January 2012 Integrator Round-up on Oraganizations and Professions: Chiropractors’ battle over accreditation standards ; Massage Therapy Foundation to benefit from new online research course ; Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine; Researchers in the Public Health of CAM; 2012 APHA Conference
The December 15, 2011 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education was entitled Chiropractic Accreditor Gets Special Scrutiny from Federal Panel. The article captured the end-point of 3 years of debate inside the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the US Department of Education (DOE)-recognized accrediting body for chiropractic education, over a revised set of accreditation standards. The federal panel listened to 4 hours of debate before giving the CCE a minimum 1 year extension. CCE president David Wickes, MA, DC was perceived by some to be fanning flames he was seeking to douse when he published an 8-page Open Letter to the Profession in early December. A release from the American Chiropractic Association after the DOE hearing noted that the “dissenting opinions were expressed by several groups and individuals, who cited concerns about CCE’s leadership, performance and its recently approved revision of chiropractic education standards.” The International Chiropractic Association led the opposition to the CCE. Key issues broke over whether chiropractic should be called medicine and whether the subluxation should continue to have a central role in chiropractic education.
Comment: As soon as someone resolves the Middle East crisis we should give them a shot at healing the rift in chiropractic. The CCE is expected to remain in the hot-seat for the next 12 months. (Thanks to Integrator adviser Jan Schwartz, MA for the Chronicle link.)
Megan Klawitter, program manager for the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF), sends notice that a new online research course is now available that will benefit the MTF. The course, entitled Basics of Research Literacy (BRL), is a 6-hour workshop for massage therapists and educators about incorporating principles of research literacy into practice and education. Information on the BRL site underscores that massage therapists who wish to work with health systems need to be able to work in an “evidence-informed” way.
Comment: The MTF stimulates research in the field and produces a top-flight research symposium every third year. The language on the site is similar to that related to evidence-informed practice in the Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrative Environments.
Integrative dietician Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN sends the following update: “The Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine (DIFM) is a specialty practice group of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). With approximately 3,000 members, (the practice group is) comprised of Registered Dietitians (RDs) who integrate whole-foods, supplements, mind-body modalities, functional laboratory testing and nutritional genomics in practice. These practices form the basis of ‘integrative and functional medicine nutrition therapy’ (IFMNT).”
Swift continues: “DIFM has taken the lead by publishing the first formal Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance in the integrative and functional medicine community. In addition, three integrative RD leaders from the group published a Nutrition Care Radial to serve as an instructional roadmap for the future education of dietitians in integrative and functional medicine. Integrative RD’s are nutrition change agents and recently petitioned the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics for a Board Specialty Certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition.” The reference for Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance and the Radial is J Am Diet Assoc 2011;111:902-913.
Comment: This is yet another place where the functional medicine model is being integrated into existing professional education. On a personal note, I confess that I have special pleasure in seeing others create acronyms (IFMNT) that are even worse than some with which I have been associated.
The 8-year-old Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research (IN-CAM) has announced to members that it plans to begin requiring membership fees. Leaders write: “The sustainability of IN-CAM is very important, therefore, we need to implement initiatives and strategies to ensure IN-CAM’s sustainability over the next 10 years.” The fees ($100 CND regular, $50 CND student, with discounts for current members) are presented as a first step toward sustainability. Those in the network who wish to stay must pay by February 28, 2012. IN-CAM has been funded to this date through government and philanthropic support. One example was their creation of the Outcomes Database honored as part of the Integrator Top 10 for 2008.
A December 2011 note from Jon Adams, executive director of the Network of Researchers in the Public Health of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NORPHCAM) reports robust growth in the network to over 190members: “We are very excited to see that the Network is attracting a widespread international audience and that researchers, practitioners and policymakers are committing to membership.” The Austrialia-based, international organization focuses on real world research that is “both practice and policy relevant.” The organization’s executive team was involved in publication of over 40 peer-review articles in 2011. For the prior 3 years, external grant support “exceeded $6-million.” Adams reports “major inroads this year in gaining international external funding in Canada and the US.”
Comment: It is intriguing though not surprising that the predominantly capitalist medical model in the United States did not produce an integrative organization with such a public health focus. (Notably, neither did the US system lead to creation of an interdisciplinary network as happened in Canada.) Happily, the value of the public health-CAM linkage in the United States is finally strengthening with the appointment of the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, Integrative and Public Health of the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council noted elsewhere in this Round-up.
Claire Johnson, DC, MSEd sends notice that the Chiropractic Health Care Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA-CHC) invites abstracts for presentation at the 2012 Annual Meeting to be held in San Francisco, CA October 27 – 31, 2012. Johnson says that the topics related to APHA’s theme, “Prevention and Wellness Across the Life Span” and in all areas related to public health and chiropractic health care will receive high priority. Abstracts are limited to 250 words and the submission deadline is February 10, 2012. Abstracts must be submitted electronically through the APHA website. Michael Schneider, DC, PhD is 2012 program chair for the Chiropractic Health Care Section. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.