June 2014 John Weeks Integrator Round-Up: Research & Resources

Josiah Macy Jr Foundation funds ACCAHC Project to Enhance Research Literacy for Licensed Integrative Health and Medicine Fields

The one U.S. foundation that is totally dedicated to advancing health professional education, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, has made a historic grant $30,000 grant to the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). According to this ACCAHC release, the grant supports the second phase of ACCAHC's Project to Enhance Research Literacy (PERL). ACCAHC is convening communities of learners to disseminate experience from seven institutional recipients of NIH NCCAM education grants that focused on enhancing research literacy and competency in "evidence-informed practice." In the release, an ACCAHC official, this writer, notes that evidence is often "the coin of the realm" in fostering optimal care, adding: "Comfort and competency with the evidence exchange is critical for developing relationships and leveraging appropriate inclusion."

: Via my ACCAHC hat, I am involved with PERL project manager Deborah Hill, MS in this Macy-backed initiative. As far as we can tell, this may be the first grant from Macy or any other major national foundation to support any initiative in integrative health and medicine not led my medical doctors. It's exciting to have this opportunity to increase the bilingual participation of the integrative health professions in the integration dialogue and action.

Terrific plenary webcasts from the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health (IRCIMH) available for free

The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine has made webcasts of the exceptional plenary speakers at the recent International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health (IRCIMH) available to all, for free. They are available here. Among the tops for this attendee is the awesome "Social and Scientific Influences on Gene Expression" of Steven Cole, PhD. Another is the compelling presentation by the man who history will recall as the principal, individual stimulant for the nation's move toward integrative pain care, former Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker, PhD, MD. His was entitled "The Imperative for Integrative Medicine in the Military: A Personal and System Perspective."

: Disclosure on the Schoomaker: through my work with ACCAHC we sponsored the talk, in the name of former integrative pain leader, now deceased, Rick Marinelli, ND, LAc. Schoomaker's humanity is remarkable and compelling. He honored Marinelli's work in extensive introductory comments and by referring back to Marinelli throughout. While I name just two of these (I missed a couple for business and personal reasons), definitely sample the others. IRCIMH's plenaries are typically known for being stimulating.

Khalsa and Weber: NCCAM elevates chiropractic and naturopathic researchers to key leadership positions

In a historic move for the licensed complementary and alternative healthcare fields, chiropractic doctor Partap Khalsa, DC, PhD and naturopathic doctor Wendy Weber, ND, PhD, MPH, have been elevated to new leadership roles at the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Khalsa has become the new Deputy Director for the Division of Extramural Research. Weber is now the Branch Chief for Clinical Research in the Complementary and Integrative Health Branch. NCCAM's organizational chart reflecting these appointments is here.

: Conversations with those close to NCCAM have made it clear that these appointments were fully merit-based. The unanimous view is that Khalsa and Weber have each been doing terrific work for many years.

Capturing the growth of a field: family photo of the naturopathic researcher community at IRCIMH

One of the side-events of the International Research Conference in Integrative Medicine and Health was the convening one evening of the naturopathic doctor researchers present who are part of the endeavor. Heather Zwickey, PhD, the director of the Helfgott Research Institute at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, and a mentor to numerous members of the new generation of researchers, organized a photo session of the growing cadre of researchers. Most have participated in, or been supported through, grants through the NIH NCCAM. These are captured in the photo.

: The photo is missing a few stalwarts, including Lynne Shinto, ND, MPH, Leanna Standish, PhD, ND, LA, Erica Oberg, ND, LAc, Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH (now retired from ND research work) and the important set of Canadians associated with Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. The moment captures both the growth of a field since NCCAM was established, and the yet precarious position. Other than grants to Shinto, at Oregon Health Sciences University, and Standish, at Bastyr University, and part two of an education grant to Zwickey, the colleges have seen little NCCAM-granted research in recent years. Those who are flourishing tend to be located in mainstream institutions like Shinto and the Society for Integrative Oncology leadership duo of Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD and Suzanna Zick, ND, MPH (at Columbia and Michigan, respectively). The growth is remarkable. Now the present trending in emerging opportunities needs deeper exploration.