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Two UA faculty members will lead research and discussion at upcoming conference

by Genevieve H. Gutiérrez

TUCSON, Ariz., Feb. 23, 2009 – The Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at The University of Arizona College of Medicine is the only educational institution to feature two faculty members as lead authors for Institute of Medicine (IOM) papers at the IOM “Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public,” Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 25-27, in Washington, D.C.

Victoria Maizes, MD, AzCIM executive director, and Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, director of the corporate health improvement program at AzCIM, also hold dual appointments in the UA College of Medicine and UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Dr. Maizes is associate professor of clinical medicine and public health and Dr. Pelletier is clinical professor of medicine and professor of public health.

Both will participate on panels at the IOM Summit, which will explore the science and practice of integrative medicine — health care that addresses the mental, emotional and physical aspects of the healing process — to promote patient-centered care nationwide. Topics to be addressed include continuity of care, chronic disease prevention and management, the scientific basis for the elements of integrative medicine, economic implications and financing reform, and mind-body relationships in health.

“The Institute of Medicine is probably one of the most august bodies in medicine,” says Dr. Pelletier. IOM attention to any area of study “has a major influence on policy and on thought leaders.” The Summit is a high-profile event that produces a prestigious publication, whitepapers and ongoing research created by invitees like Drs. Maizes and Pellietier throughout the year.

Dr. Maizes is lead author of the paper “Integrative Medicine and Patient Centered Care” and is participating in the Summit’s Workforce and Education panel, dealing with integrative medical education. AzCIM, founded by Andrew Weil, MD, in 1994, is the international leader in integrative medical education. “I am honored to contribute our center’s expertise and legacy of training leaders in integrative medicine at a time of potential change in national health care,” says Dr. Maizes.

Dr. Pelletier has been director of the corporate health improvement program for more than 20 years, conducting research in large corporations with clinical and cost outcomes. He is lead author of “Medical Economics of Integrative Medicine,” focusing on the cost-effectiveness of integrative medicine. His fellow panel members at the summit come from universities, health care providers and public policy. “It’s a very interesting mix of business executives and academic researchers – practical business world to research-oriented academic world. It really spans that whole spectrum,” he says.

Pelletier says great progress has been made in integrative medicine clinical practice and training, and cost-effectiveness also must be examined – not limited to integrative medicine. “It’s a challenge for all of medicine.”