Quarterly Report from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care: November 2009

Summary: I split my professional life between the Integrator and related writing and the organization featured here, the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) which, as a multidisciplinary entity, lives and breaths the integration-related issues reported here. This article is ACCAHC’s November 2009 Quarterly Report. Featured are: ACCAHC’s newly published Clinicans’ and Educators’ Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions; a focal project on determining the competencies of CAM professionals for integration in conventional delivery facilities; two collaborations with recipients of the “reverse R-25” NIH NCCAM grants to help with dissemination of the programs and materials they piloted (including a conference planned for the spring of 2011); and news that NBCE and NCCAOM have joined ACCAHC as full members.

Note: The following report from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) is an update on projects that the ACCAHC board of directors and
leaders of ACCAHC’s 15 member organizations are defining and shaping. The work, with which I am involved as executive director, is exciting in what these leaders are developing and accomplishing, given the
call for collaboration and teamwork in healthcare and the relative
dearth of good examples. This issue and the June 2009 issue, the first meant for public consumption, are posted here on the ACCAHC site.
ACCAHC, and the Integrator, welcome your feedback and comments.


ImageNovember 2009 Quarterly Report
Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care

Purpose:  The ACCAHC
Quarterly Report
educates members, participants and interested parties on recent work to fulfill on ACCAHC’s mission. Feel free to circulate to others. Annual
Membership Tele-Meeting December 1, 2:00 PM Pacific time. If interested,
contact John Weeks (
or Beth Rosenthal (


ACCAHC Publishes Clinicians’ and Educators’ Desk Reference
on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions

“This information will be very useful to patients,
healthcare professionals, educators, students and those responsible for future
clinical research and healthcare policy.”

 – David Eisenberg, MD,
Harvard Medical School, from his Preface

For ordering information: www.accahc.org

$24.96 individual copies; $17.50 each for bulk orders of 25
or more

We are excited to announce that the ACCAHC Clinicians’
& Educators’ Desk Reference
is now available! We developed this
resource over 2 years principally through partnerships with our member
educational organizations: CCAOM, AANMC, AMTA-COS, ACC and MEAC. By focusing on
practitioners rather than therapies, we fill an important gap in the
integration dialogue. Through the chapters from vetted authors we introduce
educators and clinicians everywhere to the substance of what our licensed
practitioners bring to patient care.

Image“Our main goal with the book,” states project leader
Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, “is to foster inter-professional education so
that all healthcare practitioners will have access to information about the
licensed CAM fields in order to cultivate clinical, educational and research
collaborations.” The book also offers 6 sections as appendices on related
integrative practice fields developed in partnership with member organizations
IAYT and NAMA and with other holistic and integrative nursing and medical

Academic, medical and nursing leaders have greeted the book
enthusiastically. The ACCAHC Desk Reference:

  • “…removes the veil from the licensed practitioners who have
    won the devotion of a significant portion of our population” according to Larry
    Dossey, MD and Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN
  • “…is a great platform for developing relationships (with
    members of the licensed systems of treatment) to serve our patients,” states Andrew
    Weil, MD
  • “…creates common ground in which patient-centered care is
    central” states the Forward from 3 leaders of the Consortium of Academic Health
    Centers for Integrative Medicine

This Clinicians’ and Educators’ Desk Reference is intended
to be useful in the classrooms of all health professions educators. To
facilitate its use, the ACCAHC Education Working Group, led by co-chair Jan
Schwartz and ACCAHC assistant director Beth Rosenthal, PhD, MPH, MBA, developed
a power-point based on the book as a teaching tool. Contact

brosenthal@accahc.org for information. We hope that you will all use
the book! Give us your feedback so we can incorporate your thoughts in our next
edition. Thanks to everyone who participated in making possible what the
Dosseys called “a landmark achievement.”

Clinical Care and Education Working Groups to Focus on
Competencies, Resources and Institutional Tools to Support Practice in Integrated

It is a truism regarding all of the ACCAHC disciplines that each
developed its educational programs and accreditation requirements in an era
when virtually the only practice opportunities for graduates were by setting up
solo practices. Times are changing. More opportunities are arising for clinical
work and clinical education in hospitals, community health centers and
multidisciplinary clinics. Many of our schools are engaging clinical and
research collaborations with other institutions.  Some of our schools are becoming
universities. Behind the opportunities are medico-cultural-clinical-economic
challenges. In addition, many of our graduates have student debt with which
positions in mainstream delivery might assist. This is a moment when confidence
and competence in opening and walking through these doors is important.

Following action in September, the ACCAHC Education Working
(EWG) and Clinical Care Working Group (CWG) will move directly into
supporting educators, institutions and clinicians seizing these new
opportunities. In May, at the ACCAHC leadership gathering at Northwestern Health
Sciences University, the EWG and CWG each had their first face-to-face
brain-storming on priorities and directions. Following subsequent phone
meetings and group email exchanges, both working groups determined to focus on
developing the inter-professional education and institutional resources,
curricular modules, teaching tools, how-to-guides, best-practices information
and more that will support work in integrative environments. Task forces in
each working group have taken on clarifying projects. First efforts focus on
reviewing key documents which have begun identifying competencies
(knowledge-skills-attitudes) for practice in conventional environments.  Driving the effort as the co-chairs for the CWG,
Marcia Prenguber, ND and Kathy Taromina, LAc and for the EWG Jan Schwartz and
Mike Wiles, DC. (See www.accahc.org under
“Leadership” for the other participants.) Contact ACCAHC assistant director
Beth Rosenthal, PhD, MPH, MBA if you have an interest in participating:


Start Planning: NIH R-25 Grantees Invite ACCAHC to
Co-Convene Spring 2011 Meeting

ACCAHC was honored in July to be asked by the recipients of
the NIH R-25 education grants, which focus on shifting the research culture in
CAM schools, to co-convene a major, multidisciplinary “dissemination conference”
in 2011. All of the NIH awardees are developing pilot programs relative to
evidence based medicine and curriculum in research. They have a responsibility
to disseminate their findings to other schools. The fit is good: investigators
from 6 of the 8 grantee institutions are represented on the ACCAHC Research
Working Group
: National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), Northwestern
Health Sciences University, Palmer College, Bastyr University, Western States
Chiropractic College and Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. Both ACCAHC RWG
co-chairs Christine Goertz, DC, PhD (Palmer) and Heather Zwickey, PhD (NCNM)
are investigators on R-25s. Says Zwickey, who is taking a lead for the RWG in
the planning:  “At a meeting of the R-25
group at the NIH we realized that ACCAHC is an obvious multi-denominational’ convener.”  The idea of the meeting is also a good fit
for ACCAHC as ACCAHC’s leaders have been considering a conference to advance
its mission by gathering educators and disseminating the products and projects
of all of its working groups. The meeting is tentatively planned for the spring
of 2011. Details on place and exact dates are under discussion. Stay tuned!

Research Working Group developing web-guide to help
disseminate cornucopia of resources from R-25 grants

Hand-in-hand with the development of the 2011 conference,
noted above, the ACCAHC Research Working Group is also committed to creating a
substantial resource on the ACCAHC website through which educators from all
ACCAHC schools can be linked to the tremendous cornucopia of tools, content,
educational strategies, curricular elements and published papers which these
leading edge programs in changing culture have created. Explains Richard
Hammerschlag, PhD, an RWG member and principal investigator on the R-25 grant
to Oregon College of Oriental Medicine: “A challenge for all of our schools is
in developing and sustaining investment in research and fostering a research
culture among our faculty and students. Our hope is that by making the grant-created
programs and products readily available this process can be made easier and
less costly for other CAM colleges.” Following a resolution by the RWG, ACCAHC
executive director John Weeks began interviewing all of the RWG awardees to
explore the elements that might be made public. The RWG anticipates reviewing a
draft document before the end of the year.

ACCAHC Presence at the American Public Health Association (APHA)
Conference November 8-11

ACCAHC leaders will be involved both in exhibiting and presenting
at the upcoming annual conference of the American Public Health Association.

  • Exhibiting ACCAHC will share a table in the exhibit hall
    with APHA’s Alternative
    and Complementary Health Practices
    (ACHP) Special Interest Group in
    Philadelphia, November 8-11, 2009. Over 10,000 public health professionals are
    expected to attend. Organizing and representing ACCAHC is assistant director
    Beth Rosenthal, PhD, MPH, MBA. In a note to ACCAHC leadership, on October 19,
    Rosenthal offered ACCAHC organizational members a chance to display materials
    about their organizations and institutions on the ACCAHC exhibit table.
    Rosenthal will also be displaying materials about the ACCAHC Clinicians’
    & Educators’ Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative
    Healthcare Professions
    . Rosenthal anticipates a significant turnout from
    ACCAHC-related educators and researchers and urges anyone to stop by.

  • Presenting  Two members
    of the ACCAHC Education Working Group (EWG), Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAc and Donna
    M. Feeley, MPH, RN, CMT will present a paper developed through the EWG at the
    APHA meeting entitled “Characteristics of CAM-Competent Consumers: optimal
    endpoints for integrative healthcare education.” Among the competencies
    proposed are “education in the recognition of alternative healthcare/CAM
    diversity, appropriateness of self-care, integrative healthcare provider
    choice, issues of efficacy and safety, product quality and selection and

National University of Health Sciences grants $10,000 to
assist CEDR book

Jim Winterstein, DC, president of National
University of Health Sciences
(NUHS) has been a significant supporter of
ACCAHC from the beginning. ACCAHC’s mission of fostering better
inter-disciplinary relationships is close to that at NUHS where Winterstein has
steered a 100-year-old, broad scope chiropractic medical school into becoming a
multi-disciplinary university of natural health sciences with programs in
acupuncture and Oriental medicine, naturopathic medicine and massage therapy. As
information about the Clinicians’ and Educators’ Desk Reference began to be
publicized to ACCAHC’s leaders, Winterstein assisted in offering useful edits.
He then surprised ACCAHC with a decision to grant $10,000 to support
production, publication and marketing costs to get this book out to the widest
audience possible. Thank you Dr. Winterstein and NUHS!

ACCAHC Board and Membership Developments

The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) and National
Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
(NCCAOM) each
chose to move from affiliate status to become full member organizations of
ACCAHC. NBCE’s membership began this year and NCCAOM begins in 2010. NBCE’s
executive vice president Horace Elliott and NCCAOM’s CEO Kory Ward-Cook each
attended the ACCAHC leadership meeting in May, as did Tess Hahn, NCCAOM’s board
chair. We look forward to their increased participation.  

The ACCAHC Board of Directors is shifting with the
leadership of our member organizations and with the new organizational members
following action at the October 21, 2009 Board of Directors meeting.

New members Guru Sandesh Khalsa, ND, was nominated by the
Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) for which he
serves as vice chair. Khalsa directs the department of naturopathic medicine at
the University of Bridgeport. (His predecessor from the AANMC, Pat Wolfe, ND,
will stay involved with ACCAHC as a member of the Education Working Group.) David
Wickes, DC
was nominated by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), for
which he serves as chair. Wickes is vice president at Western States
Chiropractic College.  Finally, Kory
Ward-Cook, PhD, MT (ASCP), CAE
was nominated by the National Certification
Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and will come onto
the Board in 2010 which NCCAOM’s full membership begins. Ward-Cook is already
providing leadership within ACCAHC, chairing the Certification and Testing
Special Interest Group and heading up a team that is developing ACCAHC’s Policy
Working Group.

Returning members Board member and executive committee
member Marcia Prenguber, ND, FABNO will return to a second term on the board
following her re-nomination by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. We
are also pleased to welcome back Frank Nicchi, MS, DC, re-nominated by the
Association of Chiropractic Colleges which he serves as president. In addition,
Wickes predecessor, Joe Brimhall, DC, was nominated to a new term by the
ACCAHC’s individual
college members
and will continue with his position on the executive

Thank you! ACCAHC thanks Patricia Wolfe, ND, and Donna
Feeley, RN, MPH, CMT
for their service on the ACCAHC board. Feeley has also
served on the ACCAHC executive committee, will be rotating off the board when
her term is up at the end of 2009. Feeley, who serves as faculty at Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she teaches a CAM/IM course, will
continue on the Education Working Group. Wolfe, now president emeritus at the
Boucher Institute, will also continue to participate with ACCAHC through
membership on the Education Working Group.  


ACCAHC stimulated involvement of nearly 40 of its leaders in
a research
survey project, using a Delphi method, regarding whether it’s time to get
rid of the “CAM” denotation. Opinions vary widely! … The Townsend Letter for
published an article on
the IOM Summit
which prominently featured ACCAHC chair Elizabeth Goldblatt,
PhD, MPA/HA, who served on the IOM’s planning committee. The IOM’s report on
the meeting is due out November 4, 2009 … Lucy Gonda, the NCMIC Foundation and
the Leo S. Guthman Fund each came through with their second year commitments as
ACCAHC Sustaining Donors, and Bastyr University completed its first. These
donors, who pledge at least $5000/year for 3 years, accounted for $50,000 (42%)
of ACCAHC’s operating revenue. Thank you! … For those interested, the
Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium, which birthed ACCAHC, is stepping up
its policy advocacy relative to inclusion of licensed practitioners in any
healthcare reform.

Comment: Here’s hoping that many of you will find the Clinicians and Educators Desk Reference valuable and, for those of your who are educators, immediately require your students to purchase it! ACCAHC continues to be a remarkable platform for some quality inter-professional education activities. More to come.

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