New Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine Broadens Leadership Team

By John Weeks

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h5. New Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) broadens its leadership team: Wisneski, Snider and Weeks join board.

In the fall of 2013, the American Board of Integrative Health and Medicine (ABIHM) announced that it was re-forming itself as the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM). In a speech announcing the new entity, the founding president Mimi Guarneri, MD mentioned three new areas of involvement beyond ABIHM’s historic education and certification agenda: policy, inter-professionalism and an international reach. Changes in AIHM’s board reflects this direction. Len Wisneski, MD, the chair of the multidisciplinary lobbying and education group, the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) is now on the Board of Directors. Wisneski, who is also on the Council of Advisers of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), is accompanied by ACCAHC founding executive director Pamela Snider, ND, the leader of the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Project, and current executive director John Weeks. Weeks, who was invited by the World Health Organization to serve on its planning team for the recently endorsed 2014-2023 strategic plan, will chair AIHM’s new International Commission.

Roberts: AHMA explores merger with AIHM  Roberts: AHMA explores merger with AIHM

In addition, the president of the now multidisciplinary American Holistic Medical Association Molly Roberts, MD has also joined the AIHM board, amidst merger talks between the organizations. AHMA board member David Riley, MD, whose experience includes membership in the international CONSORT group and development of the integrative health and medicine regulatory framework for Dubai Health City, is expected to be a key member of the International Commission. Finally, one sees a broader multidisciplinary team preparing on AIHM’s October 26-30, 2014 conference in San Diego.

Comment: Truly “horizontal” and mutually respectful collaboration among medical doctors and chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopathic doctors, holistic nurses and others is an elusive goal, even as it is for medical doctors, nurses and others relegated to the periphery as “allied health.” Yet “horizontal” center-allied metaphor by appreciating that, for physical medicine, a massage therapists with 500 hours of training may be the “center” of care with the rest of the inter-professional team as her allies. In regular practice, the culture and boundaries of historic, powerful, and hierarchical forces dominate. For instance, and to bring this story home, in 2009 ACCAHC approached ABIHM to add more inter-professional education to the curriculum supporting the ABIHM board certification. It was then met with in-action. Yet in my now 8 months of engagement with this group, 3 or 4 of which have been on the Board, I am very excited that a new, more respectful and robust inter-professional path in policy, education, certification and international connectivity may be formed. One hates to go too Pollyana, but I have to say that they energy that percolates is exciting. Stay-tuned!

This article originally appeared in The Integrator Blog.

John_Weeks_crop5 Author: John Weeks

Weeks' Integrator Blog News & Reports and monthly Integrator Round-up are considered top sources on policy, business and academic developments for the field. He is also executive director of Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) where he directs the Center for Optimal Integration: Creating Health. He speaks widely on the policy, business and history of the movement for integrative health and medicine.

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