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 & Reports


Haramati to “educate the educators” as leader of new Georgetown Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education

Aviad Haramati, PhD, the winner of the first leadership award from the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, has shifted his roles at his base institution, Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC). According to this article, Haramati proposed, and was accepted to lead, a new interdisciplinary Center for Innovation and Leadership in Education (CENTILE). Haramati expressed the need this way: “When it comes to the educational mission at GUMC, most of the faculty who teach at the medical center were recruited to do something else.” CENTILE will lead a charge to “create a culture of educational scholarship at the medical center.” The release on the launch of CENTILE is here. Haramati, who says his first love is teaching, was selected in 2004 by faculty and alumni for induction into the Magis Society of Master Teachers at Georgetown. Haramati has also received other national teaching awards, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.”

Comment: Haramati is know to many as the lead organizer of the CAHCIM research congresses (see related article above) and for hosting a series of interprofessional meetings at Georgetown, culminating in the International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine in 2012. The good news for integrative medicine and health is that Haramati is planning to keep his hand in the field that he has been instrumental in maturing.


Herbalist Cascade Anderson (Geller) honored in her death

To a query about the news of the death of Cascade Anderson Geller colleague Mark Blumenthal, the founder of the American Botanical Council, wrote: “Yes, our dear herbal sister Cascade passed Saturday (HerbDay). She was loving, gracious, wise, totally committed to her family and the plants, and leaves a gaping hole in the fabric of her close and extended botanical medicine community.” Naturopathic physician and educator Jared Zeff, ND shared in a personal note: “Cascade was a great teacher and a favorite with the students at National College of Natural Medicine … She was a woman of high integrity as well as gentle competence. As I write this, I am watching my dogwood blossoms fall like a pink snow, their season ended.  Cascade was a rare gift to the learning of many young naturopaths.  I miss her.” Cause of death was apparently apparently from metastasized colon cancer that had gone to her liver and lungs. A wonderful piece from Lynda LeMole on Anderson Geller was sent by the American Botanical Council here. Another long post on Cascade’s life is here. She was 59.

Comment: I did not know Anderson personally though our paths crossed, in an odd moment of transition for the herbal and naturopathic communities. When I first worked at what was then John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine, in the early/mid-1980s, Cascade was as loved and revered by students as Zeff recalls at NCNM. However, Bastyr was in the early throes of its historic move toward regional accreditation, a first such recognition in the modern era for any health professional school teaching the therapeutic use, to doctoral level clinicians, of herbs, botanical medicine and phytotherapy. The context was deeply polarized. The accreditors demanded terminal degrees over wisdom, urged botanical medicine over herbalism. Cascade was let go because her knowledge came from sources not respected inside the ivory tower. Good education to help students become healers became collateral damage to the accreditation campaign, with which I was quite involved. A shameful choice, one way one looks at it. Happily, in more recent years, the now more established naturopathic programs have begun to access such wisdom from the plants again. Adds Cathy Rogers, ND, academic dean at Bastyr in the 1980s: “What a beautiful and wise woman Cascade was. Via con Dios.”  


David Mercier’s A Beautiful Medicine selected as a Grand Prize Winner in the 2013 Nautilus Book Awards

A beautiful book by acupuncturists and experience health system leader in integrative health, David Mercier, A Beautiful Medicine, has been selected as one of three Grand Prize Winners in the 2013 Nautilus Book Awards. Mercer’s landed his life-work of a book in good company. Grand Prize Winners in previous years include Pulitzer Prize finalist Barbara Kingsolver for Small Wonder, Deepak Chopra, M.D., for The Book of Secrets, and New York Times best-selling author T. A. Robbins for two books in his The Great Tree of Avalon series. Only three books are selected by the judges for the Grand Prize, a designation for “best-in-show.”

: This is a terrific book. I’d covered Mercier’s work at Shore Health in building integrative programs here and here. Mercier offered me a chance to review pre-publication. Instead of getting off a blurb to him, a got into a wonderful exchange with my brother-in-law, Stephen Campbell, over various themes. We were fighting over who would have access to the text, when. Take a look at Mercier’s site, then check out the book. Anyone who came through the 1960s and 1970s into whatever they have come to make of life will find it fascinating. Much wisdom in it.


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