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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Retraction Needed? JAMA Oncology’s Bum Science Suggests People Die Faster Using Complementary Medicine

The media had a feeding frenzy when a data-mining report from Yale researchers published in JAMA Oncology suggested a causal relationship between use of complementary medicine and shortened life span among cancer patients. A New York Times subheading was representative: “People who used herbs, acupuncture and other complementary treatments tended to die earlier than those who didn’t.” The appearance of this apparent death knell due to the “nostrums” as the Times writer called them – “herbs, vitamins, traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, naturopathy, yoga, acupuncture and others” – had a fascinating timeliness. The publication of “Complementary Medicine, Refusal of Cancer Therapy, and Survival among Cancer Patients with Curable Cancers”

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Integrative Medicine Leader Tracy Gaudet and her “Aha!” Moments Driving the VA’s Cultural Transformation

In a recent presentation at a National Academy of Medicine workshop, Tracy Gaudet, MD, the founding director of the Veterans Administration’s Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, described how radically her team is approaching their work to create health in the veterans they serve. “We start with peer conversations between the veterans and their peers about what is important to them,” began Gaudet – who from 1995-2011 led integrative medicine programs at the flagship University of Arizona program founded by Andrew Weil, MD and then Duke Integrative Medicine, before being chosen to found the VA’s new office. She continued: “Then, circling out from that, we have

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Harvard’s Beth Frates, MD: Applying Prochaska’s Change Model to Advance Lifestyle Medicine in Institutions

Beth Frates, MD recalls her first effort, ten years ago, to give students at Harvard Medical School more grounding in lifestyle medicine: I met with my Dean and explained how I would bring [the material] to them. He was all enthusiastic. He told me he loved what I was doing. Then he said: ‘We can’t possibly do this right now.’” Frates’ excitement cycled high then hit the cellar. What explains this apparent paradox of verbal support and failure to act? “He was pre-contemplative,” says Frates. Frates’ use of the “pre-contemplative” attribute placed the Dean and the institution in the lowest

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Breast Cancer Joins Pain as Conditions with Dominant School Endorsement of Integrative Strategies

The movement of medicine toward an integrative model took an important step in early June. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) endorsed a clinical practice guideline for integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. The endorsement was published on June 11, 2018 in ASCO’s Journal of Clinical Oncology as “Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment: ASCO Endorsement of the SIO Clinical Practice Guideline.” That guideline, with a few added discussion points, has beenpublished in 2017 by the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO). According to one major cancer center, ASCO’s move “sent a clear signal to breast cancer patients and their care teams:

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Chronology of Integrative Health Inclusion in Federal Policy, by John Weeks

Front-Lines for Integrative Health, by columnist John Weeks | Note to Today’s Practitioner readers: You are doing the clinical work. Shifting the medical industry toward a system focused on creating health also requires organizational, institutional, professional and policy action. Some of you so inclined and engaged. Others of you pay attention. In my new column for Today’s Practitioner I will report, celebrate and sometimes cajole relative to efforts at the convergence of integrative health and the dominant school of medicine – as I have been through the Integrator Blog, and elsewhere, over the past 25 years. More on my background is

Read More »

Breast Cancer Joins Pain as Conditions with Dominant School Endorsement of Integrative Strategies

The movement of medicine toward an integrative model took an important step in early June. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) endorsed a clinical practice guideline for integrative therapies during and after breast cancer treatment. The endorsement was published on June 11, 2018 in ASCO’s Journal of Clinical Oncology as “Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment: ASCO Endorsement of the SIO Clinical Practice Guideline.” That guideline, with a few added discussion points, has beenpublished in 2017 by the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO). According to one major cancer center, ASCO’s move “sent a clear signal to breast cancer patients and their care teams:

Read More »

Chronology of Integrative Health Inclusion in Federal Policy, by John Weeks

Front-Lines for Integrative Health, by columnist John Weeks | Note to Today’s Practitioner readers: You are doing the clinical work. Shifting the medical industry toward a system focused on creating health also requires organizational, institutional, professional and policy action. Some of you so inclined and engaged. Others of you pay attention. In my new column for Today’s Practitioner I will report, celebrate and sometimes cajole relative to efforts at the convergence of integrative health and the dominant school of medicine – as I have been through the Integrator Blog, and elsewhere, over the past 25 years. More on my background is

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 »