$250,000 Dr. Rogers prize goes to whole systems researcher Marja Verhoef, PhDThe 2011 Dr. Roger’s Prize was awarded to University of Calgary’s Marja Verhoef, PhD. The $250,000 prize was awarded to the holder of Canada’s only Research Chair in Complementary
The 2011 Dr. Roger’s Prize was awarded to University of Calgary’s Marja Verhoef, PhD. The $250,000 prize was awarded to the holder of Canada’s only Research Chair in Complementary Medicine. The prize, named after integrative medicine pioneer Roger Rogers, MD, OBC, was established to “highlight contributions of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to healthcare by rewarding the pioneers who have made significant contributions to the field.” Verhoef is known internationally as a leader in promoting whole systems outcomes research methods that are appropriate to integrative care practices. She was instrumental in creating the exceptional www.outcomesdatabase.org through the Canadian research network, IN-CAM, which she co-founded and helps lead. A statement from the Dr. Rogers’ Prize sponsors notes that Verhoef’s “degrees in sociology, psychology and epidemiology enabled her to collaborate across many disciplines.” A native of Holland, Verhoef grew up with, as she put it, “care from a physician-homeopath and realized much later this was uncommon and unacceptable in many parts of the world.”
Comment: Verhoef was an exceptionally good choice. I had the chance to participate in the Dr. Rogers’ Prize afternoon colloquium and attend the award dinner. I was pulling for her, though had anticipated that if she won, Verhoef would share it with her long-time collaborator, Heather Boon, PhD. The younger Boon’s time may yet come and thus the two of them may end up with $500,000 to advance their good work.
On another note, the US integrative medicine community has something to learn from Verhoef, the Dr. Rohers’ Prize leadership and the Canadians in general. The September 23, 2011 event fully integrated MDs and NDs and other practitioners. We rarely see this here. The medium of that gathering was the message we need to be imparting. We need to create this medium more often this side of the border, particularly given the challenging integrative MD/licensed CAM relationships in the US.
A black-tie function in New York City on November 10, 2011 organized by the Bravewell Collaborative of philanthropists in integrative medicine will honor author and integrative cardiologist Mimi Guarneri, MD. Guarneri is the founder and director of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. The Bravewell page on the event notes that Guarneri also serves as chair of the Bravewell Clinical Network and was elected as president of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. The Bravewell event will commence with an afternoon program called “Lectures and Luncheon – Integrative Medicine in Action,” moderated by Jonathan LaPook, MD, the CBS medical news correspondent. Speakers will include leaders in military medicine and large health system integration. Mehmet Oz, MD will be the Master of Ceremonies for the awards dinner. Bravewell describes the value of the award this way: “Any successful transformation [of medicine] requires champions who are willing to undertake the risks and sacrifices necessary to catalyze the change. This is especially true in health care. To encourage and sustain leadership in the field of integrative medicine, The Bravewell Collaborative created the Bravewell Leadership Award.” The site does not specifically note a financial award with the prize. In the past, the awardee has received $100,000.
Comment: Nice to see women taking both the Canadian and US awards given the dominance of women among integrative health practitioners. This is the first for the Dr. Rogers Prize, which has honored 4 men in the past. Bravewell had previously noted Guarneri and two other women among finalists since their award began in 2003. This is the first to a woman among the three awards given to a single individual. Rachel Remen, MD, a prior finalist, was the one woman among 5 men honored as in Bravewell’s Pioneers of Integrative Medicine event in 2007.
The 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Samueli Institute featured speeches by two of the most powerful US Senators, Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). Each came to the event in order to honor a leader of the movement toward holistic and healing-oriented care. Harkin, the undisputed leader of integrative care in the US Congress, toasted his mentor and Iowa seatmate, former Congressman Berkley Bedell. Bedell provided the inspiration in the early 1990s that became what is now the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Bedell continues promoting alternative cures through his Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine. Mikulski lauded Gladys Taylor McGarey, MD’s decades in creating and moving the field of holistic medicine. McGarey, who like Bedell is over 90-years-old, chose in 2010 to involve herself more deeply in federal health reform. She began a series of visits to Washington, DC to influence the course of events.