Who are we, and how are we making a difference?
The American Holistic Medical Association was founded in July, 1978. Back then, we created a safe harbor and training ground for the early pioneers in holistic medicine. In the early years, our members (and even we as an organization) felt mostly alone. Today, our members are holistic practitioners, organizational leaders, supporters, authors, and speakers. As a nonprofit association, we routinely collaborate with numerous others, collectively providing the voices necessary for continued progress in the transformation of healthcare.
“Complementary”, “alternative”, “environmental”, “integrative” medicine are now part of the mainstream vernacular. “Functional” medicine is gaining momentum. A holistic approach is what many patients desire as the standard. So, how does the American Holistic Medical Association make an impact today?
• Respond to hundreds of thousands of public inquiries each year
Patients (or their family or friends) call or email us to find a doctor or other holistic practitioner (25,000 average unique visits to our website monthly). Sometimes, these individuals want to know what a particular modality is, or learn more about a therapeutic approach. At other times, they may have a particular diagnosis and want to know how to treat it holistically. They appreciate the personal connection we consider so important.
• Help holistic practitioners work together
While we were once an MD/DO-only organization, we now embrace all practitioners in holistic healthcare. We help doctors find other practitioners they can trust (and vice versa) in order to make the best patient referrals. It is both a responsibility and a privilege for us to serve as an umbrella organization for a diverse group of healthcare providers.
• Host joint conferences with organizations which share a similar mission
We have held three joint conferences, most recently, the unprecendented iMosaic (integrative Medicine Offering Alternatives in Collaboration) Conference in Minneapolis, April, 2011, where, with the support of the Integrative Medicine Consortium (IMC), we partnered with three other national physican-based integrative medicine organizations, the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM), the American Academy for Environmental Medicine (AAEM), and the International College for Integrative Medicine (ICIM). Based on the sucess of iMosaic 2011, planning for iMosaic 2012 is currently underway. We also publish a calendar of events and promote a variety of educational conferences in the field of integrative/holistic medicine.
• Host member retreats
One the of Principles of Holistic Medicine is "Teach by Example." Holistic healthcare practitioners continually work toward incorporating the principles and practices of holistic medicine into their own lives, so that as they "walk the talk," they can better support their patients and clients. AHMA offered its first retreat, "The Healer Within" in October, 2011, and plans to offer more in 2012.
• Participate in a consortium that is making good things happen
The Integrative Medicine Consortium includes the Board Presidents and Executive Directors of the leading national physician organizations in integrative/holistic healthcare. We worked together to secure malpractice insurance specifically designed for doctors practicing integrative medicine, and we are currently working collaboratively to put together a certification program that can replace individual certifications coordinated by multiple organizations.
• Provide a website with resources for members and the public
Our website offers members a variety of resources to help expand their knowledge, engage in self-care, connect with other holistic professionals, and further their education in holistic health. Additionally, they can list articles and publications for review and/or purchase by the public, and promote events through postings on the event calendar. The public has access to a “Doctor Finder” and Practitioner Finder”, along with information about various CAM modalities, resources for specific conditions, event calendars, articles and publications, and lists of other “holistic/integrative” organizations.
• Publish a member newsletter
The monthly newsletter informs readers about current activities within the AHMA and new developments within the field of holistic medicine, and offers practical information and advice on managing a successful holistic practice.
• Designed a chapter system
In order to bring together local communities of integrative/holistic healthcare providers (to increase awareness of the importance of wellness and prevention and learn more about various therapeutic approaches and connect with expert practitioners), the AHMA launched a local chapter system in 2009. We currently have chapters in Minneapolis, MN and Cleveland, OH.
• Initiated a network for collaboration
We helped launch the Executive Directors Network, a monthly telephonic meeting of nine national organizations involved in integrative healthcare. We brainstorm, problem-solve, and share ideas to help each other avoid pitfalls and save time, money. The EDN helps us better serve both our members and the public.