“Health is a personal and national resource. It is what allows us to engage with life. Without physical, mental and spiritual wellness, we can’t share in loving relationships with our families and friends, or contribute to our communities, or fully participate in our work, or compete on the global stage.”

— Christy Mack, Co-Founder and President of The Bravewell Collaborative

Letter from Bravewell's President

Christy Mack

In May of 2012, The Bravewell Collaborative sent a letter to its partners and friends announcing its intent to sunset.  As you might recall, from its very beginning Bravewell’s vision was to one day not exist — we hoped that at some point we would have accomplished our goals and at the appropriate time, would shut our doors.

We initially believed that time had come when we recognized that the 2009 Institute of Medicine Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public had become a catalyst for the movement.  But our standard policy is to leave space for the unknown, so the Bravewell membership decided to see what by-products might emerge from our work with the IOM and the Summit.  It was a fortuitous decision that led us into collaborations with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the Armed Services, resulting in our sponsoring a briefing on Integrative Medicine at the Pentagon for military medical leadership in 2010.

Shortly thereafter, McKinsey & Company performed a second pro bono study of the Bravewell Clinical Network and made recommendations on how Bravewell could best direct its final efforts to transform healthcare.  As an outgrowth of that study, the members of The Bravewell Collaborative have chosen to underwrite two legacy projects as their parting gift to the nation.

These are:

PRIMIER:  Providing the Evidence that it Works
Bravewell is funding the creation of a national database of uniformly collected patient-reported outcomes and provider observations.  Known as PRIMIER (Patients Receiving Integrative Medicine Interventions Effectiveness Registry), this project will document clinical outcomes and medical utilization during integrative interventions.  The database will utilize the NIH-developed Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) and other measures so that the information can be used in observational and comparative effectiveness research by a variety of healthcare researchers, thus driving the adoption of proven best practices.  The Armed Services is creating a similar project, known as PASTOR, and Bravewell and the Department of Defense are collaborating so data can be compared between registries.  A similar conversation is occurring with the VHA.

The Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare:  Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders
Under the leadership of Adam Perlman, MD, Bravewell is currently partnering with Duke Integrative Medicine, as well as with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Medical School, and Clinical Research Institute, to create a year-long Leadership Program in Integrative Medicine to promote effective cultural transformation in healthcare institutions and practices across the country.  Healthcare leaders will learn how to establish integrative programs and operationalize integrative medicine strategies that are economically self-sustainable and reproducible in a variety of healthcare settings.

It is with tremendous gratitude to all of our strategic collaborators and partners and supporters that we are writing to tell you that The Bravewell Collaborative will be sunsetting its operations sometime in 2015, after the PRIMIER and Leadership projects have been created and achieved sustainability. 

It has been the most fulfilling journey for all of us.  Once Bravewell’s doors are closed, we, as individuals, will continue to work for the transformation of healthcare as the committed and passionate people that we are.  We are confident that those who have partnered with us over these years are now well positioned to advance their work in transforming the health of this nation and the way we deliver its care.

With my best regards,

Christy Mack

Co-Founder and President, The Bravewell Collaborative