“Earl Bakken was a man and a legend.” So wrote integrative medicine philanthropist Penny George in a e-note following news that the founder of the now $27-billion Medtronic had died at 94 in his home on his beloved island of Hawaii. “Earl is also a testament to integrative care. He accumulated a number of serious health problems with which most people would not have lived that long. But he combined the benefit of the devices his company created with acupuncture and massage and a great diet and the power of meaning and purpose to live as long and as healthy a life as one could imagine.”
First, a familial confession. I recall at sitting at my parents home in the waning hippy era of mid-1970s when a close friend of my elder siblings who had strong back-to-the-land inclinations faced a grilling about her life plans at our pressurized family table. Education? Employment? Contributions to community? The friend must have known she was thumbing her nose at her interrogators when she shared her counter-cultural goal: “I just want to be happy.”
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) recently announced strategic investments in other key massage organizations that affirm the strongest organizational alignment that field has seen for two decades. With AMTA’s growing membership – up 50% in 5 years – the not-for-profit that has for years fueled the field’s research arm has now stoked activity in its accreditation and educator organizations.
On September 26, 2018, Harvard Medical School announced to its faculty that it is “reassessing” the School’s mission statement. An invitation to comment and provide feedback on a draft of a new mission was sent by microbiology and immunology professor Peter Howley, MD. Howley leads a committee for Medical School Dean George Daley, MD, PhD that is wrestling with a transformational theme that most unifies the diverse parties in the movement for integrative health and medicine. Harvard is bellying up toward reckoning with the need to shift the medical industry toward a system for creating health.