A monthly round-up of the latest news, events and topics in integrative healthcare policy from John Weeks.




Nutrition Business Journal estimates 1999-2010 doubling of integrative practitioner service revenues plus supplement sales to $50-billion

Most years the Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), the supplement industry’s pricey monthly ($1,195/year), focuses an issue on the business of integrative medicine and the practitioner marketplace. The moist recent iteration, the November-December 2010 issue of the 48 page resource, opens with a chart that estimates that integrative medicine services and revenues are 2% of the $2.5 trillion in national healthcare expenditures. NBJ estimates a doubling in integrative practitioner service and supplement revenues from roughly $25 billion to nearly $50-billion from 1999-2010. A chart on page 3 estimates these revenues by practitioner type; the following pages offer brief synopses on 11 different categories. A sampling is below.



NBJ’s Estimated Integrative Practitioner Service Revenuesand Supplement Sales in 2009 


 Practitioner Types 

   IM Service  


    Supp. Mkt 


 $18, 010



Traditional Chinese Medicine








Massage Therapy








(Integrative) MDs













* Chart is only part of that published and does not include all categories
so figures do not add up to 100%.

Source: Nutrition Business Journal, Volume 15, No. 11/12; Nov-Dec 2010; page 3.


Comment: I have had the pleasure a few times in the past decade to be interviewed for this issue. I subsequently always look forward to comped copy that comes in the mail. The examination of integrative practices as a market for the supplement industry always yields interesting information. I also have come to know that something will make me wonder how did they come up with that?  For instance, how does one split “TCM” from “acupuncture” and then count each as 35,000 or so practitioners? (The national organizations representing licensed acupuncturists will tell your there are roughly 25,000 licensed practitioners with another 8,000 in the pipeline, and there represent the lion’s share of “TCM” practitioners.) The 31,000 figure for the naturopathic doctors, a field with less than 5,000 licensed practitioners, must be a result of including those who use that title but likely purchased mail order degrees and only offer services in states without licenses – where they could still be selling a good deal of product. Still, the desire to see this kind of information about the “practitioner market” quantified in simple columns makes this issue always an interesting read, and illuminating, even if buyer beware is the operative note. Single issues are available. 303-998-9263. Among the others interviewed are Penny George, co-founder of the Bravewell Collaborative, NIH NCCAM director Josephine Briggs, MD, Mimi Guarneri, MD with the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. 


back to top 

Netherlands study concludes that patients of integrative MDs have lower costs

A study from the Netherlands entitled Patients Whose GP Knows Complementary Medicine Have Lower Costs and Live Longer was reported in mid-2010 by researchers Peter Kooreman and Erik Baars. The abstract follows:

“A small fraction of general practitioners (GPs) in the Netherlands has completed additional training in complementary medicine after obtaining their conventional medical degree. Using a data set from a health insurer, this paper documents that patients whose GP has additional training in anthroposophic medicine, homeopathy, or acupuncture have substantially lower health care costs and lower mortality rates. The lower costs result from fewer hospital stays and fewer prescription drugs. Since the differences remain once we control for neighborhood specific fixed effects at a highly detailed level, the lower costs and longer lives are unlikely to be related to differences in socio-economic status. Possible explanations are selection (e.g. people with a low taste for medical interventions might be more likely to choose CAM) and better practices (e.g. less overtreatment, more focus on preventive and curative health promotion) by GPs with knowledge of complementary medicine.”

The data reported projects various ranges of savings by population and practitioner type. For instance, patients 75 and older seeing a doctor with anthroposophical training spend over 1000 Euros less per year on health care. Over all, costs are roughly 7% less for patients of general practitioners with CAM practices, compared with those practicing conventionally, or 170 Euros per person per year. The overall conclusion: “The results provide strong evidence of substantially lower costs for general practitioners who have additional training in complementary medicine.”

Comment: This is an interesting example of a “disciplines research” project, a kind of evaluation noted below in the discussion of the 2011-2015 NCCAM Strategic Plan. We need to see more of this in the States. 


back to top 




NCCAM’s 3rd Strategic Plan announced, shows signs of embracing clinical and “real world” focus of original mandate

Comment: On February 4, 2011, the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine released its 3rd Strategic Plan. This 2011-2015 plan,\ is the first under the leadership of NCCAM director Josephine Briggs, MD and her deputy director Jack Killen, MD. Killen had the lead in marshaling the plan, developed through inputs from a multitude of sometimes oppositional stakeholder perspectives, into being. Among these competing influences are the natural products industry, the conventional academic health centers that received most of the agency’s funding from 1999-2010, and the licensed “CAM” and integrative practice disciplines that appear, under Congress’s 1998 mandate, to have been a core interest. Which brings up another significant set of competing forces with which NCCAM must contend: on the one hand Congress, which gave NCCAM a real world, outcomes and integration-focused mandate; and on the other, the NIH itself, which tends to demean such messy real world questions (one would rather that they’d relish the challenges) in lieu of the of basic research and clinical trial approaches into which they’ve been trained, Congress be-dammed.

The good news in this plan is that Briggs, herself clinically inexperienced in integrative care, appears to have listened a good deal to stakeholders outside of NIH. The new strategic plan can be read as the beginning of a course correction. Strategic Objective #3 reads: “Increase understanding of ‘real world’ patterns and outcomes of CAM use and its integration into health care and health promotion.” Here we see not only a prioritization of “outcomes” and “integration” (Congress’ chief interest). We also see, for the first time, acknowledgment that patients use CAM modalities and practitioners in promoting their health rather than only to combat disease or symptoms. Similarly, CAM/integrative disciplines claim health promoting outcomes. The interest in health outcomes was also urged by Congress in NCCAM’s enabling act. Here is Congress’ first directive:

 “The Director of the Center shall, as appropriate, study the integration of alternative treatment, diagnostic and prevention systems, modalities, and disciplines with the practice of conventional medicine as a complement to such medicine and into health care delivery systems in the United States.” (Italics added.)

 One remarkable change, between the draft plan’s release in August 2010 and the final document is that for the first time in NCCAM’s history we see a routine inclusion of “disciplines” as a unit of inquiry. This reflects Congressional language. The idea of examining the value of disciplines appeared only once in the draft but appears 36 times in the final. For this reason, integrative clinicians and their professions would be served to once again consider this agency as potentially interested in the whole person approaches they represent, and which they urged. Briggs and team are to be commended for the direction set here. No doubt the NIH remains a fairly inhospitable ground for these directions to take seed and flourish. According to the plan, however, “CAM practitioners are the key holders of knowledge related to the potential application of CAM interventions and disciplines.” The message to clinicians and their institutions and organizations: There is an opening here. Show up. Don’t leave research to the researchers. 

back to top 

CAHCIM’s 2012 research conference now the “International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health” 

In  2006 and 2009, the now 46-member Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), sponsored the most significant international research meeting in this field. The brand: North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (a.k.a. NARCCIM). In part because that meeting has indeed been international, the Consortium chose to rename the May 15-18, 2012 event in Porltand, Oregon as the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health. (IRCIMH)

Conference chair Adi Haramati, PhD, integrative medicine leader at Georgetown, explained that the name change was part of “an effort to reach out globally to individuals and organizations working in the complementary and integrative medicine and health care field.” The conference’ tagline is: Strengthening Research in Integrative Healthcare Around the World. Haramati adds that the name change also aligns with the conferences sponsored by the International Society of Complementary Medicine Research that rotate between Europe and Asia when not in North America. (The next one is in Chengdu, China, May 6-9, 2011.)  The IRCIMH program committee, chaired by Rick Hecht, MD from the Osher Center at UCSF, will issue the call for proposals for sessions and research abstracts in May 2011.

Comment: The name-game has always been a side-sport in the integrative practice field as “alternative medicine” has migrated in various forms into conventional practice. The big changes here, besides moving to an international focus, are the deletions “complementary” and the addition of “health.” The latter is aligned with Strategic Objective #3 of the new NCCAM Strategic Plan, which appreciates the health-promoting uses of “CAM” for the first time. (See note this Round-up.) The dropping of “complementary” appears to be aligned with a long-held perspective of the Consortium’s founding backer, the Bravewell Collaborative, that integrative medicine is not CAM. 


back to top 


Palmer-Samueli-RAND receive $7.4-million for study of chiropractic treatment for military readiness

A powerful consortium of the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), the RAND Corporation and the Samueli Institute were recently awarded a $7.4 million grant for a 4-year research project “to assess chiropractic treatment for military readiness in active duty personnel.” The funds came through the the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. The grant is the largest single award for a chiropractic research project in the history of chiropractic. Ian Coulter, PhD, the Samueli Institute Chair in Policy for Integrative Medicine at RAND Corporation, is the research project’s principal investigator. Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, Palmer’s vice chancellor for research and health policy, is a co-PI. Goertz will oversee the design and implementation of the three clinical trials funded by this award, for which the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research will receive approximately $5.1 million. Samueli Institute medical research head Joan Walter, JD, is also a co-principal investigator.

Via 3 clinical trials, the study will assess chiropractic’s effectiveness in: relieving low back pain and improving function in active duty service members; evaluating the effects of chiropractic treatment on reflexes and reaction times for Special Operations forces; determining the effect of chiropractic treatment on strength, balance and injury prevention for members of the Armed Forces with combat specialties; and, assessing the impact of a chiropractic intervention on smoking cessation in military service members.

Comment: Coulter-Goertz-Walter are truly a sterling, deeply interconnected, A-team of researchers for a project of this magnitude. Recent reports on the awful 70-80 pound loads US troops are routinely carrying only begin to suggest the value in investing in this project.  


back to top 




Sebelius: “Chiropractors proven to be effective and cost-effective … a vital part of our healthcare system”

Comment: The audience was not the AMA but the ACA, as in American Chiropractic Association. The comments from US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were recorded for this YouTube video.  Sibelius reinforced a point made by conference’s keynoter, Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that chiropractors are a critical part of moving the nation away from the present “sick-care system.” Said Harkin: “Patients want options, alternatives and noninvasive care.” He adds: “We need to keep moving forward, away from the current sick care system to a health care system. Chiropractic physicians must be a part of the health care team.” This level of affirmation must be confounding to members of the profession who, in the next breath, may see their profession lumped with the not-yet-acceptable and to some untouchable “CAM.” Perhaps chiropractic medicine will never cross over into the promised land until the promised land is actually no longer merely a sick-care system.

back to top 



New York Times reports strange allies working to keep naturopathic doctors from licensing in Colorado

A February 21, 2011 article entitled Colorado Faces a Fight over Naturopathy reports the rock and hard place that surround expansion of licensing of naturopathic doctors. On the one hand, the Colorado Medical Association opposes licensing based on their view that diagnosis and treatment is beyond the ken of the naturopathic doctors.  On the other hand, a Colorado Coalition for Natural Health, led by individuals who have picked up their “Doctor of Naturopathy” diplomas through what were once called “mail-order schools,” oppose the NDs since the passage of a law would stop such poorly-trained people from hanging up their shingles and practicing as naturopathic doctors. One must appreciate the irony of the Colorado Medical Association defending the practice rights of mail order practitioners.  The Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors is leading the licensing effort.

back to top 

Hospitals & Health Networks explores integrative health care in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs)

Sita Ananth, MHA is co-author of ACOs and Integrative Healthcare, published online in early February for Hospitals and Health Networks, the American Hospital Association magazine. The cut-line of the column: “Integrative health care can help accountable care organizations (ACOs) reduce costs and improve health.” The authors reference a U.S. study of integrative health care that found that “clinical and cost utilization over a seven-year period showed a 60.2 percent reduction in hospital admissions, 59 percent reduction in hospital days, 62 percent decrease in outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 85 percent reduction in pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine alone.” [Though not directly cited, these data must be from this report from Alternative Medicine Integration Group, an Integrator sponsor.”]

Comment: The article may be as useful for those unfamiliar with ACOs as for its intended audience, those unfamiliar with integrative health care. I shared the article with Rick Branson, DC, a leader among chiropractic doctors in exploring the role of that profession in medical homes and ACOs. He states: “This is a good article to share with busy hospital admin folks as it is short and gets to the point.” Thanks to Dan Redwood, DC, for sending the link. 


back to top 


ESPN’s absolutely scientific poll comes down in favor of pro sports teams “embracing yoga”

Those who receive multiple, daily pushes from Huffington Post will have had the opportunity on February 25, 2011 to waste some time by clicking into a piece called “5 Ridiculous ESPN Poll Maps.” These show ESPN viewer responses from different states on a variety of questions. One was: “Should more sports teams embrace yoga?” The overall response from this group of sports fiends and coach-potatoes:  by a 60-40 vote, yes.  ESPN watchers from Alaska, Delaware and Iowa were outliers in a majority from these states voting thumbs down on yoga.

Comment: First, the findings suggest that integrative health backer US Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) still has some work cut out for him in his home state. Second, this note ranks as a 3rd significant endorsement of a distinct integrative practice in this Round-up. First, there is policy leader and HHS Secretary Sebelius, above, backing chiropractic’s vital role in the health system. Next, below, the Seattle-based delivery system Swedish Medical Center supports integrating the care of naturopathic doctors to better chronic disease treatment. Now, offering a patient-centered perspective (if “patient centered” extends to recommendations for the treatment that one’s televised sports companions should receive), the ESPN viewer backs yoga for athletes. Does this set of 3 studies mean we’ve hit a tipping point for integrative practices? 

back to top 


Academic Medicine


Focus on integrative mental health for conventional academic consortium

The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM) has chosen to highlight developments in integrative mental health. According to a recent notice to members, the CAHCIM executive committee approved establishment of a sub-group of the CAHCIM Clinical Working Group that focuses on integrative mental health care. The action was taken “in response to the unsatisfactory state of mental health care in the U.S. and other countries, and increasing public and research interest in integrative mental health care.” The new sub-group group operates with 4 goals:

  • systematically evaluating research evidence pertaining to non-conventional and integrative assessment and treatment approaches in mental health care
  • recommending research priorities to the Consortium leadership
  • developing resources for educating and training mental health professionals in integrative mental health care, and
  • establishing best practice clinical guidelines in integrative mental health care for common psychiatric disorders.

Important aspects of the group’s work in 2011 are expected to be developing an agenda on research priorities in integrative mental health and facilitating collaborative research efforts between different Consortium member institutions. Leaders include Ron Glick, MD and Kelsey Hippen.


back to top 

Bastyr University Launches Center for Health Policy and Leadership 

On February 17, 2011, Bastyr University kicked off a new Center for Health Policy and Research. The center will be led by Gregory Goode, chief of staff to Bastyr president Daniel Church, PhD. The vision for the new center has 3 elements:

  • Encourage active participation in public affairs through thoughtful citizenship and public service.
  • Provide a forum for nonpartisan, critical discussion of all topics relating to health.
  • Serve to build community and integrate the disciplines of natural medicine through education, discussion and connection.

The ceremony coincided with an onsite meeting of the board of directors of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) for which the multi-disciplinary Bastyr, alone among the institutions with a naturopathic medical program, is a Partner in Health. William Reddy, LAc, helped kick off the Bastyr Center with a talk on the role of health reform on the acupuncture and Oriental medicine field.

Comment:  This is a welcome step for an institution that has historically engage significant integrative care policy action. The university’s founding president, Joseph Pizzorno, ND served on the White House Commission on CAM Policy and its former policy leader Pamela Snider, ND played key roles in both the language in the NCCAM mandate and the development of the National Policy Dialogue to Advance Integrated Health Care. More recently, Bastyr has supported the “integrate the disciplines” portion of its vision point #3 as a Sustaining Donor of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). Curious to see what Goode and Bastyr will do with this initiative.


back to top 

Minnesota Academic Dean(s) Declare Reasons for Supporting Center for Spirituality and Healing 

A blogger’s antagonism toward complementary and alternative medicine and in particular, homeopathy, led him to lambaste the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing, directed by Mary Jo Kreitzer, RN, PhD FAAN. Kreitzer shared this response from Frank Cerra, MD former vice president and medical school dean, University of Minnesota Academic Health Center and the current holder of those positions, Aaron Friedman, MD

 “In a February 4, 2011 blog post-turned-editorial, University of Minnesota associate professor Bill Gleason openly questions why a University with an evidence-based medical school would dedicate resources to a Center for Spirituality & Healing (CSH).

“We thought that was an excellent question, so are pleased to have an opportunity to respond.

“The Center for Spirituality & Healing was established in 1995 during a period of time when medicine and the health professions in general were coming to terms with the idea that what we don’t know about improving human health is far greater than what we do know within the confines of our traditional, Western-based practice. The original concept was to develop a program that provided faculty, students, and the community with an entry point to what’s now called integrative medicine, or integrative health care.

 “Since its inception in 1995, the Center for Spirituality & Healing has helped push health care forward.  Students have been and continue to be one of the major drivers for the growth of CSH by crossing disciplines to expand their field of study and adding integrative medicine insight to their scope of study. The Center’s growing number of faculty educates health professionals on new models of care and positions consumers at the center of their health care. Most importantly, the Center helps patients more effectively navigate the health care system, a benefit to any health provider.

“The field of health care is undergoing profound change.  Today, patients more frequently combine a complementary treatment approach to traditional therapies. They’re also taking a more active role in the health care decisions that impact them and to do so, are seeking care from providers who are able to safely and effectively integrate these two types of therapies. Such a shift is an asset – not a threat – as we look to treat the entire patient.

“The operating principle of the CSH is to have an evidence-based approach to complementary approaches to health, and also to promote comparative, evidence-based research between complementary and traditional therapies-knowledge that providers need to best serve the patients coming to them for integrative care. So in charging the University with wasting its resources in supporting the CSH, Gleason couldn’t be further from the truth.

“In actuality, only a small percentage of the Center’s funding comes from University resources. The rest, it earns through tuition revenue, philanthropic gifts, and extensive research funding.  Integrative medicine is an internationally recognized area of study, including by the National Institutes of Health, and our CSH has been very successful in competing for NIH funding.

“For all of these reasons, the CSH is a great investment with incredible returns. In fact, for every University dollar invested in the CSH, it leverages such funding to generate ten more dollars. If all University Centers, Institutes, and faculty functioned as efficiently or as productively as the CSH, our University would be on very solid footing indeed.

“The University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing was founded on the assumption that Western medicine may not have all the answers.  In 2011, what we don’t know about improving human health still exceeds that which we do know.  Perhaps this will always be the case.

“But either way, it would be the height of arrogance to think that one line of thinking could possibly supply every brush stroke needed to complete the overall scene.

“In its short 15 year tenure, the CSH has established a model curriculum, hired faculty, and developed a graduate minor as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate program. And for 15 years, the Center for Spirituality & Healing has enriched health and well-being by providing high-quality interdisciplinary education, conducting rigorous research, and delivering innovative programs that advance integrative health and healing. 

“We look forward to discovering what the next 15 years holds for not just our Center, but the field of integrative medicine as a whole.

“It’s critical to remember that our University is a state-wide resource and its mission is to serve the whole patient, the whole state, and the nation.” 

Meantime, the University of Minnesota program’s celebration of its 15th year was featured here on the University’s website. 

Comment: This is an extraordinary, direct statement on how an academic health center views its integrative medicine initiative and I thought worth posting here in full. Credit Kreitzer’s pioneering and perseverance.

back to top 


Education for Integration


Nurse Trainings at VA Medical Centers Launched

The Samueli Institute  reported in its February 2011 newsletter that is has “launched the first in its series of four training programs in holistic nursing philosophy, theory and practice along with instruction in select complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices for almost 100 nurses from Veterans Administration Medical Centers in Long Beach and Los Angeles, Calif.” According to the newsletter, the trainings are one component of a larger study that it is testing in both military and civilian hospital settings. The project began last fall with an introduction to the concept of Optimal Healing Environments for each hospital’s administrative team meant to “demonstrat(e) its potential impact on patient safety, patient satisfaction and improved outcomes.” In the fall of 2011, the Institute will meet again with “both administrators and nurses …  to ascertain increased knowledge of the business case for creating healing environments, and increased comfort with knowledge and use of complementary medicine and other factors.”

back to top 

Karan’s Urban Zen Integrative Therapists training accepting applicants
Urban Zen Integrative Therapists (UZITs), a project led by philanthropist Donna Karan, is currently accepting new applicants for the 2011 program. Urban Zen describes the year long UZIT curriculum, which was developed in the context of an inpatient partnership with Beth Israel’s Department of Integrative Medicine, this way:   

“Students from the healthcare and yoga communities are trained in five modalities of treatment; yoga therapy (breath awareness, in-bed movement, guided meditation), Reiki, essential oil therapy, nutrition and contemplative care.  Each modality is introduced separately and then students are taught how to integrate the modalities to address whatever symptoms the patient or client is experiencing (pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, constipation (PANIC)). Once integration has been instructed, students begin their practical experience during their clinical rotation hours working with patients, loved ones and caregivers.  One hundred hours of such practice is required for certification.”

A six minute video from Urban Zen, including comments from patients, therapists and Beth Israel’s integrative medicine leaders Woodson Merrell, MD and Ben Kligler, MD, MPH, is here.

back to top 

Seattle Swedish Hospital promotes MD-ND ties

Next to the University of Washington, Swedish Hospital is the dominant player in the Seattle healthcare market. On April 8, 2011, Swedish will host a one-day educational event entitled The Art and Science of Combining Naturopathic and Allopathic Medicine in the Clinical Setting. According to materials from the hospital, the sessions are “designed to open the lines of communication between allopathic and naturopathic health-care providers engaged in the prevention and management of chronic diseases.” The brochure further states that “improved communication between the two disciplines will enhance competency for health-care providers using traditional and/or alternative treatment methods in the prevention and treatment of heart disease, stroke, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, and metabolic syndrome.”

Comment: This embrace of NDs as partners suggest that there may actually be a post-prejudice era of affirmative integration on the horizon.

back to top 




Board Certified Holistic Nurses: How many are there?

I recently contacted the American Holistic Nurses Certification Corporation for information on the number of holistic nurses. Here is the response: “Since 1996 over 1500 people have applied for certification in holistic nursing. Since then many have retired, some have died, and some of them have not successfully passed the examination. At this time we have 899 nurses who are actively certified in holistic nursing. 303 are certified at the basic level as HN-BC; 314 have a baccalaureate degree or non nursing graduate degree and are certified as HNB-BC; and 282 have a MSN or PhD and are certified at the advanced level as AHN-BC. In addition there are currently 180 applicants in process: 40 at the HN-BC level; 82 at the HNB-BC level; and 58 at the AHN-BC exam level.”  

Comment: I was surprised that the numbers are this low, especially given the extent to which nurses are employed in key roles in integrative centers and hospital-based integrative care. Despite recognition by the American Nurses Association, the certification doesn’t seem to have yet drawn significant interest. Thanks to Barbie Dossey, RN, PhD, AHN-BC and Margaret Erickson PhD, MSN, CNS, APRN, AHN-BC for the information.

back to top 


Bravewell to host leadership award event November 10, 2011
The Bravewell Collaborative of philanthropists in integrative medicine will hold its 5th Biennial awards event on November 10, 2011 in New York City. The black-tie gathering will be hosted by Mehmet Oz, MD. The award was established to honor “champions who are willing to undertake the risks and sacrifices necessary to catalyze the change” Bravewell is seeking to spread via an integrative medicine model. The recipient will be a physician or an individual with a PhD-level degree. In past years, the award has been $100,000.  Jonathan La Pook, MD, will headline an afternoon educational the same day.

back to top 


Push-back: AAFP, other MD specialties tell IOM they got it wrong in freeing nurses

Some chiropractic and naturopathic physicians and practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental medicine are among the professionals who have believed they can help meet the nation’s primary care shortage. So the discussion following the release of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-backed and Institution of Medicine-produced report on the Future of Nursing may be of particular interest to these disciplines. The IOM recommended a vast expansion of independent practice by nurses – linked to new educational standards. Of note recently: the American Academy of Family Physicians joined other groups to weigh in against the IOM’s recommendation. Under a headline “AAFP tells IOM: ‘Nurses and physicians are not interchangeable,” the AAFP “called on the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to clarify recommendations promulgated in an IOM report on nursing that call for removing scope-of-practice barriers for advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs, in all states.” The basic message: MDs/Dos and not nurses need to be the heads of practitioner teams. Joining the AAFP in the letter were the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Osteopathic Association, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Comment: An online post from “Clarissa” in response to the AAFP notice is to the point: “The emphasis [in the letter] on differences in training is not very compelling because it says little about whether NP’s can provide comprehensive, quality care for less cost.”

back to top 


AAAOM continues to take steps to right it’s course

A column in Acupuncture Today by Doug Newton, operations manager of the American Association for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine details steps that the organization is highlighting in its long walk back to greater functionality. One focus is the May 13-14, 2011 conference, in collaboration with the IM program at the University of Maryland, entitled Whole Medicine: Teaming Up for Our Patients. The meeting will be kicked off with a session entitled The Next Frontier: Acupuncture and the Principles of Oriental Medicine in an Integrated Hospital Setting. Meantime, according to Newton, most of the organization’s activity is focused on the present frontiers of: responding to negative media (here is a response to Edzard Ernst, whose anti-acupuncture article earned him the Integrator’s Bottom-feeder of the Year Award for 2010); promoting the use of licensed acupuncturists; and building the organization’s membership. One key program described in the letter involves a membership campaign in which donations from vendors amount to more than the price of membership.

Comment:  Perhaps one day we’ll have a robust voice for this field in US policy. It must be exceedingly tough for the AAAOM to still be boot-strapping.

back to top 


Homeopathic accreditation organization renamed Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA) 

Accreditation Commission for Homeopathic Education in North America (ACHENA) is the new name for the ACCAHC Emerging Profession member formerly known as the Council for Homeopathic Education (CHE). Heidi Schor, CHT, continues to serve as the point person and director of ACHENA  Official Address: ACHENA, 101. S. Whiting Street, Suite 315, Alexandria, VA 22304. The mailing address remains the same: ACHENA 9725 NE 130th place, Kirkland WA 98034; 425-822-2667; achena.org and info@achena.org 

back to top 

American Herbal Products Association names Frank Lampe to communications position

Frank Lampe, a long-time leader in integrative health communications, is the new director of communications for the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). A release from AHPA notes that Lampe, co-founder of Natural Business Communications and most recently a vice president with Innovision Communication, is one of the pioneers in the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) marketplace.  The release noted that “he and his team introduced and quantified the LOHAS concept and produced the groundbreaking LOHAS Journal business magazine and the LOHAS Market Trends Conference. Lampe will oversee AHPA’s communications, media, and marketing initiatives as well as contribute to member support and development. In a note to the Integrator, Lampe, muses that “this will be a good fit on many levels, and strategically, AHPA needs to come play in the (integrative medicine) space sooner than later.”

back to top 

National Acupuncture Detoxification Association: Growth in Transition

The January 2011 issue of Guidepoints, the newsletter fo the National Acupuncture detoxification Association, reports that the field and the organization are growing. Nada boasts 1858 members, up 400 from the previous year. The growth is attributed to increased training of specialists. Nearly 460 people completed the training in 2010 as compared to just 210 in 2009. NADA trainers, viewed as the “bricks and mortar” of the movement, total 115 “in the U.S., on Native American reservations, and in Canada.”  The organization, now under the direction of office manager and acu detox specialist Sara Bursac, LCSW celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010.

back to top 


Send your news to johnweeks@theintegratorblog.com
for inclusion in a future Round-up. 

The Integrator is made possible through the generosity of:
NCMICAlternative Medicine Integration GroupInner Harmony GroupInstitute for Health and Productivity ManagementIntegrativePractitioner.com, Integrative Healthcare Symposium and readers who choose to voluntarily contribute. Thank you all.