OrganizationsBravewell Collaborative joins military leadership in symposium on Army Comprehensive Pain Management Campaign PlanOn June 23, 2011, leaders of the Bravewell Collaborative and senior military leaders met, according to Bravewell release, “to discuss improving pain management for warriors and

 Bravewell Collaborative joins military leadership in symposium on Army Comprehensive Pain Management Campaign Plan 

On June 23, 2011, leaders of the Bravewell Collaborative and senior military leaders met, according to Bravewell release, “to discuss improving pain management for warriors and veterans through the use of integrative medicine.” This meeting, the Comprehensive Pain Management Campaign Plan Symposium, was part of the work of the Army Pain Management Task Force (PMTF), begun in 2009. The PMTF called for building best practices for the continuum of acute and chronic care based on a “holistic, multidisciplinary, integrative approach to care.” The symposium was presented by Bravewell as “an important step in implementing the PMTF recommendations.” Bravewell’s release states that this is part of the Army’s effort to provide ‘a standardized DoD and VHA vision and approach to pain management to optimize the care for warriors and their families.'”

Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, MD, PhD said that the meeting “marks the beginning of a cultural shift in how health care is practiced in the military.” Among the scientific reports considered were outcomes of the 9 clinics involved in the Bravewell Clinical Network. Christy Mack, president of Bravewell, states in the release that “the centers in the Bravewell Clinical Network have been developing successful models of integrative care for the past nine years and we are pleased to be able to share these with the military and the VHA.”

Comment: The military is proving to be quite a workshop for integrative approaches. Interesting that Bravewell is showing up in this military zone after its apparently abortive (though intriguing) Healthy Nation Partnership in late 2009-2010. The organization of philanthropists in integrative medicine has done some exceptional mapping work. It would be useful if Bravewell chose to map all of the military programs involving complementary and integrative-related approaches and studies underway. These range from naturopathic physician Terry Davis, ND offering a mindfulness program in Tucson, to yoga therapist Richard Miller, PhD’s work with mindfulness, to the chiropractic and acupuncture programs in VA hospitals, to the many significant projects led by the Samueli Institute. There may be real value in both the map and in creating an unofficial network of integrative researchers and care-givers who are working with military populations.