Tag Archives: Wayne B. Jonas

New Legislation to Address Opioid Crisis

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A message from Wayne B. Jonas, MD

A message from Wayne B. Jonas, MD

Each day more than 50 people in the U.S. die from prescription pain relievers. When you add the deaths related to heroin, that number jumps to 80 per day.[i]  Last week Congress passed legislation that hopes to reduce those figures. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), S. 524 was passed by the Senate in a nearly-unanimous (92-2) vote.  Having been previously passed by the House, it was recently signed by President Barack Obama.

Update: President Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 on July 22nd. Read the White House press release.

In these days of bipartisan politics, passage of the act shows the depth and breadth of the opioid crisis. No one is safe from the opioid epidemic as it crosses both racial and socio-economic lines.

What New Opioid Legislation Means for Pain Care and Integrative Medicine

According to the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act is long overdue. But with it comes a solution that encompasses what CADCA refers to as the “six pillars.” Continue reading “New Legislation to Address Opioid Crisis” »

PODCAST: An Interview with Henry Samueli, PhD

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Simply understanding how the am/fm radio works; that was the assignment for Henry Samueli’s 7th-grade electric shop class, the point in his life that turned out to be the beginning of it all. Continue reading “PODCAST: An Interview with Henry Samueli, PhD” »

3 Opportunities for Integrative Medicine

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Wayne B. Jonas, MD, President and CEO, Samueli Institute

In his interview with the Natural Medicine Journal, an electronic peer-reviewed journal and open access website dedicated to the field of integrative medicine, Wayne B. Jonas, MD, describes three opportunities for the field of health and wellness and how Samueli Institute and others are working to make progress in these areas.

1. Establish an evidence base

Providers and patients are constantly faced with claims about therapeutic and healing practices. Trying to sort out what works and what does not is often done in a haphazard and unreliable manner—or the information is not available at all.

The evidence gap poses a challenge to health professionals, educators, funders and patients seeking to establish whether a health claim is supported by valid clinical evidence. Over the last decade Samueli Institute researchers have tackled the evidence gap for these and other topics:

  • Breast Cancer: A review uncovered specific interventions (i.e., pharmacological, behavioral, psychological, complementary and alternative medicine, multi-modal) aimed at mitigating the fatigue-sleep disturbance-depression symptom cluster in breast cancer patients and survivors.
  • Resilience in the Military: Samueli Institute rigorously assessed the quantity, quality, effectiveness, and safety concerns on multi-modal, biopsychosocial training programs used for the self-management of emotional stress.
  • Supplements: Samueli Institute’s reviews have uncovered how supplements can improve performance and sustain health for omega 3’s, melatonin for sleep, and others.

As more non-traditional health care treatments are accepted, this research becomes even more important to inform providers, guide policy and empower patients.

2.  Incorporate healing practices into large systems

hands_forblogMerely having the evidence is not enough. Most patients undergoing surgery still cannot access post-surgical acupuncture more than a decade after it was deemed effective. Ensuring that large hospital systems are successfully able to integrate these evidence-based practices into standard care is needed to move the field forward.

Complementary and integrative practices like acupuncture, massage, manipulative therapies, and education on diet, nutrition, and other self-care approaches are not very integrated, with conventional medicine or themselves. They are not part of normal medical training, are usually delivered in silos of practice, often aren’t found in the same place, are not part of a patient centered medical home, are not incorporated into national guidelines and are not paid for by insurance. Therefore, integrative practices tend to operate in isolation.

The need to improve quality of care is fueling Samueli Institute’s work in the Chronic Pain Breakthrough Collaborative. Health care systems and clinics receive consultative support in process improvement to integrate care which results in better outcomes for both patients and providers.

3. Show impact on the bottom line

Dr. Jonas discusses the need to demonstrate how complementary and integrative practices are cost effective within large health care systems.

Progress can only be achieved by knowing the return on investment of wellness behaviors and programs, and the success rates of traditional health interventions like medications and surgeries and how they compare with alternative treatments.

When Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey decided to train their nursing staff in using holistic integrative care – for themselves and with their patients, a look at the operating margin of 9.64%, nine times the average for New Jersey confirmed that the decision to incorporate integrative, holistic care was clearly on target.

More success stories like this will provide a powerful financial driver for wellness.

Listen to the full interview to hear the biggest advances and future predictions for the field of Integrative Medicine.

The Future of Integrative Medicine, an Interview with Dr. Jonas

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What does the future hold for health and wellness research? Wayne B. Jonas, MD, discusses this and more with the staff at the Natural Medicine Journal, an electronic peer-reviewed journal and open access website dedicated to the field of integrative medicine (IM).

Listen to the interview in Episode 6 of the
Integrative Medicine Research Series.

Mainstreaming of Healthy Values

In recent years it seems there is little “health” in the nation’s health care system. By its actions, the health care system showed its laser focus on disease and illness management rather than health promotion.

However, as we look ahead, we begin to see the wellness-focused values of those in the non-traditional wellness field appearing in the lexicon of the mainstream health care system. Continue reading “The Future of Integrative Medicine, an Interview with Dr. Jonas” »

Learning in and from the Military

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In 2009, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff commissioned a study to look at how to develop a whole systems approach to prevention, wellness, recovery and resilience.

At that time, the military was seeing increases in obesity, diabetes, lowering of psychological resilience, chronic pain, PTSD and suicide. It became clear that a fit force could not depend upon a health care system to improve health, as health care focused primarily on disease treatment and little on prevention. What was needed was a whole-systems approach that came from the units, the families and the communities in which service members were living. Continue reading “Learning in and from the Military” »

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