LEAPS into IM” program for MD DO students benefits from additional Weil Foundation grantMedical and osteopathic students interested in participating in the Leadership and Education Program for Students in Integrative Medicine (LEAPs into IM) will benefit from roughly $20,000 in

LEAPS into IM” program for MD/DO students benefits from additional Weil Foundation grant
Medical and osteopathic students interested in participating in the Leadership and Education Program for Students in Integrative Medicine (LEAPs into IM) will benefit from roughly $20,000 in additional grant support from the Weil Foundation, according to a recent notice from the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. The program, which grew out of an American Medical Student Association NIH-funded initiative, is presently led by Wendy Kohatsu, MD and Integrator adviser Bill Manahan, MD. Students pay $250 each for the week-long experiential, introductory program. The funds from the Weil Foundation, founded by Andrew Weil, MD, will allow the program to expand from 20 students to 30 students. Weil, contacted by the Integrator, offered this comment on the grant: 

“This seems like a logical step for the Foundation.  We like to target our grants, to get maximum bang for the buck, and training medical students in IM is a great investment in the future of medicine.”  

Applications are due by March 21, 2011 here. 

Comment: I recently attended a memorial service for an early educator-developer of the AMSA program, Pali Delevitt, at which I was reminded repeatedly, via open sharing from beneficiaries, of how utterly life-changing these short programs can be for medical students who are in search of something else in their medical training. Good for the Weil Foundation to open the doors for another 10 students to participate. It’s a pleasure to think of the nascent care-givers and leaders who will walk through this year.  

Bastyr University’ Simkin Center trains doulas and allied birth providers

A November 30, 2010 newsletter from Bastyr University focuses on the University’s Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations for “social, practical and clinical care providers for pregnant and new families.” The Center is a department of Bastyr’s School of Natural Health Arts and Sciences. Named for internationally-known educator and author Penny Simkin, the Center includes programs for birth doulas, postpartum doulas, lactation consultants and educators and childbirth educators. The Simkin Center also sponsors workshops that focus on essential maternity care issues, as well as pregnancy and infant massage educator certification courses. Check for upcoming workshops and courses

Comment: The integrative practice movement is inextricably connected to the natural childbirth and homebirth movement. My view comes to me in part through the immense experience of the home births of our two children. I may also be influenced to write this story as my spouse Jeana and I had the opportunity to take birthing classes with Penny. Great to see Bastyr housing these programs and affirming this connection between natural childbirth and our broader mission. This comes at time when doulas are organizing as a profession for 3rd party payment.  

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UCSF Osher Center moves into large new facilityMargaret Chesney, PhD, shares that the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine program at UCSF is moving to a new UCSF Osher Building. The 5 story, 48,000 square foot building will also house the UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine. Chesney views this co-habitation as a “visible sign that Integrative Medicine at UCSF is integrated into other clinical, research and teaching endeavors of the School of Medicine and Medical Center … It is wonderful step forward.” The new building has the Takahashi Healing Garden on the top of the third floor where patients can walk out into the garden. The buildout was possible through support of the Bernard Osher Foundation which also made a 1:1 match grant for up to $2.5-million to support a $25-million endowment fund goal.  

Comment: Even close observers of developments in this field often miss that, inside of conventional academic medicine, we see layers and depths of integration. Often so-called “integrative medicine programs” start as satellite, arms-length or even quarantined initiatives. Chesney rightly is excited about this important step in actual integration inside of the medical center. Kudos, of course, to the Oshers.  

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Naturopathic accrediting agency gets 5 year approval

Dan Seitz, JD, EdD, executive director of the Council for Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), reports that the National Advisory Committee for Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) “voted unanimously to recommend that the US Department of Education (USDE) renew CNME’s recognition for 5 years-the longest time allowed; also, they determined that CNME is in full compliance with their regulations. The whole hearing process took about five minutes and CNMR stood out as the only accreditin agency among 8 being reviewed for renewed recognition that had no adverse findings.” Seitz anticipates that approval of the recommendation by the assistant secretary “will go smoothly.” He noted the important contributions of CNME president Rita Bettenburg, ND, and two leaders of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, Karen Howard and David Matteson.  

Comment: The latest renewal of recognition is newsworthy given the wild ride for the CNME with the US Department of Education since the agency was first recognized by hte USDE in 1987 when there were just 2 CNME-recognized on several occasions since. The first was for trumped up and ultimately bogus charges from mail-order NDs with what Seitz calls “online or abbreviated training” that don’t meet the CNME standards. In one other instance, internal issues with CNME resulted in a hiatus in the agency’s recognition. Happily for the NDs, and for quality, doctoral-level natural health education, the engine of opposition to the CNME, the former for-profit mail order business known as the Clayton College of Natural Health, shut its doors in 2010. (See HuffPo piece here and Integrator short here.) Twenty-three years later, there are now 7 CNME-recognized programs in North America. The latest review marks a new level of security for the naturopathic profession whose credibility is very much dependent on CNME’s status with the USDE. Now to insure there is work for all those educationally-mortgaged graduates!  

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ALLEGRA Learning Solutions gains traction with AHNA for integrative health CE courses
A note from reader Cyndie Koopsen, RN, MBA, HNB-BC, co-CEO of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions shares that 2 of the firm’s 10 certificate programs are “nationally accredited for continuing nursing education and they have just been nationally endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association.” One is a new Certificate in Integrative Health, advertised as including “holistic stress management, humor, energy healing, meditation, spirituality, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, bodywork healing therapies, healing environments, music and sound healing, nutrition, and the healing effects of physical activity and movement. (67 hours; $469) The second program, which was recently endorsed by the AHNA for the 2nd time, is a Certificate in Spirituality, Health, and Healing. (25 hours; $180) Allegra has 8 other programs, including one in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (28 credit hours; $196).
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UCLArts & Healing in Time Magazine article
“How Group Drumming May Improve Low Income Student Behavior” is the title of a December 9, 2010 article in Time magazine. The article focuses on a drumming-based behavior program for at-risk youth developed by Ping Ho, MPH, director of UCLArts & Healing. The projects was engaged in collaboration with the National Association of Music Merchants and drum-maker Remo Belli. The team offered and studied a 12 week, post-lunchtime, 45 minute, counselor-led drumming experience that created an array of positive outcomes in the group of 101 “mostly Latino” children. An analysis of the program found that “across all types of problems, each drumming lesson was associated with significantly more improvement than a control lesson.” Said Ho: “We would have been happy with one [positive] outcome, so when the statistician kept reporting ‘withdrawal improved’ and then ‘depression improved’ and so on, it validated everything we believed,” Ho says. (Alignment of interest note: I serve on Ho’s board.)

Comment: Interesting to note the parallel health-creating outcomes in this program as those noted above in the piece on the National Prevention Strategy and found in this report of integrative medicine practices. Unfortunately, these kinds of progressive programs Ho is creating appear to be as little part of the thinking in the draft National Prevention Strategy as are whole person integrative clinical practices. What a great, healing tool such a program may be for our schools and at risk kids.  


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