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December 26, 2018

CHI Health Care: Trials and Tribulations at the Nation’s Model Integrative Medicine Medical Home

On the surface of things, the values of “accountable care” and “patient-centered medical homes (PCMH)” and those of integrative medicine suggest a convergence. A survey found alignment in integrative medicine leaders. Maryland integrative doctors David Fogel, MD, and his spouse Ilana Bar-Levav, MD, presented with a substantial philanthropic gift, jumped into the apparently convergent rivers with both feet, creating the interprofessionally rich environment that is now CHI Health Care. The goal was and remains to prove the value proposition of integrative medicine in the medical industry’s move from volume to value. The center gained recognition as a PCMH and became part of a Medicare Shared Savings accountable care organization (ACO). Now Fogel makes clear that the convergence of the two paradigms have produced rumblings of boulders at the river bottom. While he remains positive about the model, the systemic obstacles are daunting.
December 26, 2018

Spirit Series: Integrative Health Values Emboldened in Program for Grade-Schoolers

Spirit Series and its related teacher training are about to reach their 50,000th student – grades 4 to 8 – and 1000th teacher. Harvard educator Howard Gardner, PhD – the multiple intelligences guru – called the NEH-supported program “powerful and impressive – a blend of the true, the beautiful and the good.” In a private meeting with Spirit Series’ founder Richard Strauss, a former musician, co-founder of the first rock-and-roll school, screenwriter and cranialsacral therapist, Gardner “looked over his glasses and said ‘you have a very idiosyncratic background for this work.'” As creative arts therapy rises at the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, this deeply integrative program has data to prove that it gets to the heart of the whole child and to the development of social-emotional intelligence.
December 21, 2018

Coming of the Light: The 2018 Integrator Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Health and Medicine

The Integrator Blog News & Reports – now published via johnweeks-integrator.com (with content going back to 2006 at the original Integrator site) – annually marks the winter solstice with a Top 10 for Policy and Action in Integrative Health and Medicine. In the selection of each in the Top 10, “the accent” – as the jazzman sings – “is on the affirmative.” Thus the coming of the light from individuals and organizations in the field making positive contributions to shift the medical industry toward a system that focuses on creating health. The Top 10 lists for 2006-2014 are here, for 2015 here, for 2016 here, and for 2017 here. Below are the Top 10 for 2018.
December 16, 2018

Is a New Trump Report Backing Obamacare’s Integrative Friendly “Non-Discrimination in Health Care”?

An alert went out two weeks ago to a set of policy-oriented integrative health and medicine types. The Trump administration had published a report – “Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition.” The email suggested that there was support here for the non-discrimination in healthcare provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”). Was this actually a dovetailing support of the Trump administration with the healthcare policy of his predecessor? I took a look and then connected a lobbyist who was on the ground when the Obama administration’s Section 2706: Non-Discrimination in Health Care was being drafted. The findings on the Trump study were mixed.