-MD disciplines in all reform efforts.

  • Wellness Initiative for the Nation – Samueli Institute 

The Samueli Institute, under the leadership of Wayne Jonas, MD, former director of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, has worked in the context of a coalition (including IHPC) to promote an ambitious and expansive, whole systems-oriented shift toward wellness in healthcare planning. For the Samueli Institute’s Wellness Initiative for the Nation (WIN) go to: 

Professional Organization Action

Some professional organizations involved have been particularly involved in Washington, D.C. this year, contracting with lobbyists and promoting inclusion of their practitioners and services in federal healthcare plan. Each has a related grassroots effort. Links to the most visible and active of these are below. Some are notable working on issues which will benefit more than their own discipline.

  • Midwives and Mothers in Action (The MAMA Campaign)

MAMA promotes inclusion of home-birth midwifery and the services of Certified Professional Midwives.  The coalition of midwifery organizations raised over $100,000 this year in first federal push.    

  • HR 646 and the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

The AAAOM is engaging its first significant lobbying effort, backing the Federal Acupuncture Act (HR 646), complete with a political action fund and over $70,000 in donations as of September. Goal is inclusion of services of licensed acupuncturists under Medicare and in the Federal Employees Benefit Plan. 

  • Non-Discrimination and ChiroVoice

The chiropractic profession is the one nominally complementary and alternative medicine discipline that has actively engaged federally policy efforts, year-in and year-out. One recent action that benefitted all licensed fields was garnering support of 47 members of Congress on promoting a statement of non-discrimination among provider types in federal reform. The citizen connection to their campaign is via ChiroVoice at 

  • Licensed CAM Practitioners, Wellness and Naturopathic Physicians

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) shares policy action via an Advocacy link on its homepage, which links individuals to a site for sending e-letters to their members of Congress. Recent efforts have focused on gaining inclusion of naturopathic physicians in serving the needs of the underserved and particularly in Indian health programs. A recent campaign is to promote inclusion of all licensed categories of providers are included in health reform legislation.


Institute of Medicine’s National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public

This Summit, co-sponsored by the Bravewell Collaborative and held February 25-27, 2009, included a series of presentations which we available onsite.  The IOM is planning to publish a report on the meeting on November 4, 2009. Dana Ullman, MPH published an article on the subject (see below) and a series of participants comment and Issue #61 of the Integrator includes a half-dozen perspectives from participants and attendees. 

Institute for Functional Medicine’s 21st Century Medicine

This 142 page white paper, available as a PDF file, is an exceptional resource for anyone in the integrative practice community who is interested in seeing how integrative practice intersects with the very best ideas for clinical reform of healthcare in the United States. This Integrator review notes that the white paper “provides excellent short synopses of prospective health care, personalized medicine, systems biology, evidence-based medicine, integrative medicine, the chronic care model, and to a lesser extent, the primary care medical home.” More: “The text and graphics clearly lay out points of overlap and alignment in these movements toward reform that is not merely of payment structures and delivery mechanisms.” 

Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium Policy Resources Links

A place for one-stop scanning on significant documents relative to integrated healthcare, integrative practice, complementary and alternative medicine and national policy is this Resources page of IHPC. The eight documents are reports from the Institute of Medicine, the Bravewell Collaborative, IHPC’s own influential national policy and national education dialogues, the 2001 White House Commission on CAM Policy and more. A bonus is IHPC’s Time Line of Notable Events in the Development of Integrative healthcare in the United States, covering major events from 1991 to the present. 

Integrator Background Documents

The Integrator Blogs News and Reports includes links to a variety of background resources on integrative healthcare developments since 1995 which are only available here. An example is an examination of 27 hospital-based integrative clinics, plus two extensive papers on coverage issues relative to complementary and integrative medicine. For those interested in the history of healthcare integration in this era, the site also includes a continuous series of electronic newsletters from 1999 to 2005 which were the antecedents to the Integrator, the back issues of which are available via the right column on the site.  

Recent Articles




National Educational Organizations

Each of the integrative practice fields with a federally recognized accreditation agency has an educational arm. These are listed below.

Key developments in organizing schools and educators in selected other fields follow.



Related industry associations include:


Integrative Practice, Wellness & Healthcare Reform: Have We Seen Advances in D.C.?

Thursday, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM

The furious activity over healthcare reform in Washington created an environment in which it seemed much new could happen. Campaigns for new level of inclusion were initiated by many professions and organizations involved with the complementary and alternative medicine and integrative practice community. In some early drafts, members of Congress seemed to be willing to draw a bigger circle. Wellness initiatives found some friends.  Yet many in the integrative practice community challenged the federal reform effort for starting with the wrong diagnosis, and remaining firmly in a reactive, disease-focused orientation. Was headway made for integrative practice and wellness? Has this community been operating as coalition? Was it successful? This top flight panel of leaders in policy will engage us in a wide-ranging dialogue about federal policy action during this year of healthcare reform.     


Moderator: John Weeks, Publisher-Editor, Integrator Blog News & Reports

  • Mark Hyman, MD, Founder and Medical Director of the UltraWellness Center; Board Member, Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Wayne Jonas, MD; President & CEO, Samueli Institute; Director, Wellness Initiative for the Nation
  • Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD, Founder and Director, Center for Spirituality and Healing, University of Minnesota; Policy Committee, Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine
  • Jenelle Krisnamoorthy (Invited) , Office of US Senator Tom Harkin
  • David O’Brien, JD (invited), Executive Director, Association of Chiropractic College; Policy Committee, Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium

Creating Federal Changes for Integrative Practices: An Update and Exploration from National Leaders

Friday, 5:00-6:30 PM

The “integrative practice community,” like “complementary and alternative medicine,” “integrative medicine” and “integrative health care” are all phrases that assume connectivity between a broad set of diverse entities. Yet leaders of the diverse professions and interests represented in these phrases rarely meet, hear from each other, and consider shared strategies. Some have been active with Congress for years. Others pushed their first significant campaigns in 2009. In this exceptional panel, these 9 leaders will first provide short statements about the federal action plans, successes and short-falls their organization experienced in this heated year of healthcare reform activity. One theme will be the pros and cons of acting in coalition. The panelists will explore the areas where their campaigns overlap and share their perspectives and experiences as parts of coalitions to shape federal policy as they look back over 2009 and share planned directions for 2010-2011.  


Moderator: John Weeks, Publisher-Editor, Integrator Blog News & Reports

  • Hal Blatman, MD, President, American Holistic Medical Association
  • Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, President, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
  • Carla Mariano, RN, EdD, AHN-BC, Past-President, American Holistic Nurses Association
  • Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RS Hom (NA), President, National Center for Homeopathy
  • Wayne Jonas, MD, CEO, Samueli Institute; Wellness Initiative for the Nation
  • Janet Kahn, PhD, Executive Director, Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium
  • Mary Lawlor, CPM, President, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives
  • David O’Bryon, JD (invited), Executive Director, Association of Chiropractic Colleges
  • Bill Reddy, LAc, DiplAc, Board Member, American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine