“Integrative Medicine for the Underserved” offers resource site and conference calls Integrative medicine doctor Richard “Rick” McKinney, MD shares the resource website Integrative Medicine for the Underserved. McKinney, who works with the UCSF Osher Center and with the family medicine

“Integrative Medicine for the Underserved” offers resource site and conference calls

Integrative medicine doctor Richard “Rick” McKinney, MD shares the resource website Integrative Medicine for the Underserved. McKinney, who works with the UCSF Osher Center and with the family medicine residency at San Francisco General Hospital, hosts monthly phone meetings on the topic. Participants are typically academic integrative medicine doctors from across the US and Canada. Minutes of past meetings are posted on the site. Also available as a public service are a “toolkit” for patients and educators and even “dot phrases to use in (electronic medical records).” 

Comment: Two organizations working on parallel paths are the Center for Integrative Medicine in Public Health (CIMPH), founded by naturopathic physicians in Oregon, and the Network of Researchers in the Public Health for Complementary  and Alternative Medicine (NORPHCAM), an international effort founded in Australia. Here’s to useful collaboration, particularly in the public health arena where $1 typically needs to serve as $5.  

Somali women helped by massage therapy and Yoga in Seattle’s public health hospital, Harborview

The article in the Seattle Times April 10, 201 is entitled For Somali Women, health program eases the pain of war, exile. The writer immediately points out that the program, led by Bria Chakofsky-Lewy, RN, focused not on pills but on massage. Seattle-area massage students provide the services. The group later added yoga, via a Jane Fonda tape. According to the article, Chakovsky-Lewy’s care group at Harborview Medical Center “tries to deliver ‘culturally competent care.'” This is “health care sensitive to the diverse cultural backgrounds of patients, many of whom are unfamiliar with Western medicine.” The program, called Daryel or “wellness” in Somali, is apparently a hit.

353,000 treatments in 2010: Lisa Rohleder, LAc on the Data and Quantum Leaps of the Community Acupuncture Network

“One of the things I really love about community acupuncturists (is we) talk openly about numbers. Because numbers are an important way to be connected to reality.” So states Lisa Rohleder, LAc, co-founder of the Community Acupuncture Network (CAN). She spoke at the group’s early April annual meeting. In a blog post of her talk, Rohleder shares some numbers relative to the organization’s 2010 survey:

  • She provided 12 treatments a week in the first community acupuncture practice in 2002
  • At least 6783 community acupuncture treatments were provided in 2010, probably closer to 10,000.
  • Where there was 1 clinic in 2002, 102 community acupuncture clinics are operating in 2010.
  • Some 353,000 community acupuncture treatments were provided through the 102 clinics in 2010.
  • Revenues from the clinics were $6-million to $7-million dollars in 2010.

Rohleder presents these data in the context of a quantum shift in acupuncture practice from seeing patients one at a time to gaining comfort in a room full of patients. She estimates that if the acupuncture profession engaged this quantum shift, the number of patients served by acupuncture will swell from 3-million a year to 20-million and then many more. She states: “If you had more than 20 million people getting acupuncture a year, we would start to see some real momentum. The more people get acupuncture, the more people get acupuncture.” 

Comment: The controversial Rohleder is continuously one of the most brilliant, outspoken, free-thinking, insightful and real-world based writers and thinkers in the integrative practice community. While her focus is on the field of AOM and community acupuncture, her words will resonate with many other forms of integrative practice. It’s a long post. Jump down through it. Toward the end you will encounter a new concept CAN is embracing called “multi-stakeholder cooperatives.” She identified the new People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) as a partner organization that will facilitate this development for the CAN field.      

AMTA partners with Penny George Institute for analysis of massage in integrated care

In a April 27, 2011 release, the  American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) announced a collaboration with the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in an analysis of more than 13,000 inpatients who received integrative therapies. AMTA President Glenath Moyle called it “the first major achievement toward our research and industry relations goals this year.” Massage is the most common integrative therapy at Abbott Northwestern Hospital where the George Institute is housed. Principal investigator Jeffery Dusek, PhD will also examine records of 2400 patients who did not use integrative care. Dusek describes the wide-ranging study this way: “We propose to document predictors of integrative therapy referrals, service delivery and therapy selection for pain management … We will also examine the impact of integrated therapies, specifically therapeutic massage, as adjuncts to traditional interventions on short changes in pain in an acute care hospital setting.” The team believes the study will be “the first comprehensive evidence on the effectiveness of therapeutic massage therapy in a ‘real-world’ inpatient setting.” 

Comment: Good for AMTA. And credit the Penny George team for having created the program allows this kind of analysis. A note: The Institute will offer its Hospital Based Integrative Health Care Conference: Transforming Health Care Practice Aug. 3 – 5 and The Hospital Setting: Integrative Health Practitioner Training for Massage Therapists June 27- July 1, and The Hospital Setting: Integrative Health Practitioner Training for Oriental Medicine Professionals Aug. 15 – 19.

Gingrich recognizes Cancer Treatment Centers of America as a leading “human-centered” care model

The Center for Health Transformation (CHT) recently brought its “hospital transformation tour” to Western Regional Medical Center where Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) hosted the group’s quarterly meeting. In comments, CHT founder and presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich described CTCA as “one of the most creative members of the Center . . .  Cancer Treatment Centers of America, who have really focused on delivering a human-centered model of care . . . to bring a better chance for survival and better quality of life.” The tour is meant to promote “hospital transformation tour” presents the nation’s most innovative, patient-centered hospital models. The day-long event was entitled “Igniting a Social Movement to Create a Personalized Health System.” The goal, according to CTCA, was “on activating and encouraging collaboration among private sector health leaders to return the voice of the consumer to the center of our nation’s health reform dialogue.” Gingrich’s speech is posted here. A speech by CTCA’s CEO Steve Bonner is here.


Read other topics from the John Weeks’ May 2011 Round-up: