Relationships with “Integrative Medicine” Educators

National Education Dialogue (NED)
Led various projects for the National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Health Care: Creating Common Ground (2004-2006) which involved educators from 12 disciplines and focused on leaders of Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine  (CAHCIM)
More Inclusive Definition of Integrative Medicine
Collaborated with the now 51-member CAHCIM to change their definition of “integrative medicine” to better respect the integration of whole disciplines by including the importance of integrating not just modalities but also healthcare professionals and disciplines.
Research Conferences
ACCAHC was a Participating Organization for the May 2009 North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM), as it was for the 2006 meeting and is for the 2012 International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health. ACCAHC leaders have served on key planning committees, prepared and had accepted multiple programs, and reported ACCAHC research at poster sessions.
Published Response on “Competencies in Integrative Medicine”
Publication of a peer-reviewed paper which underscored the importance of integrating disciplines and practitioners, not just therapies, in “integrative medicine.”(Response to a Proposal for an Integrative Medicine Curriculum, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. November 1, 2007, 13(9): 1021-1034)
Ongoing Dialogue with Integrative Medicine Educators

ACCAHC has fostered and maintained collegial relationships with the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. A highlight was a May 2009 gathering of roughly 40 people from each organization in shared working groups. CAHCIM subsequently sponsored a reception and dinner. Key CAHCIM leaders are on ACCAHC Council of Advisers. In 2012, ACCAHC working group members began working on a CAHCIM-originated project to gather data from integrative environments.

International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine

In late 2011, ACCAHC engaged a co-sponsorship with CAHCIM and Georgetown University for the first International Congress for Educators in Complementary and Integrative Medicine October 24-26, 2012 at Georgetown.
Publication of a Critically Needed Educational Tool
ACCAHC created Clinician’s and Educator’s Desk Reference on the Complementary and Alternative Health Care Professions to support all practitioners in understanding the value of the whole practices – not just therapies - our disciplines represent. Content is developed and endorsed by each council of colleges.The book has been widely heralded across multiple disciplines. (See quotes here.)

Providing a Shared Voice

IOM’s 2009 National Summit on Integrative Medicine and Health of the Public

ACCAHC secured an invitation from the Institute of Medicine which ensured that ACCAHC member organizations would be represented on the 14 member Planning Committee for the February 25-27, 2009 Summit which was sponsored through a grant from the Bravewell Collaborative. The ACCAHC nominee who was appointed, Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, was the only representative from non-conventional healthcare on the Committee. The meeting was significantly more multi-disciplinary in tone in part through Goldblatt's representation of patient interest in the full scope of practitioners involved in integrative medicine.

Two National Pain Initiatives: IOM and Center for Practical Bioethics

ACCAHC secured an invitation from the Institute of Medicine which ensured that ACCAHC member organizations would be represented on the IOM Committee on Pain Research, Care and Education. Pain expert Rick Marinelli, ND, LAc was selected to service on the Committee.  ACCAHC was invited to represent patient interest in complementary healthcare in a national pain initiative led by the Center for Practical Bioethics. ACCAHC leaders participated in regional meetings. Vince DeBono, DC, Vice President for Academic Affairs at National University of Health Sciences, has taken the lead role for ACCAHC.

Participating in the development of the NIH NCCAM 2011-2015  Strategic Plan: Setting Research Priorities

The ACCAHC Research Working Group (RWG) led ACCAHC into continuing dialogue with the NIH NCCAM. The ACCAHC focus is on the kind of "real world research" that is likely to most inform the ability of consumers and other stakeholders considering services from these disciplines. The RWG was particularly involved in the NIH NCCAM 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. In a series of letters, phone conferences and a face to face meeting, ACCAHC has underscored the importance of looking at whole practices, at cost issues and in building the capacity of these disciplines to participate in the research endeavor. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for copies of ACCAHC's NCCAM correspondence. A key role was in elevating the importance, as underscored by Congress, of looking not merely at the impact of individual therapies, but at "disciplines" from which consumers typically receive treatment. Work was led by Greg Cramer, DC, PhD. The final NCCAM plan substantially reflected ACCAHC recommendations in this area, In addition, RWG members are serving as a Steering Committee for a Health Resources Services Administration grant to create a practice-based research network for integrative practices.

NIH NCCAM Advisory Council Imbalance

Through councils of colleges members, ACCAHC provided 16 resumes to the National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of candidates for the NCCAM advisory council. ACCAHC strongly supports the NCCAM view that skilled clinicians are critical to NCCAM fulfilling on its public health agenda.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

Through leadership of the Research Working Group (RWG), ACCAHC provided public comment on the new Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) established under the Affordable Care Act. In addition, two ACCAHC leaders were part of a panel asked to present on complementary and integrative medicine at a September 2011 Listening Session for the PCORI Board of Governors. RWG founding co-chair and member emeritus, Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, was appointed to serve on the PCORI Board.

Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education
In early 2012, the ACCAHC Board of Directors chose to invest in ACCAHC becoming a founding co-sponsor of the 3-year Institute of Medicine Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education. ACCAHC is the sole integrative health-focused sponsor of the forum, joining over 30 councils of colleges and professional associations from medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy and other disciplines. ACCAHC's priority is to collaborate with the other forum members to explore innovations associated with graduating students who are expert in assisting individuals and communities toward wellness, self-care, personal empowerment, prevention and health promotion. Participation is made possible in part via an anonymous foundation grant.

Relationships Among ACCAHC’s Disciplines

Organized ACCAHC

Via scores of conference calls, engaged projects and face-to-face gatherings (February 2005, June 2005, May 2006, October 2007, July 2008, May 2009, May 2010, June 2011) 16 key organizations across our disciplines committed for the first time to be dues-paying members of a shared organization ($1000-$5000/year, depending on size).

Organized Special Interest Groups (SPIGs)

In order to foster mutual understanding and to enhance the abilities of our distinct organizations, ACCAHC convened SPIGs for Councils of Colleges, for Accrediting Agencies, for Certification and Testing Organizations, Student Organization Leaders and Traditional World Medicines/Emerging Professions.

Hot Spots/Cooling Point

We began a process, as educators, to explore where we might forge new, smart and strategic relationships with each other so we spend fewer resources fighting each other, focus better on the patient, and provide leadership for the rest of US healthcare.

Presentations and Publications

ACCAHC survey projects have been the subject of posters and presentations at the 2006 scientific meetings of the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NARCCIM) and the 2007 meeting of the Society for Acupuncture Research and a publication in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. ACCAHC teams were involved in submitting 3 accepted submissions at the May 2009 NARCCIM.

Researching Competencies for Integration

In a grant-funded project from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, ACCAHC, working with others, carried out two surveys on competencies of licensed acupuncturists for practice in MD-dominated settings.

Clarified Priority Projects

Once convened, ACCAHC identified core, major, multi-year projects in which members and participants could collaborate in advancing patient care through advancing mutual respect. Three key areas identified as of June 2011 are: 1) supporting students, educators, clinicians and other stakeholders in working optimally in integrated environments; 2) supporting educators in developing more evidence-informed education (via a collaboration with schools that received NIH-NCCAM R-25 grants to enhanced evidence-based programs); and 3) engaging the national dialogue to foster interprofessional education/care.

Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environment

To support priority project #1, above, ACCAHC engaged an 11-month process involving over 50 professionals from 8 disciplines to create a document entitled Compentencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environments. Work was led by working group co-chairs Jan Schwartz, MA, Jason Wright, LAc, Mike Wiles, DC, MEd, MS and Marcia Prenguber, ND. ACCAHC leaders then merged this document with the subsequently-published Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice. An ACCAHC team was selected to report this process at the major interprofesisonal education/care meeting, Collaboration Across Borders III in November 2011.

Cross-Disciplinary Working Groups

ACCAHC’s core structure is based in 3 multidisciplinary committees of leaders across our disciplines: Education Working Group, Clinical Care Working Group and Research Working Group.

Educating Large Employers

Members of the ACCAHC Research Working Group presented a special workshop to an April 2008 Institute for Health and Productivity Management conference of large employers on the potential value of integrative services in the health of employees.

Visibility of the Mission

ACCAHC was the subject of a May 2008 article in the peer-reviewed Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing! ACCAHC's work has since been referenced in multiple media.

Philanthropic Support: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

ACCAHC has begun developing a philanthropic base. Sustaining Donors have made 3-year pledges totaling up to $50,000/year. ACCAHC's major initiative, the Center for Optimal Integration, will require that it break the "glass ceiling" that has kept significant philanthropy from investing in integrative projects that are not led by either medical doctors or, in rare cases, by nurses. In late 2011, the Westreich Foundation granted ACCAHC $100,000 over 3 years, the first major commitment following ACCAHC's support from its founding philanthropic partner, Lucy S. Gonda. ACCAHC is seeking to find additional philanthropic leaders who will help remove this barrier to creation of optimal care.

June 26-28, 2011 Meeting

ACCAHC's Biennial Meeting took place at Bastyr University and involved over 90 leaders from 8 disciplines. Thematic foci included interprofessional education and the role of the ACCAHC disciplines in meeting primary care needs.