WASHINGTON, D.C., January 29, 2019– The bipartisan Congressional Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus has been registered with two new co-chairs at the helm for the 116th Congress. Representative Judy Chu (CA-21st) will serve as the Democratic leader with Representative Jackie Walorski (IN-2nd) as the Republican leader, replacing former Caucus co-chairs Colorado Congressmen Polis and Coffman, respectively.
The Caucus will hold its first meeting of the new Congress on Wednesday, March 6, 2019 on Capitol Hill with an education program and active demonstrations of integrative treatments provided to House Members and staff. Given the recent passage of the HR6 SUPPORT Act addressing the country’s opioid crisis, the focus of the event will be integrative models of care for pain management. Both Representatives sit on the powerful Committee for Ways and Means, which ultimately governs Medicare, along with payments to health care providers delivering care to Medicare beneficiaries, such as those working in hospitals, surgery centers and outpatient departments.
Both new Caucus co-chairs were instrumental in crafting language for the HR6 SUPPORT Act and are involved in seeking legislative solutions regarding patient access to nonpharmacologic treatments and services for pain and addiction.
“The opioid epidemic in our country has made it more important than ever to explore non-opioid alternatives to pain management. That is why I am so pleased to be a cofounder of the Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus. Through this caucus, we hope to educate our colleagues about safe alternatives like acupuncture, which for millennia has been successful at treating a number of health conditions in addition to pain. I am hoping we can help make more healthcare options available and accessible to all Americans.,” said Congresswoman Chu.
“Integrative health care approaches are critical to treating pain, one of the biggest health challenges Americans face. As co-chair of the bipartisan Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues to combat the opioid crisis and help patients by improving access to innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to pain management. I am committed to working across the aisle to ensure patients and providers have access to non-opioid alternatives and the comprehensive care they need,” said Congresswoman Walorski.
The event sponsored by the bipartisan Representatives is open to all members of Congress and their staff. Hosted by the Integrative Health Policy Consortium, speakers will educate lawmakers on what integrative health models of care look like, what current barriers to access for these care models are, as well as hold demonstrations of services designed to treat chronic neck and back pain with nonpharmacologic methods.
IHPC Director of Government Affairs, Kallie Guimond, stated “IHPC applauds the efforts of the Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus co-chairs in addressing the current opioid crisis and looking for innovative ways to deliver healthcare services and treatment options that include nonpharmacologic options for the millions of Americans that struggle with pain and addiction. We look forward to working with the co-chairs to build Caucus membership and to be a resource for its members for many years to come.”
Rep. Judy Chu, D-CA., and Rep. Jackie Walorski , R-IN will lead the Congressional Integrative Health & Wellness Caucus in the 116th Congress. The Caucus serves 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.
The Integrative Health Policy Consortium is the national policy and advocacy voice of integrative health and wellness healthcare professional organizations, representing 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. Len 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.