Policy changes alone will not create integrated health care in the United States. We also need health care practitioners who know how to work effectively with one another to offer patient-centered care. This requires new forms of education!
In 2004 IHPC created:
- the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), and
- the National Education to Advance Integrated Health Care (NED)
The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) was formed in 2004 under the auspices of IHPC's Education Task Force as a joint effort of the national educational institutions of the fully accredited complementary and alternative healthcare (CAM) disciplines.
ACCAHC was created early in the process of the National Education Dialogue (see below) to provide the CAM academic community a strong base from which to work together in their efforts to collaborate with conventional academic educators, and to transform the healthcare system.
As essential aspect of ACCAHC's mission is to advance the academic needs and development of the evolving CAM professions, as well as the traditional world medicine professions that are emerging in the United States; and to foster a coherent, synergistic collaboration with academic institutions of the conventional medical, nursing, and public and community health professions. This collaboration will promote interdisciplinary healthcare education to ensure mutual understanding between healthcare disciplines.
ACCAHC has a strong commitment to public safety and accountability and works only with healthcare professions that either have established clear regulatory mechanisms in the United States, or are in the process of doing so. Currently the fully regulated CAM professions in the US include:
- Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- Chiropractic Medicine
- Direct Entry Midwifery
- Massage Therapy
- Naturopathic Medicine
IHPC is very proud to have been initiated ACCAHC and provided it a home for its early years! In January 2008 ACCAHC incorporated as an independent organization. To learn about ACCAHC's current activities visit their new website, coming soon.
National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Health Care: Creating Common Ground (NED)
In March 2004, IHPC created the National Education Dialogue to Advance Integrated Health Care (NED), to promote vital cross-disciplinary collaboration among educators from conventional and complementary and alternative healthcare institutions. This communication is a critical antidote to the current practice of educating healthcare practitioners of all disciplines in isolated silos where they learn virtually nothing about one another's philosophies, training and therapies.
The priorities of NED's work were to:
- promote and support inter-institutional collaboration among educators, including the development of regional models
- develop CAM and conventional educational resources and materials to foster understanding of the value each discipline offers for quality care
- explore shared values, skills and attitudes among disciplines
- create resources which can assist educators in advancing their local initiatives