To enhance the health of individuals and communities by creating and sustaining a network of global educational organizations and agencies, which will promote mutual understanding, collaborative activities and interdisciplinary healthcare education.
Who They Are
The Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) was founded in 2004, and formally incorporated as a 501(c)3 charitable organization in early 2008. ACCAHC’s core organizational membership consists of the councils of colleges and schools, accrediting agencies, and certification and testing organizations associated with the five licensed integrative health and medicine professions that have a federally-recognized accrediting agency. These are: acupuncture and Oriental medicine, chiropractic, direct entry (home birth) midwifery, massage therapy, and naturopathic medicine. Membership also includes organizations representing traditional world medicines and emerging professions that are engaging in the self-regulatory processes that help protect the health of the public. ACCAHC’s five licensed core disciplines total over 380,000 licensed healthcare practitioners.
What They Do
The core member organizations from these disciplines practice collaboration internally to better foster collaboration externally across health practice, education, and research. The central ACCAHC engagement is in developing mutual respect and understanding among all disciplines while promoting a focus on health creation. To do this they educate, convene, and advocate. ACCAHC’s engagement with the interprofessional movement includes active participation and leadership work in the IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, involvement with the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, a supporting organization role in the Interprofessional Education Collaborative, steering committee role on the HRSA-funded Integrative Medicine in Preventive Medicine program and the development of ACCAHC’s own Competencies for Optimal Practice in Integrated Environments. In 2009, they successfully nominated Rick Marinelli, ND, LAc to serve on the IOM pain committee that developed the Blueprint.
In the treatment of pain as experienced by human beings, ACCAHC urges inclusive team-based care focused on health creation, that seeks to use less invasive therapies and practices first, or at times as a complement to harsher measures, beginning with patient engagement, self-care, and lifestyle change, before employing more invasive therapies or those with greater risk of adverse events. Many people living with chronic pain are frequent users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies and practitioners and may not always inform their physicians of their use. Including licensed integrative health practitioners as part of a team-based approach benefits both patients and other provider members of the healthcare team.
ACCAHC has created or is evolving a series of resources that can assist PAINS members less familiar with these disciplines to understand why significant subsets of patients use their services. One is the Clinicians and Educators Desk Reference on the Licensed Complementary and Alternative Healthcare Professions, a widely heralded resource available in multiple formats, including a free PDF download. A more recent resource is an evolving, web-based initiative in which we invite your participation: the Project for Integrative Health and the Triple Aim (PIHTA). This partners quality data on well-researched Triple Aim outcomes with real-world efforts to discover and clarify the best ways to engage the values, practices and disciplines associated with integrative health and medicine in pain treatment and other patient care.
To learn more about ACCAHC, visit their website at accahc.org. Please consider connecting to this initiative. They know how to play well with others and look forward to supporting your own initiatives wherever they can. Contact 206-932-5799 or .