CAM IM practices and practitioners in the future of primary care Input solicited until May 14  One early “forecast area” of a project underway through the Institute for Alternative Futures on “the preferred and likely futures” for Primary Care 2025

CAM/IM practices and practitioners in the future of primary care: Input solicited until May 14 

One early “forecast area” of a project underway through the Institute for Alternative Futures on “the preferred and likely futures” for Primary Care 2025 is called “integrative encounters in primary care.”  The area is described as: 

15.  Integrative encounters in primary care – Integrative encounters address all dimensions of health by bringing the knowledge of conventional, unconventional, complementary, alternative, traditional and integrative medicine disciplines to bear across the many different cultural traditions of persons cared for.” 

The “forecast area” is among 18 preliminary fields of interest including such areas as changes in technology, science, personalized medicine, community medicine, and knowledge of determinants of health. The study is led by IAF founder and board chair Clement Bezold, PhD, an Integrator adviser. It is funded by the Kresge Foundation. On April 19, 2011, as part of Bezold’s wide-ranging research, he participated in a discussion with members of the Board of Directors of the Academic Consortium of Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). Bezold noted that the CAM/IM components take two forms. One is a forecast on the role of individual “CAM” therapies as integrative components of conventional primary care treatment. The other is the role of licensed “CAM” professionals as primary care providers. For more information about the forecasts and how to participate, click here. For comments from some integrative practitioners, click here.  

Comment: In 1978, Bezold’s organization held a briefing inside a U.S. House of Representatives office building for members of Congress. He forecast that something called “alternative medicine” would have a growing role in US health care. The spot-on nature of that forecast makes the outcomes of this initiative especially fascinating. Alignment of interest note: ACCAHC has a major project on primary care which Michael Goldstein, PhD, UCLA interim vice provost and dean of the graduate division, and I are co-leading.


Brief report: Integrative practice in the founding meeting of the National Prevention Advisory Group
Sometimes Integrator writer Taylor Walsh provided an informal report on the first meeting of the Advisory Group to the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council. The Council was established via the Obama overhaul and is charged with embracing integrative healthcare approaches. (See Section 4001 here.) The advisory group includes two individuals directly connected to the integrative practice world: Sharon Van Horn, MD, MPH and Charlotte Kerr, RSM, LAc, MPH. The chair is Jeffrey Levi, ED of the Trust for America’s Health: Preventing Epidemics, Protecting People. The writing team for the nation strategy the Council is to develop is led by the Centers for Disease Control. According to Walsh, the strategy, due June 30, 2011, will be the work product of the Surgeon General’s office. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, attended both days. Two working groups were created:

  • Work on cementing relationships and “changing the culture” among the 17 federal departments.
  • Determine how best to bring integrative practice into the plan, including bringing outsiders in to help define its proper role.

Says Walsh: “(The second) seems to be loaded with possibility. It gives this advisory group the role of injecting ‘integrative’ into the prevention plan, and thus into the consciousness of the public health community which will be the agent for carrying out whatever programs make it through the cutback wringer.” Walsh noted that Kerr and van Horn made comments relative to the Council’s charge to embrace “integrative healthcare.” Janet Kahn, PhD, representing the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium also did, as dis Walsh himself, in his own testimony.     

Comment: This does appear to be a remarkable opportunity for input. i know that, besides Walsh and IHPC, the Samueli Institute also had representatives there. Hopefully there is follow up so that the “possibility” Walsh identifies is being seized.

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