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Massage Today
October, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 10

First Clinical Director Named at NCCAM

By Editorial Staff

Dr. Marc R. Blackman was appointed recently as the first clinical director of the Division of Intramural Research of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

In assuming the position at NCCAM, Dr. Blackman leaves John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he served several roles: as professor of medicine and chief of the division of metabolism at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center; and as program director of General Clinical Research Center.

In his new position at NCCAM, Dr. Blackman recruits and oversees the activities of clinical scientists studying the safety, effectiveness and mechanisms of action of various CAM practices. Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Blackman enthused: "The rich intellectual and scientific resources of the NIH [National Institutes of Health] provide an ideal environment for the kinds of multidisciplinary collaborations that best suit many complementary and alternative medical practices investigations."

As you may recall, we reported on the increased research funding accorded the NCCAM by the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) in the March 2001 issue of MT. Both the NCCAM and the OAM are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). (Editor's note: See "Congress Increases Funding for CAM Research by $20 Million), available on line at

Massage Down Under: Australian Hospital First to Offer Alternative Care

Swinburne University Hospital in Melbourne, Australia has become the first medical facility in the country to offer holistic care in addition to traditional medical services. The newly refurbished 60-bed hospital now offers a variety of complementary and alternative therapies, including massage; yoga; meditation; aromatherapy; music therapy; relaxation therapies; and acupuncture.

The new hospital, officially opened following a July 3 ceremony by Federal Health Minister Dr. Michael Wooldridge, is the brainchild of Professor Avni Sali, head of Swinburne University of Technology's Graduate School of Integrative Medicine. He is also a board member and visiting consultant of the hospital.

"The exciting and unique part for patients is that Swinburne University Hospital will be able to offer people a choice in their health care," said Professor Sali. "If they don't seek complementary medicine then it won't be given, but for those people who wish to use it, they be will be able to choose from a range of evidence-based validated treatments from accredited professionals..."


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