Integrative Healthcare Leadership Program at Duke University: A First-Hand Experience Report
September 27, 2016
Adam Perlman, MD, MPH is a clinician, researcher and educator who runs Duke Integrative Medicine and is the central organizer of the Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare at Duke University, where he and his team chose to include me as faculty. I’ve just returned from a mid-September presentation at one of the program’s onsite gatherings where I stuck around for a second day to participate and learn as a student. Terrific experience! Here is a brief report. When I first heard of the plans for the program, I doubted whether the program would attract a sufficient cohort. I was wrong. The program, which is now accepting nominations for the February 2017 kick-off of its 3rd class, typically receives over 100 applicants each year for its 30 slots. Those selected are a diverse lot. I quickly met a medical oncologist, a nursing dean, a licensed acupuncturist, a program administrator, a primary care doctor, a physical therapist, an obstetrician - and the list goes on. The common denominator was a shared passion to gain new skills to engage projects as change agents. My guess is that the program’s magnetism comes more from the reputations of the leaders than the sponsor, Duke, or the course description. Anyone following the efforts to implant the integrative model in mainstream payment and delivery will recognize this team:
- Perlman founded one of the early delivery organization-based integrative centers at St. Barnabas in New Jersey. He’s published widely-cited integrative research and has been drawn by Duke into a system-wide initiative to enhance well-being. Perlman and Kligler, below, have each served as chair of the influential Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health.
- Lori Knutson, RN, BSN, HNB-BC is the professional who built and managed the most significant inpatient-outpatient integrative initiative in the country, at Allina Health. She also brings into the room her current system-wide role at Meridian Healthcare.
- Benjamin Kligler, MD, MPH is another pioneering integrative clinic developer and then vice chair of one of the first integrative medicine departments in a major delivery organization. A widely published researcher and educator, Kligler’s mentoring is also infused by learning in his new role as clinical leader for the nationwide integrative care initiative in the Veteran’s Health Administration.
- Integrative health veteran Bonnie Horrigan, the publisher in 1996 of one the first peer-reviewed journals in the field, is the former executive director of the Bravewell Collaborative.