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

NCCAOM Steps Up to Fill National Leadership Gap for the Acupuncture Profession

As the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine continues to struggle with issues of funding, membership and credibility, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is increasingly filling a professional organization role. NCCAOM took a lead, with multiple other organizations (including the AAAOM), in promoting the international Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, October 24, 2014. The organization has doggedly pursued formal recognition from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has helped inform about the state of the profession via its expansion of the Job Task Analysis that is bread and butter work for a certification body to develop Descriptive Demographic and Clinical Practice Profile. Most recently NCCAOM partnered with the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium to “rally Congress on House Resolution 4887” which would expand complementary and integrative care for Veterans by clicking on an NCCAOM Call-To-Action.  Much of this is noted in the

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

NCCAOM Steps Up to Fill National Leadership Gap for the Acupuncture Profession

As the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine continues to struggle with issues of funding, membership and credibility, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is increasingly filling a professional organization role. NCCAOM took a lead, with multiple other organizations (including the AAAOM), in promoting the international Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, October 24, 2014. The organization has doggedly pursued formal recognition from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It has helped inform about the state of the profession via its expansion of the Job Task Analysis that is bread and butter work for a certification body to develop Descriptive Demographic and Clinical Practice Profile. Most recently NCCAOM partnered with the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium to “rally Congress on House Resolution 4887” which would expand complementary and integrative care for Veterans by clicking on an NCCAOM Call-To-Action.  Much of this is noted in the recent NCCAOM newsletter.

Comment: The NCCAOM under the guidance for a decade of CEO Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, CAE, has readily collaborated with multiple organization while also stepping in to fill needs as necessary. The field’s Council on State Associations has also helped fill the national professional organization leadership gap.

 

Breakdown on Turn-out for the First Conference of the Would-Be Multidisciplinary Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine

To all accounts, the turnout of over 700 to the October 26-31, founding conference of the emerging Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) was a rousing success. But how did this organization, formed principally of MDs and DOs, succeed in its effort to create a more multidisciplinary gathering? Figures released by executive director Nan Sudak, MD, were as follows: MD 492, DC 62, RN 28, PhD 21 (other), ND 20, LAc 11 and 87 “other.” The latter encompasses Ayurvedic medicine practitioners, nutritionists, pharmacists, physicians’ assistants and more. In addition, over 8 countries were represented, with a significant group from the Middle East.

AIHM invested in stimulating this multidisciplinary turnout through a program of selected and subsidized “ambassadors” from different disciplines. The emerging organization also held two pre-conference business meetings exploring significant collaborations with organizations linked to multiple integrative health and medicine professions. In a related move, AIHM continued to diversify its Board of Directors with a new chiropractor and two nurses. The board already included a naturopathic doctor, a licensed acupuncturist, and two individuals with close ongoing relationships with multiple non-MD/DO groups. (Alignment of interest disclosure: I am one of those latter two individuals on the AIHM Board.)

Comment: I am an interested party, as noted, and I have found the level of commitment to inclusion of this still MD/DO dominant organization remarkable. I’d judge the diversity of this conference good for a first time event in a very busy AIHM year. Some of us are betting on this being the best chance for creating a truly horizontally integrated and inclusive organization that can power-up our efforts to contribute to the move of our medical industry toward a system focusing on health creation. More to come.

 

Bravewell-Funded Duke Program in Leadership in Integrative Health Has Triple the Target Applicants

Would there be a market for a program in leadership in integrative health and medicine that costs north of $20,000, not inclusive of travel costs, for onsite portions of the education? Many observers, including this writer, wondered whether there was a market when the Bravewell Collaborative announced that one of its legacy projects would be such a program, through the Duke integrative medicine program. Now sources close to the program say the first group of student of the program, capped at 35, had 106 applicants.

Comment: This interest level bodes well for the field itself. Congratulations to Adam Perlman, MD, MPH and the rest of his team at Duke.

 

Veterans Health Administration Joins Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine

A few years back the leaders of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine changed the organization’s bylaws to allow health systems to join. A handful of these systems have joined the 56 academic health centers members, thus allowing additional integration with the delivery system, and another source of revenue for CAHCIM in the era post core support from the Bravewell Collaborative. CAHCIM has recently registered a coup with the membership of the Veteran’s Health Administration (Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation). CAHCIM also announced three additional new members: Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center; Tecnologico de Monterrey School of Medicine, Mexico; and the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Comment: The VHA’s membership marks an ongoing trend of deeper connection between military and Veteran’s health and medicine and the integrative health and medicine movement. This is manifested most significantly in the make-up of the NIH National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine with two members and two ex-officio members related to the military. Good for CAHCIM. Good for the VHA.

 

Campaign Underway to Create ISHAR as Wikipedia-like Archive of Energy Medicine Information and Research

Six months ago the idea was cooked up to create, via collaboration, an Integrated Studies Historical Archives and Repository (ISHAR). The not-for-profit initiative is presented as a kind of “reliable comprehensive evidence-based information and research” Wikipedia for subtle energies and alternative therapies. Among these: homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, energy medicine, energy healing, herbal medicine, and “numerous other kinds of integrative and holistic medicine.” Running point on this is Melinda Connor, PhD, who also serves as the chair of the annual science symposium of ISSSEEM (International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy Medicine). Deepak Chopra is a backer. In this YouTube video Conner describes the effort. The group is seeing to raise funds to develop the archive via an IndieGoGo campaign that had hit 40% of its $50,000 goal as of November 7, 2014. In Sikh, Ishar in means “Almighty Supreme Being.”

Comment: It is fitting that this energy medicine resource seeks to begin with the non-local energy of crow-sourcing. Here’s hoping that the fund can approach a whole form before the campaign ends. (Thanks to Lucia Thornton, MSN, RN, AHN-BC for the news and Shamani Jain, PhD for additional insight.)