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ABIHM Will Expand to Become an International Academy

Tags: Abihm, Medicine, IHPC

In 2014, the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) will expand to become an international academy, the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM). The mission of the expanded global academy will be to implement the science of health and healing into practice by bringing leaders of medicine and the healing arts together into an academic and clinically focused community.

In December 2013, stakeholders representing key organizations in the integrative health and medicine sector met formally in San Diego to discuss the development of the academy, its major goals, and vision. Leaders from the American Holistic Medical Association (AHMA), the Integrative Medicine Consortium (IMC), the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC), the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC), Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine (FNM), the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), Healing Beyond Borders (HBB), and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM), had a meaningful discussion about the future academy, which will be a strong voice for integrative health and medicine professionals.

Funding for the expansion of the new academy was made possible by an endowment from the Taylor Family Foundation and Miraglo Foundation. Don and Ruth Taylor of Calgary, Alberta are committed to projects to transform health care to a system of prevention and early intervention, promotion of optimal health, personalized health interventions, social support and individual empowerment.

Six major shifts in health care have created the need for an expanded education and certification program in integrative and holistic health and medicine. In recognition that successful health and medicine delivery requires professionals from multiple disciplines, the academy will welcome a wide array of healthcare professionals. In addition to medical and osteopathic physicians, the academy will support licensed and credentialed healthcare providers such as naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, nutritionists, and dieticians. By 2015, the academy will have a certification process in place for these licensed and credentialed health professionals for additional advanced training. Specific details about eligibility will be provided in 2014.

The six major shifts in healthcare in the United States are as follows:

1) Patient Demand: Increased patient demand for integrative, preventive and holistic healthcare services.

2) Efficacy: Proven cost efficacy of integrative health and medicine in wellness programs in employment settings, universities, and pilot programs as summarized by the Bravewell Collaborative.

3) ACA: The Affordable Care Act stipulates that licensed health care professions (including licensed acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians, and others) cannot be discriminated against by insurers (Section 2706) and incorporates integrative practitioners into several other sections of the law.

4) Recognition: The increased recognition of integrative health and medicine as affordable and effective: A recent senate resolution declared naturopathic medicine to be affordable, effective, and safe, and encouraged more Americans to consider naturopathic medicine as an option for their healthcare.

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Abihm Expands to Become The Academy