A monthly round-up of the latest news, events and topics in integrative healthcare from John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports.

by John Weeks, Publisher/Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Report


Institute of Medicine web-accessible  workshop includes focus on health and well-being in “transdisciplinary professionalism”

A May 14-15, 2013 workshop of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) includes a focus on the role of “health and well-being” in a new era of team-focused care. The IOM group is calling the new mode of practice “transdisciplinary professionalism.” The workshop is part of the IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. The term is defined as “an approach to creating and carrying out a shared social contract that ensures multiple health disciplines, working in concert, are worthy of the trust of patients and the public.” The segment on “health and well-being” pairs Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD, director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota and Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, chair of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC).  The agenda is available via this link.  The high-quality webinar registration is available via registration here. ACCAHC is among 40 sponsors of the Global Forum. The innovation in health professional education of focusing on health and well-being outcomes is the organization’s priority, according to this ACCAHC newsletter on the workshop.

Comment: One of the ugly joke lines in interprofessional education and practice is that we are hardly served by having exquisitely performing teams that are doing precisely the wrong things. Perfect teamwork on unnecessary angioplasty, or bypass, for instance, is not exactly a big win. The teams need to be focused on optimal oiutcomes. Similarly, exceptional “transdisciplinary professionalism” will fall short of the optimal social contract if the practitioners are focused merely on disease management. Here’s to holding the star of “health and well-being” out as a guidepost for that “social contract.”  Alignment of interest note: I work with ACCAHC.


Wisconsin’s integrative medicine leader David Rakel, MD collaborates to produce free ibook called “Project Health”

“What would a health system look like that had health as its primary goal?” So read the description of this 50-page free ibook called Project Health from University of Wisconsin integrative medicine lead David Rakel, MD and his collaborator, Katherine Sanders, PhD. Thw book summarizes an interdisciplinary discussion of how to create health for an individual, a medical clinic and the community it serves. The team notes that the challenging economic and business strategies “are discussed to insure sustainability.”

Comment: The publication recalls to mind a dialogue Rakel and I and others organized for the 2009 North American Research Congress on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Our topic was to explore the alignments of integrative health and the emerging patient-centered medical (or health) homes. The dialogue once opened to the group, however, kept moving both more deeply into the role of the individual and their families, and out into community and environmental factors. Rakel subsequently led publication of the piece as Medical Homes: Defining Cost-Effective Health Care Teams (David Rakel, Stephen Bolles, Lori Knutson, Patricia M. Herman, Douglas Hiza, John Weeks (2009) , 248-250. In Alternative and Complementary Therapies 15 (5). Notably, the theme is not far from that broached at the IOM workshop noted immediately above.


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