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NEWS: Newly Formed Integrative Health and Wellness Congressional Caucus

NEWS: Representatives Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) have jointly launched the Integrative Health and Wellness Congressional Caucus in the House of Representatives. In a statement, Polis called integrative care the “missing piece” for health and wellness, while Coffman said it is important for patients to have “all the facts and latest research when it comes to therapies and treatments.” The caucus is designed to serve as a non-partisan educational forum for legislators to receive up-to-date information from experts related to best practices and new research, and to discuss legislative and administrative opportunities for integrative health.

Today’s Practitioner believes this across the aisle partnership is more than a political gesture, it is a highly visible acceptance and validation for the practice of integrative care. We are asking readers to support an initiative from the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC). This nationally based organization, responsible for gaining support for the caucus, is requesting that integrative health care providers contact their representatives in support of the Integrative Health and Wellness Congressional Caucus. The IHPC has made it easy to send a letter, click on this link, type in your essential details and press send. 

As a purple state that is often cited as one of the healthiest in the nation, Colorado legislators are ideally suited to head up such a health and wellness initiative. Polis and Coffman say that at a time when chronic, lifestyle related illnesses place an undue burden on our already strained healthcare system, now is the time to emphasize “prevention, health creation, health promotion and general well-being, and includes therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic, and mindfulness.” 

Integrative and complementary therapies and treatments are often the missing piece for people on their journey to health and wellness,” Polis said. “As we debate how we can further the health care system in the U.S., we must ensure that it is affordable and accessible to all – but also, we must ensure that it provides the best possible care available.  That means investing in evidence-based integrative care.  I am proud to launch this Caucus alongside my fellow Coloradan Rep. Mike Coffman, and hope that our collaboration serves as a reminder that bipartisanship can help us reach our goals in health care.”

I think it’s important for patients to have all the facts and latest research when it comes to therapies and treatments available to them when making medical decisions. I am happy to co-chair the ‘Health and Wellness Caucus’ with my fellow Colorado colleague, Jared Polis, as we can contribute immensely given our experience dealing with healthcare in a state as diverse as Colorado.” said Coffman.

The IHPC says this type of collaboration is vital to getting Americans the care they need to address and prevent chronic lifestyle diseases. “Reps. Polis and Coffman are demonstrating exceptional leadership to address the rising costs of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, through educating and advocating for the adoption of integrative approaches that have shown improved outcomes with lower costs,” said Wisneski in a press statement. “NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has shown that more than a third of Americans use complementary or alternative medicines, even while access is often inconsistent and there is a lack of inclusion in federally funded programs. This caucus can support policy and legislative action for change.”

Polis and Coffman stated, “This caucus will provide a platform for legislators to participate together and focus on the important opportunity that integrative health and wellness approaches offers across federally funded health programs, and find ways to make these solutions more available to the American people.”
Click here to send a letter to your legislators in support of the Integrative Health and Wellness Congressional Caucus
About IHPC: The Integrative Health Policy Consortium is the national policy and advocacy voice of integrative health and wellness healthcare professionals. Its Partner for Health members represent 24 health professional organizations as the voice of more than 600,000 healthcare providers. IHPC functions as a critical watchdog and monitor of federal agencies charged with overseeing America’s health and health research needs, working towards eliminating barriers to health. IHPC Chair Dr. Wisneski is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at George Washington University Medical Center, Adjunct Faculty at Georgetown University, and is on faculty at The University of Colorado. He has published over 30 scientific articles and a landmark textbook, “The Scientific Basis of Integrative Health.” Website: http://www.ihpc.org/

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