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Dr. Elizabeth Goldblatt Represents CAM at Institute of Medicine Conference on Integrative Medicine

March 31, 2009

Dr. Elizabeth Goldblatt Represents CAM at Institute of Medicine Conference on Integrative Medicine

Elizabeth (Liza) Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine's Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be representing the field of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the Institute of Medicine (IOM)'s upcoming conference to be held at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C. on February 25-27, 2009. The conference will focus on exploring the science and practice of integrative medicine.

In developing the committee's membership, the IOM sought members that have expertise in the various relevant disciplines and in subject matter areas that are in the IOM's portfolio of studies or other activities. In addition, they seek diversity, academic distinction, and geographic balance. Dr. Goldblatt, who is the Chair of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), is the only member appointed to the IOM committee representing the licensed Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) fields.

Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA has served as the President of Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM), President of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM), and is the current Vice President for Academic Affairs at American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and the United States chair of the Education Committee of the North American Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Council. Dr. Goldblatt holds an extensive background in higher education and is responsible for directing the development of the clinical doctoral programs at ACTCM and OCOM, both of which emphasize collaboration among CAM and biomedical healthcare providers.

The IOM conference will be held at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C. on February 25-27, 2009. The conference will examine ways integrative medicine seeks to convert our current sporadic, reactive, disease oriented and physician-centric approaches to care to one that fosters an emphasis on health, wellness, early intervention for disease, patient empowerment and a focus on the full range of physical, mental and social support needed to improve health and minimize the burden of disease.

Key senior representatives from stakeholder groups such as researchers, clinicians, patients, patient advisory groups, corporations, and public and private insurers will participate in the summit. Participants will identify and explore priorities, challenges, and opportunities for integrative medicine, and will focus on defining models of care and clinical programs that work. The summit will evaluate integrative medicine approaches and research methods, ways to measure the interaction of multiple therapies, and assessment of the economic issues involved.

According to the IOM website, health care has traditionally focused on treating physical ailments associated with disease without as much attention to prevention or to addressing the emotional challenges that accompany illnesses. This approach diminishes the quality of life and may also decrease the likelihood of full recovery. Integrative medicine seeks to overlay the best scientific and evidenced based approaches to care with a focus on the full range of needs of the individual. It seeks to provide the tools needed for people to maintain their health, wellness and to be more empowered in partnering with providers when illnesses occur. With this approach, patients can become more engaged members of their health care team.

IOM recently focused on this issue in a report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs, which proposed a new standard of care under which all oncology providers would screen cancer patients for stress, depression, and other mental and social problems and connect them with services and resources to tackle these issues. The summit on integrative medicine will also focus on how to spur changes that would identify the resources people need to maintain wellness, avoid disease and become more collaborative with providers to manage disease when it occurs.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) provides science-based advice on matters of biomedical science, medicine, and health. A nonprofit organization, the IOM was chartered in 1970 as a component of the National Academy of Sciences. The Institute provides a vital service by working outside the framework of government to ensure scientifically informed analysis and independent guidance. The IOM's mission is to serve as adviser to the nation to improve health. The Institute provides unbiased, evidence-based, and authoritative information and advice concerning health and science policy to policy-makers, professionals, leaders in every sector of society, and the public at large.

For more information on Dr. Liza Goldblatt’s appointment, please contact the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at (415) 355-1601 x12 or visit www.actcm.edu. For more information on the Institute of Medicine, please visit: www.iom.edu/integrativemedicine.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a 3,000-year-old medical system that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbs, massage & bodywork, nutrition and exercises such as Tai Chi and Qi Gong. TCM holds that when the human body is kept in a harmonious balance, health and well-being are naturally maintained.

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