December 2012 John Weeks Integrator Round-up covering the topics of:  Policy; Employers & Costs, Integrative Clinics & Services; Education;
Professions and Organizations and People

ACPM’s National Coordinating Center for Integrative Medicine seeks director

The American College of Prevention Medicine (ACPM) is seeking a director for the National Coordinating Center for Integrative Medicine (NccIM). NccIM, funded through a competitive $770,000 award from the Health Resources Services Administration, will assist with development of integrative medicine curricula in 12 residency programs associated with the preventive medicine specialty. ACPM has called its program IMPriME, for Integrative Medicine in Preventive Medicine Education. The job description from the ACPM states: “The purpose of the Center, which is funded under a cooperative agreement, is to create a sustainable, Preventive Medicine-specific infrastructure to provide technical support for Preventive Medicine Residency and other health professions training programs interested in incorporating evidence-based integrative medicine content into their programs.” Information is here. Send applications to Paul Bonta at


Bastyr University and National Ayurvedic Medical Association collaborate to offer Masters in Ayurvedic Medicine

The first regionally-accredited, masters-level program in Ayurvedic medicine will be offered by Bastyr University beginning in late 2013. In a December 7, 2012 release from the university, Timothy Callahan, PhD, Bastyr’s vice president charged with developing the program, states that “we believe this form of natural medicine is growing in popularity as people seek preventive solutions to their medical issues, and the need for providers with accredited training will increase in the coming years.” Bastyr, regionally accredited since 1989 through the Northwest Accreditation Commission and its predecessors, partnered with the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) in developing the degree program. Students will have access to guaranteed student loans. The two-year program includes an option for students to ‘pursue an externship in India where they will observe and assist Ayurvedic practitioners in local clinics and hospitals.”

Comment: This level of recognition of an educational program in Ayurveda begs questions about practice rights, licensing and scope. Will the program draw mainly from other licensed providers who can then put the learning to use inside their separate practice rights? NAMA’s recognized educational programs are typically to a 500 hour standard. The standards and grandfathering issues for this field, as reported in this Round-up for Yoga therapy and integrative medicine, are now more clearly on a horizon. Student loan debt and tuition cost in itself has a way of stimulating guild formation. Witness the reasons for pushing the integrative medicine board noted here


Twenty-one integrative medicine fellowships recognized by the American Board of Physician Specialties

As part of the move to create a specialty certification through the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM), the agency has publicized its first list of approved fellowships that are recognized as preparing one for the ABOIM recognition. Twenty one programs are listed. These include well-known fellowships via the University of Arizona and Harvard and lesser known offerings at places like Santa Rosa Family Medicine and Swedish-Cherry Hill in Seattle. Foci range from integrative medicine in family medicine to fellowships focused on integrative medicine research, academics, cardiology and geriatrics. The site does not list the standards that the fellowships must share. Most are academically based. Some are sponsored through delivery organizations.

Comment: This is quite a list of fellowships, perhaps double what I would have guessed. The number speaks volumes for the work of the academic integrative medicine leaders and their penetration of this field into US medical education. 


CAHCIM to sponsor International Clinical Congress for Complementary and Integrative Medicine

Following the success of international meetings related to research and education in complementary and integrative medicine and health, the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM) has announced that it will sponsored its inaugural International Conference for Clinicians in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ICC-CIM) October 29-31. The conference, co-chaired by Melinda Ring, MD and Henri Roca, MD, ACU, will be held in Chicago in association with the CAHCIM annual meeting. The host is Northwestern Integrative Medicine, Ring’s base. The team has developed an integrated program committee with local representatives from National University of Health Sciences and Pacific College of Oriental Medicine plus a nominee from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.

A note from the CAHCIM organizers to new program committee members states that ICC-CIM is “designed to explore the clinical frontiers of a wellness-based healthcare system supported by individuals and teams practicing holistic, integrative medicine incorporating both complementary and conventional medical strategies.” Its objectives are listed as: “create an environment where science-informed best practices of holistic and integrative medicine utilizing both CAM and conventional modalities can be shared and discussed; explore sustainable clinical and financial models for an integrative patient centered wellness/medical home utilizing the above approach; and, provide opportunities for clinicians of all types to experience and learn new approaches to the optimization of patients’ health and the reversal and treatment of chronic disease.”


AAMC opens portal with links to interprofessional education and practice tools, resource and solutions

Among the most significant opportunities for integrative health in the changing US medical landscape is the parallel movement for interprofessional education and practice. The Association of American Medical Colleges has announced that it has opened its new Interprofessional Education (IPE) resource site via its robust MedEdPortal. Included are foundational resources and a less restrictive but more dynamic iCollaborative where professionals can exchange non-peer-reviewed information. The collaborative is open to professionals of all types, globally. Carol Aschenbrener, MD, the AAMC’s vice president, is the principal investigator for the grant-funded project.

Comment: The IPE portal’s advisory panel is multidisciplinary, with representatives from public health, dietetics, psychology. No sign of anyone directly related to the complementary, alternative and integrative health and medicine fields. The door appears to be open to involvement ofd any who show up to work respectfully and collaboratively. It is noteworthy that the president of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, a leading funder of the portal, has called for “widening the circle” in patient team inclusion.


Series to feature hospital-based massage programs in five leading health systems

Beth Rosenthal, PhD, MBA, MPH writes that massage educator, author and researcher Tracy Walton, LMT, MS is offering a webinar series on hospital-based massage therapy (HBMT) programs. In each, Walton will offer a depth interview of a representative from a different hospital program. Included are MD Anderson Cancer Center, California-Pacific Medical Center, Beaumont Health System, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Boston Medical Center. The development of the five HBMT programs will be explored. The interactive series will be offered between January 15-February 19, 2013. After the series, recorded sessions will be available on demand, indefinitely, as an ongoing resource. The webinars are produced by the Benjamin Institute.