January 18, 2019

Former UN Ambassador Andrew Young as Ambassador for Traditional African Medicine-PROMETRA

He is known as “Ambassador” for his work as US President Jimmy Carter’s United Nations Ambassador from the United States. He is “Congressman” as Georgia’s first, post-Reconstruction, black member of the US House of Representatives. He is “Mayor” for his two terms in the 1980s guiding Atlanta into prominence as an international city. Those with longer memories will know him as “Reverend” and as “Executive Director” with the influential Southern Christian Leadership Conference when in the 1960s he gained prominence nationally as a close friend and colleague of Martin Luther King, Jr. Few know that this same individual, Andrew Young, presently 86-years-old, is now exerting his influence as an ambassador and advocate for traditional African medicine – and, in particular, for a Senegalese-based, global scientific and educational institute devoted to that work, PROMETRA International-Promoting Traditional Medicine. (Note: This article is a first in a series exploring the intersection of integrative health and global traditional medicine, with a focus in Africa on the work of PROMETRA.)
January 18, 2019

“Normalizing” Integrative Medicine in Large Delivery Organizations: Nan Sudak, MD and the Essentia Model

Nancy Sudak, MD became known nationally as a leader in the board certification of integrative holistic medical doctors and then as the founding executive director of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM). In these roles, Sudak knew the challenges of sustainability for integrative medicine models in large delivery organizations. So when she left AIHM, she developed an opportunity in a large upper Midwest system to create and prove an model. Now, two years plus into her experiment that is now a growing enterprise, Sudak has strategies to share in what she continues to view as a way to “normalize” the delivery of integrative medicine as a consultative practice in a large delivery organization.
January 11, 2019

Integrative Health Inclusion in HHS’ DRAFT Report on Pain Management Practices: Tips for Public Response

The January 2019 newsletter from the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) led off with a call to action. A 90 day comment period is open on the new HHS Draft Report on Pain Management Best Practices: Updates, Gaps, Inconsistencies and Recommendations. I read the document with an eye to its inclusion of “complementary”, “integrative”, and “non-pharmacologic”approaches (including a 3-page section on “Complementary and Integrative Health”)  and any specific reference to related practices and practitioners. The document offers remarkable signs both of how far these have penetrated pain policy strategy and of their absence in key action steps. Changes in these would be optimal for the final report. This article is a guide to inclusion and offers suggestions for how the integrative health community might register comments to advance best practices in pain treatment that will help get the opioid money off our collective backs. Public comments are due March 28, 2019.
December 28, 2018

Ready for Action: Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine Hires Dale West, CAE as First Full-Time Executive Director

An organization that sees its mission as larger than its present reach hits natural barriers if it uses an association management firm. The management organization is not an “association growing” firm. Nor is the firm devoted solely to the association. In fact, the management firm’s financial incentive structure is akin to that of a fitness center: the best member is one who pays dues and never requires anything. It’s job is to manage and control something that, optimally is passionate, dynamic, and slightly out of control because it is actively flourishing in multiple directions. These disparate tendencies came to mind as good news arrived December 21, 2018 – Solstice Day – that arguably the most powerful engine in the integrative space, the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health (“the Consortium”), completed a transition away from an association management firm to its first, 100% time, fully devoted executive director.