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IOM gathers health care leaders for summit on integrative medicine

WASHINGTON To advance the science and progress of integrative medicine in the United States, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) will convene the "Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public," Feb. 25-27 in Washington, D.C. The summit will bring together distinguished researchers, practitioners, and leaders from multiple sectors to present the vision, challenges, evidence base, and opportunities for integrative medicine to improve U.S. health care.

"Interest in integrative medicine is burgeoning in many parts of the health care system," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg, M.D., Ph.D. "This summit will examine the role and value of integrative approaches to care that are designed to meet the health needs of patients more fully."

Integrative medicine is described as orienting the health care process to engage patients and caregivers in the full range of physical, psychological, social, preventive, and therapeutic factors known to be effective and necessary for the achievement of optimal health.

"What we currently have is not a health care system, but a disease care system," said Ralph Snyderman, M.D., chair of the Summit Planning Committee and chancellor emeritus of Duke University. "The summit will explore how science and a patient-centered, prospective, integrated approach to care can make a positive difference."

In addition to Fineberg and Snyderman, other notable presenters include:

  • Donald Berwick, M.D., president and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston
  • Carol Black, M.D., F.R.C.P., chair, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, London
  • Erminia Guarneri, M.D., founder and medical director, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, La Jolla, Calif.
  • George Halvorson, CEO, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.
  • Michael Johns, M.D., chancellor, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Richard Lifton, M.D., Ph.D., chair, department of genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.
  • William Novelli, CEO, AARP, Washington, D.C.
  • Dean Ornish, M.D., founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, San Francisco
  • Mehmet Oz, M.D., vice chair and professor of surgery, Columbia University, New York City
  • Ellen Stovall, president and CEO, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Washington, D.C.

The summit will provide vital information in the context of discussions on the transformation of the U.S. health care system. Topics will include: patient-centered care, continuity of care, chronic disease prevention and management, the scientific basis for the elements of integrative medicine, economic implications and financing reform, and mind-body relationships and health.

"Interest in the summit has been intense," Fineberg noted. "Approximately 500 participants have already registered to attend, which indicates this topic is attracting a high level of attention from various stakeholders and organizations."

Support for the summit has been provided by the Bravewell Collaborative, an operating foundation of leading philanthropists dedicated to transforming the culture and delivery of health care. Bravewell, along with the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health, a London-based nonprofit that champions an integrated approach to health, and AARP, the U.S. nonprofit membership organization for people age 50 and older, have formed an international alliance in support of the summit and ongoing activities related to the advancement of integrative medicine.

To learn more about the summit, visit


Contact: Christine Stencel
National Academy of Sciences

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