Complementary and Integrative Health Consortium Celebrates John Weeks' Contributions as He Steps Down from 8.5 Years as Executive Director

Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) Produces Significant Impact

SEATTLE, Jun. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC – www.accahc.org) proudly honors the contributions of integrative health and medicine pioneer John Weeks as he steps down as executive director on June 30, 2015 after 8.5 years in the position.

ACCAHC's Chronicle of Accomplishment during Weeks' term has included advances in: expanding the role of non-pharmacologic approaches in integrative pain treatment; opening the movement for interprofessional care to the integrative health professions; linking integrative health and values-based medicine (the "Triple Aim"); providing significant input into the NIH strategic plan for complementary and integrative health; and stimulating a health and wellness focus at an Institute of Medicine Global Forum as the most significant innovation needed in the education of health professionals.

One of the volunteer co-founders of the organization in 2004, Weeks was retained for 30 hours/month as its second executive director in January 2007. ACCAHC has since grown and transformed from a project of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (www.ihpc.org) into an independent 501c3 organization. Weeks led the development of ACCAHC's unique business model. ACCAHC combines an interprofessional, collaborative platform of now 58 member organizations and institutions from the integrative health and medicine professions with significant investment from philanthropic partners and extraordinary volunteerism.

Elizabeth A. Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA, ACCAHC's chair and former long-time leader of the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, states: "John's work has been extraordinary. He's built bridges with multiple national organizations, federal agencies and academic institutions. He is the most prolific and productive person I have ever met. Through his work we've been able to make some remarkable strides."

In Weeks' term, ACCAHC has:

  • Grown to include 14 core organizational members that are councils of colleges, accrediting agencies, certification and testing organizations from the licensed integrative health and medicine fields, plus 4 emerging professions organizations.
  • A six-fold increase in the organization's annual revenues.
  • Created key interprofessional tools such as ACCAHC's highly-regarded Clinician's and Educators Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Integrative Health Professions (2009; second edition 2013), and its influential Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrative Environments.
  • Added 40 individual university and college members plus a dozen Associate Members organizations.
  • Inserted ACCAHC's professions more deeply in the primary care dialogue through a partnership with UCLA's Michael Goldstein, PhD that produced the impactful white paper: Meeting the National Primary Care Needs: The Roles of Doctors of Chiropractic and Naturopathic Medicine, Practitioners of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and Direct-Entry Midwives which Weeks co-authored.
  • Developed a group of philanthropic partners whose generosity has typically quadrupled the organization's revenue base and thus its ability to advance integrative health and medicine.
  • Created the ACCAHC web-portal and organizing base for transformation called the Center for Optimal Integration: Creating Health (www.optimalintegration.org) which Weeks has directed.
  • Significantly influenced three separate Institute of Medicine initiatives involving the role of integrative medicine (2008-2009), pain care (2010-2011) and interprofessionalism (2012-present).
  • Served as the only U.S. presence, with Weeks the invited participant, at two Hong Kong workgroups that supported creation of the WHO 2014-2023 Traditional Medicine Strategy.
  • Co-sponsored the International Congress on Education in Complementary and Integrative Medicine with Georgetown University and the 61 conventional academic health centers in the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, with Weeks on the organizing committee.
  • Secured from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation what may be the first grants from a blue-chip national foundation to an integrative health and medicine health professional initiative.
  • Served as a partner organization, with Weeks on the Steering Committee, of the HRSA-funded Integrative Medicine in Preventive Medicine initiative of the American College of Preventive Medicine.
  • Developed the Project for Integrative Health and the Triple Aim to stimulate engagement of all stakeholders in the powerful alignment of integrative health and medicine with the movement in regular medicine toward values-based care.

ACCAHC board member William Meeker, DC, MPH, the founding director of the NIH-funded Chiropractic Research Center and current president of Palmer College of Chiropractic West, recalls when ACCAHC was working to urge the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health to focus on whole practice, real world research: "John orchestrated a meeting at NCCIH in Bethesda with an interdisciplinary group of several of us. As a team we made quite an effective and detailed case for why NCCIH needed to re-conceptualize its funding decisions and to understand that the so-called 'CAM' professions are true scientific stakeholders of the agency."

Weeks will continue to be involved in one or more ACCAHC projects while expanding his writing and reporting and also "opening the windows to what else might be next." He credits "an incredibly dedicated staff and a remarkable set of ACCAHC volunteers – we draw from college presidents, deans, national organization CEOs and other proven leaders to multiply many times over what funded time alone could produce." He adds: "Behind the work has been a handful of powerful investors without whom very little of what we did could have been accomplished. Thank you Lucy Gonda, Ruth Westreich, Lynne Rosenthal, and Sharon Weil! It's been a good run."

In May 2015, ACCAHC joined with two other consortia and others to honor Weeks' 30 years in the field by presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Living Tribute Award at the banquet of International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health.  

Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) ACCAHC is a 501c3 organization, the mission is to enhance patient care through fostering mutual respect and understanding among diverse healthcare professionals and disciplines. It does this through education, convening and advocacy. ACCAHC is a leadership organization focused on advancing the whole person, team-based, health-focused values of integrative health and medicine as a means of shifting our medical industry toward a system focused on health creation. Core membership consists of the national educational institutions linked to the 5 licensed integrative healthcare professions with a US DoE-recognized accrediting body: chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, massage therapy, direct-entry midwifery. For information on current or past projects, see Chronicle of Accomplishment and www.accahc.org and www.optimalintegration.org

Media Contact: Renée Clugston, Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care, 206.599.9339, rclugston@accahc.org

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SOURCE Academic Consortium for Complementary & Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC)



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