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Massage Today
December, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 12

Massage Today Attends National Policy Dialogue

By Editorial Staff

Georgetown University Medical School housed an interesting and important gathering of leaders in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) October 31 - November 4. Called the National Policy Dialogue on Integrated Health Care: Finding Common Ground, the dialogue objectives were:

  • to identify and articulate important policy directions and initiatives that represent common ground among CAM stakeholders, and that can be used for four important purposes:
  1. to build strong alliances among providers, educators, researchers, payers and consumers who have a commitment to advancing integrated health care safely and effective;
  2. to make it possible for individuals and groups to work together on recommendations to policymakers, legislators and regulators for high-priority issues in integrated care;
  3. to develop a dynamic, shared policy agenda that can be used to promote organizational goals for integrated health care;
  4. to direct this policy agenda toward health promotion and the goal of improving community and public health.
  • to provide a forum in which key stakeholders in integrated care can communicate effectively based on information (not assumptions) and collaboration (not exclusion);
  • to enhance the effectiveness, knowledge and vision of leaders in the integrated care arena; and
  • to develop the basis for a report that policymakers, professional associations, academic institutions and others can use.

Requests from key Senate and Congressional leaders initiated the meeting. MPAMedia, Massage Today's parent company, was one of the sponsors of the dialogue. Massage Today Editor Cliff Korn represented MPAMedia at the event.

In a discourse with attendees, Dr. James Gordon, chairman of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, stated that since September 11, U.S. policy on health care will never be the same. He stated that the work of attendees on finding common ground was more important than ever.

Of special interest to Massage Today readers, he mentioned that in his visits to the site of the World Trade Center tragedy, the most appreciated health care service offered other than basic lifesaving services was massage therapy!

The work of the dialogue attendees is being developed into a draft document that will be utilized by the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy.

Dialogue organizers are hopeful that the "common ground" determined and documented in the discussions will be useful to policymakers at all levels and incorporated in all segments of the health care community. Massage Today will publish a follow-up article once the final recommendations are drafted.


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