Quarterly Report from the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care: February 2010

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). This multidisciplinary entity lives and breaths the integration-related issues reported in the Integrator. This Quarterly Report announces planned June 26-28, 2011 conference; an initiative with UCLA health policy leader Michael Goldstein, PhD on ACCAHC’s professions and the primary care need; a resources on all accreditation standards of the ACCAHC programs relative to referral/collaboration and prevention/wellness; and steps in the release of the Clinicians’ and Educators’ Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions.

Note: The following report from
the Academic
Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care
is an update on projects that the
board of directors
leaders of ACCAHC’s
15 member organizations
are defining and shaping. I am involved with this work as ACCAHC’s executive director. These
leaders are practicing inter-professional education, collaboration and teamwork in all they do with ACCAHC. This issue and prior issues are posted
on the ACCAHC site.
and the Integrator, welcome your feedback and comments.


ImageFebruary 2010 Quarterly

Academic Consortium for Complementary
and Alternative Health Care

Purpose:  The ACCAHC
Quarterly Report educates members, participants and interested parties on our
recent work to fulfill on our mission. If you have questions, contact John
Weeks (

) or Beth
Rosenthal (


In this issue:

  • ACCAHC announces
    first major conference, June 26-28, 2011.
  • Partnership with
    UCLA policy leader for white paper on ACCAHC professions and the future of
    primary care.
  • Campaign promotes Clinicians’
    and Educators’ Desk Reference
    (CEDR) as core text in inter-professional
  • Major thanks to
    Lucy Gonda, ACCAHC’s founding philanthropic partner.
  • ACCAHC stakeholder
    letter on NCCAM’s 2011-2015 strategic plan.
  • ACCAHC resource
    summarizes accreditation standards from CCE, CNME, ACAOM, COMTA and MEAC
    relative to referral/collaboration and prevention/wellness.
  • Beau Anderson, Cynthia
    Price and Diana Thompson join ACCAHC working groups.

ACCAHC major conference June 26-28, 2011: Save
the Dates

Please plan on attending ACCAHC’s
first major conference on June 26-28, 2011. 
We will convene 250 educators, research educators and professional
leaders at Bastyr University, located adjacent to St. Edwards’ Park, near
Seattle, Washington. Core themes are those identified through ACCAHC’s multidisciplinary
board and working groups: enhancing research culture and evidence-based
medicine (EBM) in our education; advancing competencies and skills for practice
in integrated environments; examining the role of ACCAHC disciplines in the
future of primary care (see article this issue); and exploring our roles as
members of the emerging wellness workforce.

An ACCAHC conference team with
representatives from all Working Groups will meet in retreat May 20-22, 2010 to
clarify directions. This promises to be a first of its kind, inter-disciplinary
gathering of this size. We anticipate taking advantage of this
multidisciplinary feature for some unique program content. It’s a great time of
year to be in the Northwest. Consider extending and enjoying the nearby
mountain and sea. Plan to attend and send a team from your institution.  Save
the dates!

project: ACCAHC disciplines and the future of primary health care

In 2009, a discussion among
educators and clinicians in chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine,
acupuncture and Oriental medicine and direct entry midwifery percolated to the
surface at Congressional hearings and in the Institute of Medicine’s report on
the National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public. At
stake is the role of members of ACCAHC disciplines in helping meet the nation’s
primary care needs. The value may be framed as “first contact
providers”, as “primary care for low back pain” or primary care for child-birth
or simply expanding acceptance that already exists in some jurisdictions or
health plans.  In October 2009, the
ACCAHC Board of Directors elected to move this dialogue through a project with
Michael Goldstein, PhD, a senior fellow with the UCLA Center for Health Policy.
The project has two components. The first is a white paper of approximately
15,000 words. ACCAHC worked with Councils of Colleges members to develop
3-member DC, AOM and ND writing teams, and with the accrediting agency for
midwifery for their 2-person team. The second component is to invite interested
parties for a series of summit sessions on the white paper and on next steps at
the June 26-28, 2011 ACCAHC conference.  The approach will be two-pronged. One is to
respond to current definitions for primary care and the second is to gain clarity
on how each profession defines its own role relative to these patient care
needs and what role it can plan in meeting future needs. Teams will be selected
by mid-February with work to begin in March. 

We’ll keep you updated as this important project develops.

ImageACCAHC campaign to have the Clinicians’ and
Educators’ Desk Reference
(CEDR) adopted as a required text in health professions

Quality patient care often means teamwork among
multiple professionals. Quality teamwork rests on inter-professional
understanding and respect. The
expected to be a useful part of the learning and the reference libraries of all
of our students. 

Under the direction of assistant
director Beth Rosenthal, PhD, MPH, MBA, ACCAHC is engaging a campaign for
adoption of the CEDR as a required text in health professions education. We are
beginning with our members in the ACCAHC disciplines. Within the month, each of
the presidents or directors of our accredited programs will receive a copy in
the mail with a request to get it in the hands of the person who teaches the
course where the text best fits. Review
copies are available to faculty members considering the book as a required
Contact Beth Rosenthal at

for information.

The fundamental reason for adopting
the CEDR as a required text is so students will be better prepared to
participate as team members with the other practitioners profiled. The second
reason for adopting this text is that all profits support ACCAHC’s
mission.  Sales in our own fields will
stimulate more outreach and marketing to medical, nursing and other allied
health fields where we will also seek its wide use in inter-professional
education.  100% adoption in our ND, DC,
LAc, massage therapy and midwifery programs alone would significantly advance
ACCAHC’s work in all of our projects. We hope you’ll look into how your
students or colleagues can use this book.

the first about our fields written by scholars from our
fields, was designed to help support such teamwork. The book’s reception
suggests we are having success: “[The CEDR] is a great platform for developing
relationships to serve our patients,” states author and integrative medicine
educator Andrew Weil, MD. Developing this platform is not only important
between members of conventional medical and nursing disciplines and members of
ACCAHC disciplines. Bettering our own relationships with each other is also in
the interest of patients. Students and clinicians in all our fields can benefit
from these texts.


Lucy Gonda: ACCAHC’s founding philanthropic partner

A huge thank you to
Lucy Gonda as she retires as ACCAHC’s core, sustaining donor

The work of ACCAHC has
had a quiet partner, from the beginning: Lucy Gonda. Gonda was a pioneering
dance therapist in California in the 1970s and became an early integrative care
visionary and philanthropist in the 1990s. In 2003, when an inter-disciplinary
group began to dream on the importance to integration of structures to break
down the professional isolation of health professions educators, Gonda
volunteered a challenge grant. This led to the National Education Dialogue to
Advance Integrated Health Care: Creating
Common Ground
in 2005. The legacy of her generosity to that project
continues. (One recent outcome: A contingent of educators hosted by the Indian
government in January 2010 to explore Ayurvedic medical integration with
conventional medicine suggested that the Indian government consider the NED
model, which Gonda’s funding created.) 
Then, when leading educators from the licensed CAM disciplines chose in
2006 to begin work to incorporate ACCAHC and make it a regular part of the
landscape, Gonda stepped up in a big way. Although she had chosen to stop
operating as a philanthropist, Gonda decided to make a multi-year commitment to
ACCAHC. The importance of her $25,000 a year of personal giving is evident from
viewing it as a portion of ACCAHC’s total revenues each of those years: 47% in
2007, 28% in 2008 and 20% in 2009. Gonda charged us with using her early
support to find other funding. With Gonda’s support, ACCAHC’s revenue base grew
from basically matching Gonda’s contribution in 2007 to increasing it by 400%
in 2009. Gonda has expressed great pleasure with what ACCAHC has
accomplished.  We cannot express our
gratitude sufficiently. Gonda will be noted as Founding Donor on the ACCAHC
letterhead and website going forward. Thank you, Lucy.

makes case as key NIH NCCAM stakeholder; urges new directions in 2011-2015 strategic

Last fall, the NIH National Center
for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) solicited stakeholder input
on NCCAM’s 2011-2015 strategic plan. The introductory section of ACCAHC’s submission
noted that our member organizations represent over 187 institutions and
programs that are accredited by the US 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.”  ACCAHC then
urged NCCAM spending to be focused in three areas:

  • Research
    on whole practices
    We urged capturing the clinical outcomes, including
    preventive outcomes, of our actual clinical practices.
  • Costs,
    cost-effectiveness, cost-offsets and cost-savings
    We urged NCCAM to fund
    work in these areas that are critically important for patient access and the
    integration of our services into payment and delivery systems.
  • Capacity We
    noted the value NIH grants have had to our schools and researchers, and how
    such investments are critical to the ongoing development of research capacity.

At publication, planning was underway with the Research
Working Group leadership for a direct dialogue with NCCAM director Josephine
Briggs, MD over the ways we can partner with NCCAM to foster this agenda. If
you would like a copy of the ACCAHC letter, please contact John Weeks at
jweeks@accahc.org.  On a related note, ACCAHC leaders Janet Kahn,
PhD, LMT (Research Working Group) and Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAc (Education
Working Group) were each appointed in February 2010 to join the NCCAM advisory
council. Congratulations!

ACCAHC creates resource
on accreditation standards on referral/collaboration and wellness/prevention in
the licensed complementary and alternative healthcare professions

In response to a discussion in the fall ACCAHC Accrediting
Agency Special Interest Group, staff developed a resource document on core
accreditation requirements for the 5 licensed ACCAHC disciplines in two areas.
One area of interest was on language relative to referral and collaboration.
The second was on prevention and wellness. The 9-page document includes
specific language in these important, evolving areas from the standards of the
Council on Chiropractic Education, Council on Naturopathic Medical Education,
Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Commission on
Massage Therapy Accreditation and the Midwifery Education Accreditation
Council.  For a copy of the report,
contact John Weeks a

New ACCAHC Working Group Members: Anderson,
Price and Thompson

ACCAHC working groups have
been strengthened with additional personnel. 

Working Group
(EWG) Belinda (Beau) Anderson, PhD, LAc,
Academic Dean of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York has joined the
Education Working Group. Anderson was formerly with the New England School of
Acupuncture where she served as chair of the Western Biomedical Department
while also serving on the adjunct clinical faculty at the Tufts University
School of Medicine.

Working Group
Cynthia Price, PhD, LMP,
Research Assistant Professor, Biobehavioral
Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington School of Nursing has
joined the Research Working Group. She is currently a co-PI on an NIH NCCAM
grant on dealing with body awareness. Price is also a trained midwife.

Care Working Group (CWG)
Thompson, LMP
is the current president
of the Massage Therapy Foundation. She has been a leading educator on coding
issues for the massage profession and maintains an active clinical practice in
Seattle, Washington.

In addition, new Board member Kory Ward-Cook, PhD, MT
(ASCP), CAE has chosen to participate with the Education Working Group. Board
members can choose to participate in any working group of interest to them. We
are pleased to welcome these top-flight professionals to ACCAHC’s working

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Written by John Weeks

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