President Barack Obama Appoints Dr. Janet R. Kahn; an important step towards a fully integrative approach to prevention, health promotion and wellness in health care.
(Nov. 1, 2011. Washington DC) Janet R. Kahn, PhD, is an expert and long time advocate for a health care system that offers all Americans prevention-oriented, cost-effective and health promoting care through the integration of the full range of safe and regulated conventional, complementary, and alternative approaches. During her years on the founding Steering Committee and for six years as Executive Director of the Integrated Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), her focused efforts helped create the unprecedented opportunities for integrated healthcare written into the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Kahn recently left the IHPC to focus on research and consulting. She remains involved as IHPC’s Senior Associate as she also assumes her duties on the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health, an appointment announced by President Barack Obama. This group assists an inter-agency council composed of the heads of 17 federal agencies and chaired by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin.
Though important windows of opportunity are now open for integrative health care, the specific rules and protocols written over the next three years are hugely important in actual implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Dr. Kahn’s work, in both academia and the non-profit sector, provides an informed and well respected voice on behalf of health care professionals and their patients across the conventional, integrative and complementary and alternative spectrum.
According to Dr. Kahn, “It is an exciting time for those who have envisioned a health care system that focuses on prevention and offers more choice about how to maintain optimal health and how to deal with illness if it arises. Over 40% of Americans use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) each year. Importantly, they do this in addition to their use of conventional care. Americans, including those who cannot afford to pay out of pocket, want and deserve access to the best of all regulated approaches. To date, we have left the integration up to the patient. We have a chance to do better now and I am deeply honored to join this distinguished group and work toward that goal.”
Len Wisneski, MD, President of the IHPC Board of Directors, applauds Dr. Kahn’s leadership. “We are proud that her work as IHPC’s Executive Director and her research and other leadership posts are recognized by the White House and her peers. Her unique insights and unflagging energy will help all of us realize our goals of a fully integrated health care system.”
Dr. Kahn, a medical sociologist and practicing massage therapist is currently a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine, a position she has held since 2002. Since 2000, Dr. Kahn has been a Faculty Preceptor in the Fellowship Program in Complementary, Alternative, and General Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kahn helped found the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium in 2002, where she was on the Steering Committee until 2005, thereafter serving as Executive Director until October of 2011. In addition, Dr. Kahn was the Director of Integrated Health Care of the Community Health Center of Burlington from 2008 to 2010, the Director of Research of the Massage Therapy Research Consortium from 2003 to 2008, Senior Research Scientist at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women from 1997 to 2000 and a founding member of the Research Working Group for the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care. Dr. Kahn’s research focuses on equitable and affordable health care delivery models, the role of massage therapy in the treatment of chronic pain, and supporting the well-being of veterans. Dr. Kahn has served on a number of federal boards, including the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, since 2009. Dr. Kahn holds a B.A. from Antioch College, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. from Brandeis University.