On the Front Lines

with John Weeks

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Who is John Weeks?

John Weeks is a writer, speaker, chronicler and organizer whose work in the movement for integrative health and medicine began in 1983. He is publisher-editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports, which since 1995 – in various prior forms – has created primary connective terrain for the diverse stakeholders and professions in the field. He is a new contributor to Today’s Practitioner and contributes a regular column to Integrative Insights at Integrative Practitioner, a column for Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, and regular blogs for the Altarum Institute, the Huffington Post and elsewhere. In May 2016,  he accepted an invitation to serve as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Since mid-2015, John has re-focused his work on presenting, teaching and mentoring.

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Elizabeth “Liza” Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA Honored with AIHM’s Change-Maker Award: 8 Leaders Offer Gratitude

How about a research department at an acupuncture and Oriental medicine school? Let’s partner with mainstream academic institutions and go after NIH grants!  Wouldn’t it be terrific to have an organization that could give voice to all the licensed complementary and integrative health professions in dialogues they could not enter alone? Might this be a vehicle to foster interprofessional and inter-institutional relationships between these fields and their better-resourced peers? Might they give voice to the integrative health values and disciplines in multiple dialogues at the National Academy of Medicine and elsewhere to shape US medicine and health? And isn’t it

Read More »

Cleveland Clinic’s Functional Medicine Outcomes in JAMA: Six Perspectives

Today’s Practitioner recently posted the press article for a recent JAMA study, showing that a functional medicine model at the Cleveland Clinic was associated with improvements in health-related quality of life. The following is a commentary from various health professionals as part of John Week’s regular column. The decision of the Cleveland Clinic to start a Center for Functional Medicine was big news. That the $9-billion system gave the initiative significant visibility suggested arrival for functional medicine. A few hurdles still existed. Cleveland Clinic’s new partners needed to clarify and create a clinical model that could be measured. That was

Read More »

Chiropractor Goertz: Chairperson at PCORI & Duke Spine Care Leader – Interview and Data on PCORI Integrative Grants

Long-timers in the integrative trenches will know the paradoxical feelings of dismay at how messed up health care still is and at the same time satisfaction at just how far “integration” has advanced. Evidence for the latter comes from not one but two recent moves in the career of chiropractor and health services researcher Christine Goertz, DC, PhD. Place yourself in 1988. The chiropractors were just concluding their decade-long, successful Wilk vs. the AMA anti-trust suit. Most of medicine and much of the media – in part because of the AMA’s economically-driven attacks – equated “chiropractor” with “quack”.  Now consider

Read More »

The Intriguing Impacts of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research: Exit Interview with PCORI Founding Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH

The way Joe Selby, MD, MPH tells it, the naming of the $3.2-billion Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – which from the outset had a charge to explore the comparative effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine methods – was both serendipitous and brilliant. At the time the quasi-public agency was established as part of the Affordable Care Act, the idea of “comparative effectiveness research (CER)” a hot-potato for the medical industry. Medicine’s waste, morbidity, mortality and cost prompted interest in real-world, decision-oriented research. But powerful medical stakeholders were worried enough about the comparative effectiveness of their part of the

Read More »

The New (Naturopathic) Face for a Therapeutic Order: The Healing Power of Nature and Integrative Health

I sometimes refer to my 1983-1993 years with the re-emergence of the naturopathic profession – amidst the broader social-medical movement that birthed integrative health – as my boot-camp. Given the decade duration of the commitment, it was more of an extended Marine Corps stint. The work was hard, ground won celebrated, compensation scarce, friendships fierce, and mission central. The pole star was the naturopathic profession’s commitment to “treat disease by restoring health.” The constellations that guided the voyage were a set of principles and something educators Jared Zeff, ND and Pamela Snider, ND would articulate as the “naturopathic therapeutic order.”

Read More »

John Weeks: Self-Interested Whims of the Oligarchs: Google and Facebook Kill Access to Alternative and Integrative Medicine

Before we jump into John Weeks’ column, we thought it best to give you some background on recent changes to Google and Facebook that may be affecting your practice’s website traffic. In case you missed it, from 2018 and into the summer of 2019, Google and Facebook changed their search engine algorithm to make it harder to find information about alternative and integrative medicine. They placed lower ratings (from contract website raters) on what is called Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) websites because of “inaccurate potentially dangerous medical advice.” Health websites that focus on alternative and integrative medicine suddenly lost

Read More »

$5-Million to Mayo and Other Choices in the George’s Strategic Investment in Integrative Health

The George family name has been linked symbiotically to the growth of integrative health and medicine in the United States for 20 years. When a group of philanthropists met with a set of integrative academics at the Miraval Resort in 1999 and then again in 2001 in what would become the immensely influential Bravewell Collaborative, Penny and Bill George had their hands on the wheel. At Allina Health inpatient-outpatient integrative health program in their home city of Minneapolis they intentionally spawned methods and data that would guide others through $30-million pouring on the coal. The action of the Georges and

Read More »

Breaking the Class Barrier for Integrative Medicine: Innovative Roles for Group-Delivered Services, JACM Special Issue

Cast a net for papers on “innovations in group-delivered services” and what do you get? Guest editor Maria Chao, DrPh, MPA summed up the nearly 40 submissions this way: “Our editorial team was struck by the heterogeneity of integrative group visits for a range of health conditions, serving diverse patients across the life course and implemented in varied healthcare settings. A unifying theme is the potential for integrative group visits to address unmet needs of underserved and vulnerable patients. In many ways, group visits serve as a critical model towards integrative health equity.” The commentaries and research articles in the

Read More »

Mimi Guarneri, MD on the State of Integrative Cardiology

We pulled out this blog post from John Weeks’ archives, posted last February, on integrative cardiology with Mimi Guarneri, MD. As integrative medicine for chronic illness treatments gains more attention, this blog post and video presentation from Dr. Guarneri becomes all the more important to revisit. It was astonishing two decades ago when word emerged that medical device industry giant Medtronic – famed for its pacemakers – had made $1-million grants for cardiologists at heart centers across the country to explore complementary therapies. One seeded the creation of a center at Scripps led by interventional cardiologist Mimi Guarneri, MD. Guarneri

Read More »

Part 2: A Conversation with National Pain Leader Sean Mackey, MD, PhD on Integrative Practices and the Controversial Oregon Opioid Tapering Decision

Shortly after my recent post, “How the Backlash to Oregon’s Plan to Taper Opioids with Integrative Approaches Missed the Mark,”  I received an e-note from national pain leader Sean Mackey, MD, PhD. The letterhead of the chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University and co-chair of the US HHS National Pain Strategy was the vehicle through which Mackey and 100 co-signers successfully campaigned for the Oregon Health Authority to prevent forced tapering “of certain patient populations.” Mackey wrote that he presumed we had shared interests in bettering care, yet he thought there was a harmful “negativity” in

Read More »

Elizabeth “Liza” Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA Honored with AIHM’s Change-Maker Award: 8 Leaders Offer Gratitude

How about a research department at an acupuncture and Oriental medicine school? Let’s partner with mainstream academic institutions and go after NIH grants!  Wouldn’t it be terrific to have an organization that could give voice to all the licensed complementary and integrative health professions in dialogues they could not enter alone? Might this be a vehicle to foster interprofessional and inter-institutional relationships between these fields and their better-resourced peers? Might they give voice to the integrative health values and disciplines in multiple dialogues at the National Academy of Medicine and elsewhere to shape US medicine and health? And isn’t it

Read More »

Cleveland Clinic’s Functional Medicine Outcomes in JAMA: Six Perspectives

Today’s Practitioner recently posted the press article for a recent JAMA study, showing that a functional medicine model at the Cleveland Clinic was associated with improvements in health-related quality of life. The following is a commentary from various health professionals as part of John Week’s regular column. The decision of the Cleveland Clinic to start a Center for Functional Medicine was big news. That the $9-billion system gave the initiative significant visibility suggested arrival for functional medicine. A few hurdles still existed. Cleveland Clinic’s new partners needed to clarify and create a clinical model that could be measured. That was

Read More »

Chiropractor Goertz: Chairperson at PCORI & Duke Spine Care Leader – Interview and Data on PCORI Integrative Grants

Long-timers in the integrative trenches will know the paradoxical feelings of dismay at how messed up health care still is and at the same time satisfaction at just how far “integration” has advanced. Evidence for the latter comes from not one but two recent moves in the career of chiropractor and health services researcher Christine Goertz, DC, PhD. Place yourself in 1988. The chiropractors were just concluding their decade-long, successful Wilk vs. the AMA anti-trust suit. Most of medicine and much of the media – in part because of the AMA’s economically-driven attacks – equated “chiropractor” with “quack”.  Now consider

Read More »

The Intriguing Impacts of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research: Exit Interview with PCORI Founding Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH

The way Joe Selby, MD, MPH tells it, the naming of the $3.2-billion Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) – which from the outset had a charge to explore the comparative effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine methods – was both serendipitous and brilliant. At the time the quasi-public agency was established as part of the Affordable Care Act, the idea of “comparative effectiveness research (CER)” a hot-potato for the medical industry. Medicine’s waste, morbidity, mortality and cost prompted interest in real-world, decision-oriented research. But powerful medical stakeholders were worried enough about the comparative effectiveness of their part of the

Read More »

The New (Naturopathic) Face for a Therapeutic Order: The Healing Power of Nature and Integrative Health

I sometimes refer to my 1983-1993 years with the re-emergence of the naturopathic profession – amidst the broader social-medical movement that birthed integrative health – as my boot-camp. Given the decade duration of the commitment, it was more of an extended Marine Corps stint. The work was hard, ground won celebrated, compensation scarce, friendships fierce, and mission central. The pole star was the naturopathic profession’s commitment to “treat disease by restoring health.” The constellations that guided the voyage were a set of principles and something educators Jared Zeff, ND and Pamela Snider, ND would articulate as the “naturopathic therapeutic order.”

Read More »

John Weeks: Self-Interested Whims of the Oligarchs: Google and Facebook Kill Access to Alternative and Integrative Medicine

Before we jump into John Weeks’ column, we thought it best to give you some background on recent changes to Google and Facebook that may be affecting your practice’s website traffic. In case you missed it, from 2018 and into the summer of 2019, Google and Facebook changed their search engine algorithm to make it harder to find information about alternative and integrative medicine. They placed lower ratings (from contract website raters) on what is called Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) websites because of “inaccurate potentially dangerous medical advice.” Health websites that focus on alternative and integrative medicine suddenly lost

Read More »

$5-Million to Mayo and Other Choices in the George’s Strategic Investment in Integrative Health

The George family name has been linked symbiotically to the growth of integrative health and medicine in the United States for 20 years. When a group of philanthropists met with a set of integrative academics at the Miraval Resort in 1999 and then again in 2001 in what would become the immensely influential Bravewell Collaborative, Penny and Bill George had their hands on the wheel. At Allina Health inpatient-outpatient integrative health program in their home city of Minneapolis they intentionally spawned methods and data that would guide others through $30-million pouring on the coal. The action of the Georges and

Read More »

Breaking the Class Barrier for Integrative Medicine: Innovative Roles for Group-Delivered Services, JACM Special Issue

Cast a net for papers on “innovations in group-delivered services” and what do you get? Guest editor Maria Chao, DrPh, MPA summed up the nearly 40 submissions this way: “Our editorial team was struck by the heterogeneity of integrative group visits for a range of health conditions, serving diverse patients across the life course and implemented in varied healthcare settings. A unifying theme is the potential for integrative group visits to address unmet needs of underserved and vulnerable patients. In many ways, group visits serve as a critical model towards integrative health equity.” The commentaries and research articles in the

Read More »

Mimi Guarneri, MD on the State of Integrative Cardiology

We pulled out this blog post from John Weeks’ archives, posted last February, on integrative cardiology with Mimi Guarneri, MD. As integrative medicine for chronic illness treatments gains more attention, this blog post and video presentation from Dr. Guarneri becomes all the more important to revisit. It was astonishing two decades ago when word emerged that medical device industry giant Medtronic – famed for its pacemakers – had made $1-million grants for cardiologists at heart centers across the country to explore complementary therapies. One seeded the creation of a center at Scripps led by interventional cardiologist Mimi Guarneri, MD. Guarneri

Read More »

Part 2: A Conversation with National Pain Leader Sean Mackey, MD, PhD on Integrative Practices and the Controversial Oregon Opioid Tapering Decision

Shortly after my recent post, “How the Backlash to Oregon’s Plan to Taper Opioids with Integrative Approaches Missed the Mark,”  I received an e-note from national pain leader Sean Mackey, MD, PhD. The letterhead of the chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University and co-chair of the US HHS National Pain Strategy was the vehicle through which Mackey and 100 co-signers successfully campaigned for the Oregon Health Authority to prevent forced tapering “of certain patient populations.” Mackey wrote that he presumed we had shared interests in bettering care, yet he thought there was a harmful “negativity” in

Read More »

Who is John Weeks?

John Weeks is a writer, speaker, chronicler and organizer whose work in the movement for integrative health and medicine began in 1983. He is publisher-editor of The Integrator Blog News & Reports, which since 1995 – in various prior forms – has created primary connective terrain for the diverse stakeholders and

Read More »