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Returning the Soul to Medicine
Transforming healthcare means moving the boundaries of the existing field of medicine to include the wisdom inherent in healing the "whole person"—mind, body and spirit. It means helping practitioners learn about and make use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches in the care of their patients and shifting the focus of the healthcare system to include prevention, health maintenance and early intervention.
This transformation, which is broadly called integrative medicine and is emerging in many forms and places, is being shaped by—and is shaping—the efforts of clinicians, educators, researchers and concerned individuals.
By developing strategic programs that support such innovative and integrative approaches to medicine, the Bravewell Collaborative believes that beneficial and lasting changes in our healthcare system can occur. To this effect, the Bravewell Collaborative is actively engaged in supporting integrative medicine leaders in their efforts to transform healthcare delivery and reclaim patient-centered care; helping integrative medical centers develop strong clinical models that will achieve sustainability; transforming medical education; and advancing public awareness of integrative medicine.
This initiative identifies, confirms, organizes and documents the existing landscape of the rapidly developing field of integrative medicine.
In 2004, the Bravewell Collaborative formed the Bravewell Clinical Network, a group of eight leading integrative health centers from across the United States. The Bravewell Collaborative is assisting the Bravewell Clinical Network in reaching sustainability and success, training Bravewell Clinical Fellows and developing a Practice-Based Research Network. Lessons learned will make high quality integrative care more widely available in the United States.
The Bravewell Collaborative created the Bravewell Leadership Award to recognize, empower and support champions of integrative medicine in their efforts to transform the culture of healthcare and to reclaim relationship-centered healing. The Bravewell Collaborative has also supported educational efforts to this same end.
The Bravewell Collaborative is the sole sustaining funder of the Consortium for Academic Healthcare Centers for Integrative Medicine and its major efforts in helping transform medical education and healthcare delivery. Bravewell also seeks and works with other strategic partners who impact the field of medical education.
Recognizing the importance of public awareness to the growth of the field of integrative medicine, individual members of the Bravewell Collaborative and their foundations supported the creation of a PBS special about integrative medicine. Produced by Emmy Award-winning Middlemarch Films Inc. and sponsored by Twin Cities Public Television, The New Medicine aired nationwide on PBS in the spring of 2006 to an audience of over 4 million people.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and The Bravewell Collaborative partnered to convene a summit that explored the science and practice of integrative medicine — health care that addresses together the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of the healing process — for improving the breadth and depth of patient-centered care and promoting the nation's health.