May 2014 John Weeks Integrator Round-Up: Academic Health

IOM workshop features presentations on community based integrative health education led by Southern California University of Health Sciences Robb Russell, DCThe two day workshop on May 1 2, 2014 at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on Innovation in

IOM workshop features presentations on community-based integrative health education led by Southern California University of Health Sciences Robb Russell, DC

The two day workshop on May 1-2, 2014 at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education was entitled Scaling-up Best Practices in Community-Based Health Professional Education. Among the presenters in a poster session on May 1, 2014 and in a May 2, 2014 webinar from the workshop was Robb Russell, DC, the director of the Centers of Excellence at Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS). Russell presented on two community-based models of integrative care delivery. One was at Venice Family Clinic, directed by Myles Spar, MD, a 2013 Bravewell Collaborative award winner, and the second a Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) project with Brampton Community Hospital. The Venice clinic's pain-focused services include a collaboration that involves students and faculty from UCLA, SCUHS, and two acupuncture and Oriental medicine schools: Emperor's College and Yosan College. The Toronto-based CCNM project is brings naturopathic medical students into a hospital environment. Spar, and CCNM's Nick De Groot, ND were part of a team with Russell that developed the poster and presentation as part of their participation organized through the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC). ACCAHC is a member of the IOM Global Forum. The poster and presentation are available at this link. A separate, longer presentation on the CCNM-Brampton collaboration is here.

Comment: The odd irony is that while the Affordable Care Act is pushing care and health professional education out into communities - thus the focus of this workshop - many institutions in the licensed integrative health space, like SCUHS and CCNM, are already in the community yet better meet new populations by forming such partnerships, even in hospitals. It was a pleasure, as a member of Russell's team, to see this integrative health and medicine content featured at the IOM. The two articles immediately below are additional examples of community integration of integrative health and medicine educational programs.

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine opens clinic in Adelante Health System

Tempe, Arizona-based Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) reports a new relationship with Adelante Healthcare Mesa in its Spring 2014 magazine, SCNM Now. The Adelante system was developed in 1979 by community members to serve underserved populations. It now operates in seven communities, including Mesa. Notes fourth-year naturopathic medical student Tracey Cook: "We've seeing people who have never health of naturopathic medicine. It's exciting to educate people and show them what we are capable of." The most common condition seen by student clinicians at the Adelante facility is diabetes. This is the most recently established of the multiple SCNM Community Medicine initiatives.

NUHS chiropractor Daniel Straus, DC chairs Florida medical district board of directors

Volume 50, No. 1 of the newsletter for alumni of the National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) and this release share that Daniel Strauss, DC, dean of the College of Professional Studies of the university's Florida campus has been elected to chair the board of directors of the Pinellas Park Medical District (PPMD). The medical district is comprised of health care providers, hospital administrators, educators, and health care support services in the Pinellas Park area. The sponsors of the PPMD include Northside Hospital, St. Petersburg College, and the Pinellas Park Chamber of Commerce. The note mentions this appointment as "a great example of National's commitment to integrative medicine." NUHS has programs in chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine and massage therapy.

Comment: Always good to see this level of community participation of integrative health and medicine practitioners, especially as awareness heightens of the critical importance of integration in community and public health of clinicians of all types. NUHS's commitment to integration has also been evidence in its Gold Level sponsorship of the Center for Optimal Integration: Creating Health.

George Washington University launches online integrative medicine program

In a partnership with the Metabolic Medicine Institute, George Washington University is launching an online integrative medicine program according to this April 24, 2014 release. The release suggests that graduates will have the "requisite skills to oversee a practice in integrative medicine, as well as balance the business, regulatory, and legal aspects of clinical care." In addition, they will learn to gather outcomes data. The later is presented as a "distinguishing feature" of the program. Andrew Heyman, MD, MHSA is the leader of the program. The Metabolic Medical Institute describes itself as "a medical organization dedicated to promoting health and prevention of disease by educating health professionals, researchers and the public." Those who complete the 18 credit hours of the program will earn a certificate. The programs is open to those with "a degree in a health related field and a GPA of 3.0 or higher."

Comment: While the release notes the existence of a new American Board of Integrative Medicine, the program does not appear to be tracking students to that end.  It is interesting to see the business model of broad inclusiveness of all licensed professions as potential students.

Ohio State University (OSU) integrative medicine program hosts mindfulness Congressman Ryan

The April 2014 newsletter from the OSU integrative medicine program featured the visit of Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH). The ex-football player and military man is author of A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help is Reduce Stress, Reduce Performance and Recapture the American Spirit. He champions mindfulness and wellbeing. The focus of the OSU event, which included a "World Cafe" interactive segment, was on how OSU can foster a "culture of mindfulness" at the university.

National College of Natural Medicine announces Masters in Global Health

Portland, Oregon-based National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) will soon offer a Global Health Masters' Degree, according to this April 30, 2014 release from the institution. NCNM's provost and vice president for academics, Andrea C. Smith, EdD, states that a global health degree is "a natural fit for NCNM." The reasons: "The college's core naturopathic and Chinese medicine programs have global origins. In the less developed areas of the world, integrative therapies, such as plant medicine, mind-body medicine, nutrition and physical medicine are both available and cost-effective. Natural medicine is ideal for countries with low economic resources and limited access to Western medicine." Tabatha Parker, ND, the co-founder and director of Natural Doctors International will serve as a co-director of the program. Parker has been the leading force for global services learning in her profession, mainly through a clinic on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua. She has worked with W.H.O. and was recognized in 2011 by Utne Reader as a Global Visionary.

Comment: This is a terrific move for NCNM. How reasonable to have a workforce abroad of practitioners who respect and are knowledgeable about global healing traditions and, in the case of naturopathic doctors at least, are deeply versed in Western medical sciences and have a scope that allows prescriptions for basic public health needs. The potential employment for these graduates should be a no-brainer, if only lower-chakra prejudices could be dissolved.