The Bravewell Collaborative Leaves a Legacy of Transforming Healthcare

New York, NY (June 1, 2015) – One of the nation’s most innovative and highly influential philanthropic health foundations, The Bravewell Collaborative, will sunset its operations in June 2015. Since its founding in 2002, Bravewell has sought to shift the focus of our healthcare system to prevention, health maintenance, early intervention and patient-centered care.

“Bravewell was born with an unusual goal: to not exist,” said Christy Mack, co-founder and president of The Bravewell Collaborative. “It was always our intention to come together, do the work, and then disband. We feel that, with the help of our partners, we’ve accomplished what we’ve set out to do.”

The Bravewell Collaborative was formed when, in 2001, a group of like-minded philanthropists met to discuss how they could accelerate the adoption of integrative medicine. Believing they could accomplish more by joining together and pooling their resources than they could by working alone, they quickly identified key leverage points where philanthropy could make a difference for the integrative movement. Central to its vision was the idea that integrative medicine has the power to transform economic models that impede our present system and to greatly improve public health—a concept that is now central to discussions of healthcare’s future.

A Legacy of Accomplishment

Over the course of the 14 years of its existence, Bravewell members invested nearly $30 million in pursuit of this vision, supplemented with investments by collaborating partners.

Among Bravewell’s lasting contributions is “The New Medicine,” an award-winning series on integrative medicine that has aired repeatedly on more than 560 PBS stations, reaching 4.2 million viewers. Early on, Bravewell funded the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, a group of highly respected medical schools that were developing clinical centers to deliver integrative care. Bravewell’s funding helped the Consortium grow from an initial eight schools to the 56 medical schools and health systems that comprise it today. In partnership with the Institute of Medicine, Bravewell convened the Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public, drawing more than 600 leaders from healthcare, science, policy, academia, industry, and patient advocacy to examine the scientific basis of integrative medicine and its potential to improve health. This Summit brought integrative medicine into the national conversation on health.

“We looked to partner with the best and brightest across the country, and wherever we combined our funding ability with other people’s wisdom, passion and dedication, the results were amazing,” said Penny George, Bravewell co-founder and vice president. “Bravewell demonstrates what philanthropy, at its very best, is capable of accomplishing,” added Christy Mack.

As part of its sunsetting process, Bravewell underwrote two legacy projects that will continue to help transform healthcare after it has closed its doors. These are PRIMIER, a patient-reported outcomes registry, and the Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare at Duke University.


Bravewell funded the establishment of a national database of uniformly collected patient-reported outcomes and provider observations. Known as PRIMIER (Patients Receiving Integrative Medicine Interventions Effectiveness Registry), this is the first nationwide database of its kind, and enables researchers to evaluate patient-reported outcomes over time for patients who use integrative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, biofeedback, nutrition, massage, and mindfulness. Developed and managed by BraveNet, a practice-based research network established by Bravewell in 2007, with Einstein College of Medicine serving as the data coordinating center, the registry has now enrolled more than 1,600 patients.

The Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare at Duke University

Bravewell also funded the creation of the Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare at Duke University. In assessing the future of healthcare, Bravewell recognized that the nation needed a host of integrative healthcare leaders with business acumen who could think critically, create collaborative environments, actively involve patients and families in their own care, develop strategic approaches to change, and inspire excellence throughout an organization. Bravewell awarded a grant to Duke Integrative Medicine in 2014 to create The Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare at Duke University and, under the leadership of Adam Perlman, MD, this program is now training its first cohort of 32 integrative leaders.

Additional Information

While Bravewell will conclude operations, its website,, will live on until 2020 to serve as a record of the work and as a resource to others in the field. The website will include a series of new videos capturing the work and legacy of the organization over the past 14 years.  A book about The Bravewell Collaborative, which traces its history and the philosophies and strategies that made its successes possible, will be released in 2016.For more information, log onto:
Academic Consortium:
Leadership Program: