by John Weeks, Publisher Editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports ABIHM to morph into international, multidisciplinary certification and political advocacy organizationFormer integrative medicine leader at Scripps Mimi Guarneri, MD electrified an audience of 500 medical doctors and osteopaths at the

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

ABIHM to morph into international, multidisciplinary certification and political advocacy organization

Former integrative medicine leader at Scripps Mimi Guarneri, MD electrified an audience of 500 medical doctors and osteopaths at the final American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) MD-DO certification program in early November. She announced news of the organization’s transition as the American Board of Integrative Medicine takes the lead on MD board certification in IM going forward. With support from the Calgary-based Taylor Family Foundation, ABIHM —  perhaps under a new name – will become an academy with an international and interprofessional reach. According to a release Guarneri provided the Integrator, certification will be available in 2015 for professionals licensed as ND, DC, LAc, RN, NP, PA, DDS, RPH, psychologists, nutritionists, and dieticians. States Guarneri: “The integrative healthcare community needs a comprehensive resource to support the practice of integrative medicine.” She then adds: “We need a unified forum for political advocacy for integrative holistic medicine.” The release lays out an ambitious agenda of education opportunities and resources the new entity is anticipating providing. Details are expected in early 2014.

: This is a fascinating and exciting development. While no level of financial commitment is in the release, a brief search shows that the Taylor Family Foundation is capable of major gifts. Fueling such an inclusive organization, with international flavor and a combination of education and policy impact, and the leadership of Guarneri, opens a tremendous opportunities in integrative health and medicine. We’ll be following this closely.  My excitement with the potential policy dimensions almost stimulated me to place this under “policy” rather than “organizations.” 

Global Spa and Wellness Summit keynoted by the Dalai Lama with Kenneth Pelletier moderating

On October 6, 2013, the Dalai Lama addressed the Global Spa and Wellness Summit in Gurgaon, India. Corporate wellness and integrative health and medicine leader Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD (hc) moderated the discussion that followed the Dalai Lama’s comments as described in this page on the Dalai Lama’s site. The Dalai Lama counseled the attendees to deal with negative feelings through “emotional hygiene.” A set of photos from the visit is here. Asked how he continues to have optimism, he replied that he “believes in human intelligence and warm-heartedness, because of which human beings have a great positive potential.” Susie Ellis, the chair and CEO of the Summit later blogged that “when I spoke to Veer Singh, who has met His Holiness several times in the past and was very engaged in arranging his appearance, he said that he had never seen him so engaged and energetic and animated.” Ellis adds: “So the special moment that I think all of us sensed, was truly something special not only for visitors, but also for those from India.” Another article on the Summit is here.

AAAOM issues invitation to web-based December 1, 2013 “Town Hall” to roll out its national legislative agenda

Former president of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Will Morris, DAOM, PhD, LAc will preside over a December 1, 2013 web-based Town Hall on the profession’s new strategic legislative plan. The third draft of the legislation, including all comments, is posted here for review and additional comments. The final comment period closes November 30, 2013. Attendees can also prepare themselves through this Frequently Asked Questions document. Registration is here. A review of the five items is included in this Round-up.

Comment: Credit the AAAOM for a wonderfully inclusive strategy in this process. Let’s hope it breaks the spell of non-participation that has held the field back and kept it from taking advantage of the bright openness to acupuncture that seems to be opening everywhere. Morris, the president of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, is a good choice to preside. It was under his term as president that two feuding national professional organizations were fused into one, perhaps laying the groundwork for a massive, unified Congressional push.

International Association of Yoga Therapy, American Botanical Council and Pacific Symposium hit 25 year marks

The American Botanical Council (ABC), a leading voice for herbalism internationally, with a reach into 80 nations, celebrated its 25th anniversary on November 1, 2013. Executive director and co-founder Mark Blumenthal attributed the organization’s success to “the strong ongoing support of people who value reliable, science-based information on the many positive health effects of herbs, spices, teas, phytomedicines, and other beneficial plants and fungi.” Meantime, the Pacific Symposium of the Pacific College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine celebrated its silver anniversary October 24-27, 2013 and  the International Association of Yoga Therapists announced that it is celebrating its 25th anniversary at its June 2014 Research Symposium. 

Comment: The coincidence of timing of origin for these three organizations is fund. The decade from 1978-1988 was a remarkable period for founding organizations in integrative health and medicine. Among the alphabet soup: AHMA, AHNA, CNME, AAAOM, ACAOM, AHPA, Natural Foods EXPOs and, of course, IAYT, Pacific Symposium and ABC. Notably, the decade also birthed the Planetree organization for patient-centered care inside the nation’s hospitals and the wellness movement inside the nation’s large employers. Apparently either everyone was smoking something or it simply became obvious that a major course correction required institutional infrastructure. Or both.  

Canadian Massage Therapy Research Fund invites submissions for $40,000 in grant awards

The Massage Therapy Research Fund has announced that it is accepting grant proposals for research up to $20,000 on a $40,000 fund that will be awarded to submissions received before December 31, 2013. Proposal applications in at least one of the following areas: massage therapy effectiveness, efficacy, and safety; massage therapy access and delivery; massage therapy policy; and massage therapy knowledge translation. More information is here. Applicants must be affiliated with a Canadian institution. 

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