The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) announced on October 3, 2012 that it has received “a cooperative agreement award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create a National Coordinating Center for Integrative Medicine (NccIM).” The $774,000 award will focus on the preventive medicine specialty and particularly 12 preventive medicine residencies that received smaller awards.

American College for Preventive Medicine wins $774,000 HRSA grant to create National Coordinating Center for Integrative Medicine

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) announced on October 3, 2012 that it has received “a cooperative agreement award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to create a National Coordinating Center for Integrative Medicine (NccIM).” The $774,000 award will focus on the preventive medicine specialty and particularly 12 preventive medicine residencies that received smaller awards. But ACPM will also “provide technical support for other preventive medicine residencies and other health professions training programs in integrative medicine. According to the ACPM, the “centerpiece” of ACPM’s approach to the NccIM “is to create, convene, administer and sustain a Community of Learning for integrative medicine (IM) and preventive medicine that includes partners in Preventive Medicine training, primary care, other health professions such as nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners from a wide variety of practice modalities.”

ACPM Executive Director, Michael Barry comments: “With our focus on evidence-based interventions to prevent disease and promote health, healthy lifestyles, and systems-based approaches to health care, and our longstanding relationship with and commitment to Preventive Medicine Residency training programs, I believe ACPM is uniquely qualified to lead this effort.” The award is to cover two years of operations. ACPM has “committed to the sustainability of the NccIM initiative beyond the life of the HRSA funding cycle.”

Comment: The NccIM award caused a special happiness for this writer. The Academic Consortium for Copmplementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) with which I work was asked to be a partner organization on this grant. ACCAHC wrote a support letter. I was also asked to serve on an advisory panel. The panel is expected to be chaired by Yale integrative medicine leader David Katz, MD, MPH, and also includes his colleague there, Ather Ali, ND, MPH. Other partners include, on the integrative health side, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC). Also on the team with deep background in integrative medicine and health are Len Wisneski, MD, IHPC chair, and Pamela Snider, ND, an AANP leader with strong links to both IHPC and ACCAHC. What was most pleasing in ACPM’s approach was the interprofessional and approach lodged in a deep commitment to primary prevention. Here’s hoping this Community of Learning has tremendous, positive influence in the evolution of education in integrative medicine.

 

U Minnesota receives $4-million from HRSA as the first National Coordinating Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaboration

A September 26, 2012 article in the University of Minnesota Daily reports that the University of Minnesota bested 13 other applicants in gaining a $4-million award from the Health Resources Services Administration as the first National Coordinating Center for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. The HRSA funds, granted over 4 years, will be significantly enhanced via $8.6-million pledged from a consortium of private foundations. The announcement from U Minnesota’s associate vice president and center director Barbara Brandt, PhD notes that the new center will “teach nurses, physicians, pharmacists, social workers and other health professionals to improve communication with each other and to work as a team. Said Brandt: “The endpoint is not how professionals are collaborating. The endpoint is on what are the outcomes of health. So how do we improve the health of people and communities?”

Comment
: The University is a terrific site for this award, from the perspective of the integrative health community. First, Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD, FAAN, integrative health leader at the academic health center, is a long-time colleague of Brandt. Second, Kreitzer’s center for Spirituality and Healing has a history of collaborating with academics in the licensed CAM fields, particularly through Northwestern Health Sciences University but also Bastyr University. Third, Brandt is personally familiar with the integrative health movement. She will key-note the upcoming International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Fourth, the Center will focus on connecting professionals more deeply with the real world needs of the healthcare delivery system. The Twin Cities has perhaps the highest level on integration of integrative health practitioners into mainstream service delivery of any metropolitan area of the country.

Colleagues in integrative medicine have shared their excitement with this award. Only time will tell how much “other health professionals” may include these disciplines who are part of a patient-centered interprofessional system. My guess is that it will take some persistent knocking on the doors. But as George Thibault, MD, one of the foundation leaders supporting this initiative said recently, interprofessional education needs to “widen the circle” and not “create a new elite.” (See Widening the Circle: ACCAHC Report from the 1st IOM Global Forum on Interprofessional Education and Care.)