“Bravewell’s collaborative work not only pools resources, it also pools knowledge as members and partners share assets, facts, experience and opinions that inform all our decisions.”
By developing strategic programs that support innovation and integrative approaches to medicine, The Bravewell Collaborative believes that positive and lasting changes in our health care system can occur. More information about each of the initiatives can be found by clicking the links below.
In 2003, to help develop effective clinical models for the delivery of integrative health care, The Bravewell Collaborative established a network of leading integrative medicine centers. Bravewell assists Clinical Network members in building the capacity to serve patients, developing successful models of care, and improving financial viability. Today, the nine centers in the network provide integrative care to thousands of people across the nation. The progress of these centers was documented in the 2007 publication of Best Practices in Integrative Medicine: A Report from the Bravewell Clinical Network.
To help train new clinical leaders in the field of integrative medicine, The Bravewell Collaborative created the two-year Bravewell Fellowship Program in conjunction with the highly-respected Fellowship Program at the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine. As of 2010, 75 Fellows have graduated from the program, with 18 currently enrolled. Because the graduates typically return to leadership positions within their organizations, this program is exponentially increasing the availability of integrative medicine for the American people.
Recognizing the pressing need for research that would document the cost and clinical effectiveness of integrative care, The Bravewell Collaborative established BraveNet, the first ever practice-based research network for integrative medicine. Under the direction of the Duke Clinical Research Institute, BraveNet researchers are currently completing their second study.
With Bravewell’s financial support, the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine has grown from its four founding members to a strong organization of fifty member schools. This network of clinical centers connected with leading medical universities in the United States and Canada is helping to transform both patient care and physician education.
Understanding that educating the public is key in the effort to transform our health care system, Bravewell organized and its members helped fund an award-winning two-hour PBS Special on integrative medicine. The New Medicine aired on March 29, 2006 on 516 PBS stations nationwide during prime time and was viewed by over 4.2 million people, with repeat broadcasts ongoing.
The Bravewell Leadership Award and the Bravewell Pioneers of Integrative Medicine Awards recognize, empower and support the physician leadership in this field. In 2003, Ralph Snyderman, MD, former Chancellor for Health Affairs, Duke University Medical Center, accepted the $100,000 Leadership Award from Walter Cronkite. In 2005, Brian M. Berman, MD, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, accepted his award from Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. The Inaugural Pioneers of Integrative Medicine Award Event in November 2007 honored six early leaders of integrative medicine—Larry Dossey, MD; James Gordon, MD; Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD; Dean Ornish, MD; Rachel Naomi Remen, MD; and Andrew Weil, MD. This event featured a special video presentation by HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
In partnership with The Bravewell Collaborative, the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies convened a Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public on February 25 – 27, 2009 in Washington, DC. This important Summit explored the science and practice of integrative medicine—health care that addresses together the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of the healing process—for improving the breadth and depth of patient-centered care and promoting the nation’s health.
To further enhance the adoption of integrative medicine, Bravewell developed a series of targeted educational documents and videos that are offered free from its website. These include the reports Integrative Medicine: Improving Health Care for Patients and Health Care Delivery for Providers and Payors; The Efficacy and Cost Effectiveness of Integrative Medicine; and What is Integrative Medicine? as well as twelve physician training videos focusing on the patient-provider relationship. Bravewell’s Best Practices Program highlights proven clinical interventions and/or business procedures through the publication of exemplars.
In June 2010, senior military medical leadership met with The Bravewell Collaborative and renowned scientists and physicians to discuss improving pain management for warriors and veterans through the use of integrative medicine. This meeting, held at the Pentagon, was part of the Army’s effort to provide “a standardized Department of Defense (DoD) and VHA vision and approach to pain management to optimize the care for warriors and their families.” Symposium participants reviewed the latest science in pain management and how integrative interventions can not only help improve pain management but also advance the overall health and “mission readiness” of the DoD and VHA, which is vital to the safety of our nation.
In 2011, Bravewell embarked on a mapping study to identify how integrative medicine was being practiced in leading health care systems and hospitals, within academia, and by independent health care centers. Due to be published in early 2012, the study’s documentation will include: (1) describing the patient populations and diseases most commonly treated, (2) defining the core practices and models of care, (3) understanding how the care is paid for, and (4) identifying the biggest factors driving successful implementation.