NCCIH sets stage for the new year

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A recent message from the director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Helene Langevin, MD, shared the organizations top accomplishments of 2022 and laid out the groundwork for their 2023 initiatives.

In 2022, the NCCIH sought to broaden the scope of whole person health research, starting projects involving artificial intelligence, joint health, and addiction. In turn, the research and healthcare ecosystem gained a deeper understanding and acceptance for whole person health. For instance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services announced a plan to provide infrastructure that fosters integrated, whole person care, combining physical and behavioral services. In addition, the NIH Department of Defense (DOD)-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Pain Management Collaboratory began to embrace the Whole Health model for management of pain among service members and veterans.

As for 2023, Langevin said the NCCIH’s focus is on communication, collaboration, and partnership with other programs. The NCCIH plans to partner with the All of Us Research Program to build large, diverse cohorts that provide an array of data sources to enhance understanding of whole person health factors across patient populations. The NCCIH will also work with the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program to research the effects of exposure to different environmental factors on children and adolescents.

The NCCIH will also host the Whole Joint Health virtual workshop in July of this year. According to Langevin, the workshop will be an opportunity to examine the different components of joints including myofascial tissues, and their role in restoring and maintaining joint health. The organizations will also be addressing gaps indentified by shareholders in the NCCIH's ongoing work to develop a framework for whole person health.

To Langevin, the planned efforts of 2023 represent the NCCIH’s mission of broadening the scope of whole person health research to better understand the human body and how it functions.