Preventive Medicine and Public Health Issues
The University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine (AWCIM) and the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health (The Consortium) in cooperation with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)1 created the National Center for Integrative Primary Healthcare (NCIPH).
The purpose of the NCIPH is to advance the incorporation of competency- and evidence-based integrative health (IH) curricula and best practices into primary care education and practice. The most important gap filled by this 3-year project will be the development of a set of competencies and educational materials relevant to and appropriate for use across the entire interprofessional spectrum of primary care practitioners.
It is well-accepted that we have a health care payment system that focuses on disease and does not reimburse for health professionals to focus on disease prevention, health, lifestyle issues and wellness. Thus, both health professionals as individuals and the economics of health care must change to shift the focus from being a fractionalized, disease-based system and disease-based payment system to one that focuses on collaborative, team-based, patient/person-centered care that emphasizes health, well-being and disease prevention.
One conclusion from the IOM report was that academic institutions need to be actively engaged as "partners with both health centers and local health departments in sharing data; aligning clinical, research and educational programs; and sustaining integrated operations aimed at improving the health of the entire community." Clearly educating clinicians and non-clinicians on integrative medicine has to include both the clinical aspects of integrative medicine and the public health applications of integrative medicine.
Under the leadership of a national interprofessional team (InPLT) the NCIPH will focus on achieving the following goals over the next 3 years: