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 Organizations on NCCAM's Strategic Plan: IHPC, ACCAHC, AHMA, AANP, IAYT, NCH, AANMC and MTF 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Integrator Blog by . View all columns in series
Summary: That NCCAM's 2011-2015 strategic plan is critically important to the future of the integrative practice field is clear from this set of stakeholder responses. Together, these 8 organizations represent over 360,000 licensed practitioners: Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium, Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care, American Holistic Medical Association, Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, International Association of Yoga Therapists, Massage Therapy Foundation, National Center for Homeopathy and American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. (The two consortia represent 22 separate partner or member organizations.) Notably, their comments are almost entirely supportive of the direction Congress mandated but in which NCCAM poorly invested under its first director. If this input is valued, NCCAM has significant stakeholder backing for complying with Congress' real pragmatic research mandate.

Organizations on NCCAM's Strategic Plan: IHPC, ACCAHC, AHMA, AANP, IAYT, NCH, AANMC and MTF

Summary: That NCCAM's 2011-2015 strategic plan is critically important to the future of the integrative practice field is clear from this set of stakeholder responses. Together, these 8 organizations represent over 360,000 licensed practitioners: Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium, Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care, American Holistic Medical Association, Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges, International Association of Yoga Therapists, Massage Therapy Foundation, National Center for Homeopathy and American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. (The two consortia represent 22 separate partner or member organizations.) Notably, their comments are almost entirely supportive of the direction Congress mandated but in which NCCAM poorly invested under its first director. If this input is valued, NCCAM has significant stakeholder backing for complying with Congress' real pragmatic research mandate. 
Send your comments to johnweeks@theintegratorblog.com
for inclusion in a future Integrator.

Related articles:

Image
The direction the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine takes with its 2011-2015 strategic plan is the most significant decision point for the integrative practice field since complementary, alternative and integrative medicine arrived on the national scene 15 years ago. The two articles above are evidence of the importance the Integrator gives the topic. This article, with full length submissions from 8 significant organizations - one of which is a consortium of 15 national organizations and another with 7 partner organizations - provides a significant look at NCCAM's most significant stakeholders. The submissions are from the:

  • Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium
  • Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care
  • Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges
  • International Association of Yoga Therapists
  • Massage Therapy Foundation
  • National Center for Homeopathy
  • American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

These responses are offered in full so community leaders can see the depth of their alignment. look for your own points of continuity. I offer some brief comments at the end.

Note: I have sought the submission from a variety of organizations, including the influential Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (which was the only organization which merited NCCAM mention in the strategic planning white paper) but the response was not available prior to this publication.

_________________________________________


Image1.  Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium
(IHPC)

Synopsis: Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) sent an "Alert" to their list with these key points: Now is the time for "tough love" as NCCAM should support research that facilitates the integration of CAM into mainstream healthcare and hasn't been; promotes more licensed complementary and alternative medicine practitioners on the NCCAM advisory council; urges funding for pragmatic, outcomes-based research that gathers "data on costs and other factors that payers and policymakers use when deciding what to include in their plans."
Dear [IHPC Alert recipient]:

NCCAM is listening...make your voice heard!


Right now, in the midst of Thanksgiving celebrations, we have an opportunity to influence the direction of what is arguably the most important federal agency for the field of integrated health care
.

   
  NCCAM is not just supposed to
support rarified reductionist science.
NCCAM is supposed to support research
that facilitates the integration of CAM
into mainstream healthcare. 

 
Most of you already know what NCCAM is, but let me remind us all. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at NIH is the ONLY Federal body whose primary job is exploring not only the effects of complementary and alternative medicine, but also its integration.  That is right, the legislation that created NCCAM says explicitly that this agency is charged with studying, “…the integration of alternative treatment, diagnostic and prevention systems, modalities, and disciplines with the practice of conventional medicine…and into health care delivery systems in the United States.”  NCCAM is not just supposed to support rarified reductionist science exploring the effect of a single herb out of a complex formula --  NCCAM is supposed to support research that facilitates the integration of CAM into mainstream healthcare. 

Take action now to help them remember that charge!


At IHPC we believe that NCCAM is a vital part of the movement for integrated, wellness-oriented healthcare. Members of the IHPC board were instrumental in the creation of NCCAM.

   
 
Time for tough love

We support NCCAM. And sometimes
support takes the form of tough love,
and now, while NCCAM is completing
Strategic Plan it is important for us to
help them fulfill their mission with some
forthright advice.

 
Please join us by sending a letter to NCCAM’s Director, Dr. Josie Briggs, and tell her that NCCAM needs to fulfill its mission in two important ways – and we have supported it ever since.  Sometimes support takes the form of tough love, and right now, while NCCAM is completing its next 5-year Strategic Plan and is calling for public comment it is important for us to help them fulfill their real mission with some forthright advice.

1)  As we have told them before, NCCAM must adhere to the law that created them and that specified that “… at least half of the members of the advisory council who are not ex officio members shall be licensed practitioners of one or more of the major systems with which the Center is concerned, and at least 3 individuals representing the interests of individual consumers of complementary and alternative medicine.” The legislators required that NCCAM be advised not only by researchers, but mostly by patients and providers of complementary and alternative health care.  That was a stroke of wisdom when they wrote it, and it still is.

   
 
 NCCAM must start funding the pragmatic,
outcomes-based research that gathers
data on costs and other factors that
payers and policymakers use.

2)  NCCAM must start funding the kind of research that will facilitate the integration of CAM into mainstream health care delivery. This means pragmatic, outcomes-based research that gathers data on costs and other factors that payers and policymakers use when deciding what to include in their plans.

Both of these issues are named in the legislation that created NCCAM 10 years ago.  Now the legislature and you and I must hold NCCAM to their mandate. 

Take action now – by the end of Monday, November 30th – and send a clear message to both Dr. Briggs and to Senator Harkin, the Chair of the Senate HELP Committee which oversees NCCAM and its funding.

The action we take today will directly influence the direction NCCAM takes for the next five years.  Let’s create something now that we can all be thankful for in November of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014!

And thank you, for working with us on this.

Janet Kahn, PhD
Executive Director

Image2.  Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC)


Synopsis:
Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) - Three main points: research on whole practices; research on "costs, cost-effectiveness, cost-offsets and cost-savings" and, third, investment in capacity in the licensed CAM fields, in "the expansion of investment in the development of researchers who are graduates of complementary and alternative medicine programs, particularly those who have a continued association with the accredited CAM schools."
Dear Dr. Briggs and Strategic Planning Team Members:
We are writing in response to your October 2009 solicitation of stakeholder input on the next strategic plan for the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Thank you for your preliminary work and for this opportunity to respond.

The 12 core ACCAHC member organizations (see left column) serve the distinctly licensed complementary and alternative healthcare disciplines of chiropractic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, naturopathic medicine, massage therapy and direct-entry midwifery. In addition, ACCAHC’s members include 3 organizations from non-licensed Traditional World Medicines fields of yoga and Ayurvedic medicine that are engaging in self-regulatory efforts. The ACCAHC disciplines provide the majority of the complementary and alternative medicine and integrative services for consumers in the United States. Similarly, 187 of our universities, colleges and programs are accredited through specialized U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agencies. These institutions are the educational providers for the vast majority of future integrative practitioners. We view ourselves as a significant NCCAM stakeholder.


We have identified the following three areas as the top, shared priorities for research investment across our licensed professions. We believe that investment in these three areas will have the most potentially positive impact on US healthcare.


   
 We need to learn more about
the real world outcomes of these
disciplines in order to understand
the experience of consumers and
the value of these practices in
healthcare delivery.

 
1. Research on whole practices– We need to learn more about the real world outcomes of these disciplines in order to understand the experience of consumers and the value of these practices in healthcare delivery. We urge the evaluation of the effectiveness of the actual, multi-dimensional practices of the members of these disciplines. A subset of this exploration could include evaluating the preventive outcomes of the clinical approaches that are a common orientation of integrative healthcare practitioners in the ACCAHC disciplines. These whole practices frequently include many of the lifestyle-related interventions that are recommended to combat numerous chronic diseases.
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 About The Author
Resumes are useful in employment decisions. I provide this background so that you may understand what informs the work which you may employ in your own. I have been involved as an organizer-writer in the emerging fields......moreJohn Weeks
 
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