Bravewell E-Newsletter Winter 2009, Volume 8
IOM PUBLISHES SUMMIT SUMMARY
Nearly 300 guests joined The Bravewell Collaborative and representatives from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health for a special black-tie event in Washington, DC celebrating the official release of the Institute of Medicine’s Summary of the Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public.
Held on November 4, 2009 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, award-winning cardiac surgeon, author, and health and wellness expert Mehmet Oz, MD, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the dinner event and gave the keynote address. At the start of the evening, IOM President Harvey Fineberg, MD, PhD, thanked The Bravewell Collaborative for initiating and funding the Summit and presented the official Summary of the Summit to Bravewell President Christy Mack. Pointing out that integrative medicine presents an opportunity for change, the Summary states that our, “current approach to health care is primarily focused on addressing immediate events of disease and injury, and does not always take into account the complex interplay of biology, behavior, psychosocial factors and how the environment shapes health and diseases.”
Noting that the Summit drew the largest and most diverse audience ever assembled at the IOM, Dr. Fineberg thanked IOM Executive Officer Judy Salerno, MD, MS; IOM Senior Scholar Mike McGinnis, MD; and Chair of the IOM Planning Committee Ralph Snyderman, MD, for their hard work in convening the Summit.
In his keynote address, Dr. Oz stated that, “Americans pay far more for health care than the citizens of any other nation, yet we experience greater incidence of disease and the World Health Organization’s analysis of healthy nation indicators puts our life expectancy near the very bottom of the top 40 nations.” He pointed out that it wasn’t our lack of technology that was the cause, but rather how we approach care. “American health care does not help people become or stay healthy and does not make it easy for people who are seeking prevention. This is why the information generated by the Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public is so important,” he said.
The audience also enjoyed a special video-taped speech by HRH the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. "I am quite sorry that I cannot be with you in person, but let me say that it is my distinct pleasure to have the opportunity to address this gathering tonight and offer my wholehearted admiration and support for the work that is being undertaken by The Bravewell Collaborative, the Institute of Medicine and many others to help transform American health care," he said.
The Summary of the Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public can be downloaded from the IOM website at www.iom.edu/Activities/Quality/IntegrativeMed.aspx
MEDICAL EDUCATION TRAINING VIDEOS
During the past year, The Bravewell Collaborative has developed a series of educational videos, a teaching manual and a PowerPoint introductory lecture to assist educators in teaching effective doctor-patient communication.
Studies indicate that effective doctor-patient communications is a strong predictor of positive health outcomes and a prime factor in patient satisfaction and empowerment. But even though these skills are critically important to health and healing, they are rarely the focus of medical education or research.
As an outgrowth of The New Medicine project, Bravewell identified the need for teaching tools that health care practitioners, faculty, and learners from all disciplines could use to initiate serious study of doctor-patient communication skills. In response to this need, Middlemarch Films, creators of The New Medicine PBS show, produced a set of ten videos showing doctors talking with patients in both suburban and urban settings. To aid teachers or independent learners, Drs. Mack Lipkin and Simone Stromer created an accompanying teaching manual that includes core concepts regarding doctor-patient communications, an introductory slide set, and learning exercises to use with each video as well as references and additional resources.
Available to anyone interested in doctor-patient communications, the medical training videos, teaching manual and PowerPoint lecture may be viewed and downloaded at: http://videos.bravewell.org/.
VENICE FAMILY CLINIC JOINS BRAVEWELL CLINICAL NETWORK
In September 2009, the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Program at the Venice Family Clinic joined the Bravewell Clinical Network and BraveNet, Bravewell’s practice-based research network focused on integrative medicine.
Located in Los Angeles, the Venice Family Clinic was founded in 1970 by Phillip Rossman, MD, and Mayer B. Davidson, MD. The Clinic provides comprehensive primary health care, specialty care, dental care, mental health services, health education and child development services to more than 23,500 patients, most of whom come from racially diverse populations, are low-income and lack private health insurance. The spirit of volunteerism with which Venice Clinic was founded prevails today — more than 1,500 healthcare professionals volunteer their time and services, and hospitals, laboratories, specialty-care providers and pharmaceutical companies make $11.3 million of in-kind contributions each year.
In 2006, the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center was established at the Venice Family Clinic in Santa Monica as the nation's first health, wellness, and integrative medicine program offered at a free clinic. Directed by Bravewell Fellow Myles Spar, MD, MPH, the integrative medicine program provides a chronic pain clinic and companion stress management program. Referrals to these programs can originate in any of the seven Venice Clinic sites. “Chronic pain is the most common complaint among Venice Clinic patients,” explained Dr. Spar. “We use a variety of modalities, including acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractic and mind-body interventions, and typically, our patients experience significant relief from their pain both in terms of severity and interference with life performance.”
With stress, depression and anxiety the next most common complaints among clinic patients, the integrative medicine program also offers a Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program that has been modified to suit the needs of its constituency. Upon completion of the program, most patients experience reduced levels of stress and anxiety, and self-report less depression.
“We are delighted to be part of the Bravewell Clinic Network,” said Dr. Spar. “And we are looking forward to conducting integrative medicine research and contributing to the attainment of BraveNet’s goals.”
THE HEALTHY NATION PARTNERSHIP
The Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public provided extensive evidence about the many ways individuals can protect and even dramatically improve their own health through the principles of integrative medicine. As a direct result of the Summit, an idea emerged: a public-private partnership for an initiative that would empower and encourage individual behavior modification designed to promote health and wellbeing and at the same time, inspire American society to make the changes needed to support individuals in their efforts to improve their own health.
"We at K&L Gates commend The Bravewell Collaborative for the significant work they do, and are pleased to partner with them in this endeavor," said Dick Thornburgh, K&L Gates Counsel and former Attorney General of the United States. "We look forward to working with Bravewell on this campaign."
The Healthy Nation Partnership will seek to improve the health of all Americans through the creation of this sustainable public-private partnership dedicated to transforming the way Americans view, understand, value, and practice health and wellbeing.
A Concept Paper about the Healthy Nation Partnership is available from The Bravewell Collaborative. To obtain a copy please call 612-377-8400.
MEET THE MEMBERS
Michele joined The Bravewell Collaborative in 2005 after learning about integrative medicine. “It resonated within me so deeply,” she says. “I had seen and participated in the care of others in which a personalized caring approach was important to healing but I was surprised that there was a nationwide group of philanthropists who were working together to leverage their personal investments to affect system change.”
“By far, the biggest benefit of being a member of Bravewell is the satisfaction of knowing that this group is achieving what it set out to achieve — it is changing the culture of medicine within our country,” she says. “I truly enjoy working within a community of others who hold a similar vision and have shared values.”
In addition to her philanthropic work with Bravewell, since 1995 Michele has served in varying roles as trustee, docent and active volunteer for the New England Wildflower Society, the oldest plant conservation organization in the US, and as an Overseer with the Catalogue for Philanthropy.
Michele studied nursing at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital School of Nursing and Rutgers University, and holds a graduate degree in public health from Columbia University. After graduation, she worked as a registered nurse in intensive care and later as a health care consultant with Ernst & Young. Her involvement in Bravewell has delightfully brought her back to her roots in nursing and health care. She recently joined Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a scientific journal focusing on the art and science of integrative medicine and health care, as an Associate Editor, and is working with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to foster initiatives in integrative medicine and nursing.
“I am passionate about the possibilities for change within health care,” she says. “The thought that within my lifetime we will be able to see and experience a health care system that not only provides the highest quality of medical advances and technology, but also cares about whole person care is incredibly exciting. I feel fortunate and grateful that I can work in this field.”