The subtitle of the conference intrigues: “How can patient-centered care, evidence-based medicine and integrative health care be reconciled?” On November 8-9, 2012, the Samueli Institute will be convening a conference in Alexandria, Virginia entitled Patients at the Crossroads. The organizers promise a “solutions-based dialogue with thought leaders from across the health care community and the patients they serve-with a focus on patient-centered education, research, practices and health systems

Samueli Institute’s “Patients at the Crossroads” to explore intersection of integrative, evidence-based and patient-centered health

The subtitle of the conference intrigues: “How can patient-centered care, evidence-based medicine and integrative health care be reconciled?” On November 8-9, 2012, the Samueli Institute will be convening a conference in Alexandria, Virginia entitled Patients at the Crossroads. The organizers promise a “solutions-based dialogue with thought leaders from across the health care community and the patients they serve-with a focus on patient-centered education, research, practices and health systems.” Carolyn Clancy, MD, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality keynotes the two-day event. Author and futurist Ian Morrison, PhD moderates. The structure is meant to be interactive and focus on patient experience.

Comment: Morrison may prove a terrific choice for this role, particularly in drawing the health system audience Samueli is targeting. Given the question Samueli Institute is posing, Merlin may have been a better moderator. The research community has not thus far been much interested in asking the kinds of health services and outcomes questions that will help us provide the qualitative and quantitative evidence to guide a less magical resolution to the issues that will be on the table at this conference. I picture the patient advocate for integrative practices and practitioners facing off with an evidence curmudgeon. These typically fail to see the evidence holes in conventional practice. One hand over the other, each ascends the length of a bat, to determine who gets to be first. Patient-centered is not synonymous with evidence-centered. There is a winner here.

 

Pathways to Wellness begins drive to support move to new location for serving the under-served in Boston

One of the nation’s most significant providers of free and low-cost acupuncture and other so-called “CAM” services to the underserved, Boston’s Pathways to Wellness, has begun a $380,000 fund drive to support a forced move. According to a message to Pathways supporters from director Demi Stathoplos, MSW, MBA, the Southend Community Health Center, Pathways’ landlord for 6 years, needs the space while also wishing to maintain the collaborative relationship. Pathways, which delivers over 10,000 free and low cost acupuncture, massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments annually, has found space nearby. Details of the plan for the move are here.

 

Detailed plans for November 2-4 IN-CAM Symposium in Toronto include massage summit, exploration of optimal benefits

The Canadian research organization IN-CAM has published a detailed schedule for its annual research symposium, to be held in Toronto November 2-4, 2012. Various pre-conference events are scheduled for November 2. These include an invitational National Massage Research Priority-Setting Summit which was organized by Trish Dryden, MEd, RMT and Bryn Sumpton, BSN and will be facilitated by Barbara Reece, RN, BS. Reece,a former vice president for Optimal Healing Environments with the Samueli Institute is also offering a keynote entitled: “Cultivating Leaders: The Next Priority for Integrative Health Care?” Keynoter Herbert Emery, PhD will ask: “Should complementary and integrative health services be included in Canada’s “Medicare Basket” of publicly funded services?” IN-CAM co-founders Marja Verhoef, PhD and Heather Boon, BscPhm, PhD also offer keynotes, as does Claudia Witt, MD, MBA.

Comment: The border with Canada appears all the more porous as I read this agenda and the keynotes. Substitute “essential benefits” for “Medicare package.” Leadership is indeed a major issue for integrative health organizations south of the border. Rumors are afloat of a leadership program in development associated with the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. Reece herself has a key role in developing and facilitating an “ambassadors” program for integrative health for the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care. In addition, Dr. Roger’s Prize winner Verhoef is asking a question that crossed over into the Patients at the Crossroads theme of the Samueli Institute conference. Her title: “Evidence-based CAM: Can We Get it and Do We Need It?” Hate to miss this conference.