Alternative and Complementary Health Practices
Section Newsletter
Fall 2011

Letter from ACHP Co-Chairs

Greetings to all ACHP Friends and Supporters!


          Welcome to our Autumn Issue! Members have provided a variety of news items and updates that we hope will inform and interest you.  Brandon Eggleston contributed a description of a yoga program for athletes that he and colleagues at the University of Southern Indiana have implemented. An update on Web resources of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has been provided by Shawn Stout. Our ACHP representatives involved in APHA policy, Donna Feeleyand Rick Harvey, have each provided their perspectives on upcoming discussions on national health issues. Beth Sommers interviewed Jon Adams of NorphCAM, a group based in Australia that shares many of the same visions for public health as our own ACHP. You’ll also find listings of upcoming events, publications and members’ accomplishments.


          Preparation for APHA’s Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., to be held Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 are coming along. We’ll have an information booth for our SPIG in the Exhibition Hall and are looking for volunteers who would like to spend some time there talking with conference-goers. If you’d like more information about doing this, please contact Beth Sommers. If anyone has brochures or other educational materials that could be displayed at our booth (we can’t sell books because we don’t have the capacity to keep the booth “personed” at all times), please feel free to deliver them to the Exhibition Hall anytime on Sunday. Types of materials that are of interest to attendees: informational material about your school, institution, or agency (think – recruiting students or other participants to your events); newsletters from your institution; educational pamphlets related to your work). We want to help you promote your work!


          We have a full slate of presentations for Monday and Tuesday of the Annual Meeting. A preliminary schedule and description of the activities can be found at View the sessions sponsored by our section by visiting the interactive Online Program ( ). Search the program using keyword, author name or date. Don’t forget to stop by our new Section and SPIG Pavilion (Booth 3073) in the Public Health Expo next to Everything APHA. For more information about the Annual Meeting, visit


          Our ACHP Business Meeting will be held on Tuesday evening (time and place to be determined – we’ll send an e-blast to members when we find out the details). A major item on our agenda will be selecting the slate of officers for the upcoming year. All of the officers listed above have indicated a willingness to continue to serve, although there will be one switch on the newsletter. Because of Paul Kadetz’s new academic position (in Beijing as a specialist in international traditional and complementary/alternative medicine – Congratulations to Paul on completing his PhD at Oxford!), Prasad Vinjamurry has volunteered to co-edit the newsletter with Beth. Other agenda items include:

·         SPIG status and updates.

·         Welcoming new members and students to our group; one of our goals is to partner students and new professionals with more experienced mentors. If you’re on either side of this equation, let us know before or during the Business Meeting.

·         Awarding first ever Student Recognition awards for poster presentations!

·         Identifying reviewers for abstracts for the 2012 Annual Meeting.


          In the spirit of continual training and renewal, our SPIG is committed to mentorship for members who are interested in apprenticing to prepare for leadership roles. Members who would like to get more involved in SPIG activities can indicate what type of area they’d like to pursue (e.g. program planning for next year’s Annual Meeting; working on the newsletter; contributing to our Web presence, becoming involved in APHA-wide policy discussions). Let us know at the Business Meeting if you’ll be in D.C., or email Beth to help you get started.


Feel free to contact us before the meeting if you have any questions or items you’d like to add to the agenda. Following the meeting, we generally go out together for dinner and continued discussion. All invited!


          Members have described APHA’s Annual Meeting as a “city within a city,” an opportunity to engage in substantive discussion about the future of public health, and a “magical/mystical time to re-charge their batteries.” We hope you’ll either attend this year’s gathering or follow it via the APHA website or Twitter. ACHP Tweeters – we need you! Let us know if you’d be interested in providing some real-time tweeting during the meeting.


          Sending our greetings and wishes for your success in every endeavor.



                             Beth Sommers (


                             Anne Doherty (





ACHP Officers’ Roster – 2010 to 2011

SPIG Co-Chairs

Anne Doherty-Gilman                                  

Beth Sommers                 



Deborah Hughes-Ndao                                



Bei-Hung Chang                                                               


Membership Co-Chairs

Douglas Chung                                                 

Kim Tippens                                      


Governing Council Co-Chairs/Policy

Donna Feeley

Richard Harvey


Web Chair

Carla Wilson


Program Co-Chairs


Prasad Vinjamurry


Newsletter Co-Chairs

Beth Sommers

Paul Kadetz




Member Updates

Member Updates


Mary England completed her Doctor of Natural Health program from Clayton College of Natural Health. Her contact information:

Mary E. England, DNH, MS, LEHP, LD


Fulton County Health Department

700 East Oak Street

Canton, Illinois 61520

(309) 647-1134




Beth Sommers has just joined the faculty at Boston University School of Public Health in the department of Health Policy and Management. She’ll be keeping her day job as well, as Director of Research and Education at Pathways to Wellness in Boston.

Related to this, she has a Question for Members: Does anyone have an idea about which schools of public health include courses about alternative/complementary health practices? If anyone has any information about this, please contact her.

Her first official project at BUSPH is to collaborate with a group at BU School of Medicine who is designing a CAM/integrative curriculum for the medical students. BUSM’s recent accreditation review indicated that having such a curriculum is essential for medical schools in the 21st century.


Thanks to ACHP supporter Loocie Brown for her help with posting this issue of the newsletter.


Interview with Jon Adams

Interview with Jon Adams, co-founder of NorphCAM (Network of Researchers in the Public Health of Complementary and Alternative Medicine)

            I recently became aware of NorphCAM (a group based in Australia) through colleagues in the United States who share a vision about integrating the spheres of public health and complementary/alternative health practices.  According to their website:

“NORPHCAM is the first international collaborative network dedicated to promoting and advancing the public health and health services research of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine and integrative health care. Central to NORPHCAM's mission is the need to address a number of issues crucial to the rigorous, systematic investigation of contemporary CAM: 1) the need to supplement and contextualise clinical research and enquiry to ensure practice and policy relevance; 2) the need to introduce and highlight a broad range of scientific and methodological approaches and methods to the investigation of CAM; 3) the need to ensure research adequately investigates the range of remedies, practices, technologies AND practitioners that constitute the broad field of CAM as practised and used around the world; and 4) the need to provide linkage and communication between researchers and practitioners and to actively encourage research capacity building around CAM.”

“NORPHCAM is guided by a number of key objectives:

* To promote excellence in public health and health services research focusing upon CAM use, CAM practice and workforce, CAM-conventional health care integration, economics of CAM, CAM policy and regulation

* To lead and advance the empirical investigation of CAM drawing upon health social science, epidemiology, biostatistics, health economics, health geography and related disciplines

* To help widen the CAM research gaze and supplement clinical research in the area of CAM

* To promote and foster closer ties between CAM researchers and practitioners to ensure scholarship includes practitioner input where relevant and is reflective of practice-realities and needs

* To develop research capacity in CAM research (including promoting research skills amongst practitioners).”

          This sounded so much like many of our objectives in ACHP that I had to follow up and contact NorphCAM to find out more about their work. It turned out that Jon Adams, one of the founders, had just heard about our group within APHA and was simultaneously trying to find us! This remarkable serendipity led us to chat with each other (despite a 14-hour difference in time zones).

          Jon told me that NorphCAM currently has about 200 members from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. A number of members will be attending the upcoming North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine in May 2012 (see Upcoming Events section below). NorphCAM is also collaborating with the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) in a similar way that ACHP is a specialty interest group within APHA.

          Jon and his colleagues will be publishing a forthcoming book that he describes as a “critical international reader on CAM and integrative health care”. Our own Rick Harvey is a contributor to this volume, and we’ll keep you updated about publication. Congratulations, Rick, on this international collaboration!

          Jon has been in discussion with editors from the Lancet about regularly including articles and features on traditional medicine, indigenous practices, and CAM. He feels there’s been some important dialogue in this direction and we can look forward to reading more about these areas in this prestigious journal.

          Finding a sister organization on the other side of the world has been gratifying. We definitely have good company in the process of promoting health and wellness!


NCCAM Web Resources

NCCAM Launches New Web Resource for Health Care Providers

Thanks to Shawn Stout for this update.

In April, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health launched a new online resource, designed to give health care providers easy access to evidence-based information on complementary and alternative medicine.

The portal on the NCCAM website at is tailored to fit the needs of all health care providers, including physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, physician assistants and CAM providers. It includes information on the safety and efficacy of a range of common health practices that lie outside of mainstream medicine — natural products, such as dietary supplements, herbs, and probiotics, as well as mind-body practices such as meditation, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage.

This resource was developed based on a series of NCCAM-sponsored focus groups where health care providers identified the need for an evidence-based, one-stop place to help answer their patients’ questions on CAM. With this need in mind, NCCAM developed a resource that provides reliable, objective and evidenced-based information on CAM, including:

   Links to relevant clinical practice guidelines.

   Safety and effectiveness information.

   Links to systematic reviews.

   Summaries of research studies.

   Scientific literature searches.

   Programs for continuing education credit.

   Patient fact sheets.

   NCCAM’s Time to Talk tool kit on communicating about CAM.

Americans annually spend nearly $34 billion out-of-pocket on CAM products and practices. Surveys show that nearly 40 percent of American adults and 12 percent of American children use some form of CAM. Other surveys show that patients do not regularly discuss these practices with their health care providers. In fact, a recent study of Americans ages 50 and older found that overall two-thirds of respondents had not discussed CAM with their health care provider.

"NCCAM is charged to study and provide evidence-based information on the safety and efficacy of CAM health practices that are readily available and already used by a great number of people," said Josephine P. Briggs, MD, director of NCCAM. "As a physician, I understand the need to have easily accessible and accurate information on all health practices. This Web resource is a way for NCCAM to share this valuable information with all providers."

To use this resource, please visit

NCCAM’s Time to Talk campaign encourages patients to tell their providers about CAM use and providers to ask about it by offering tools and resources — such as wallet cards, posters, and tip sheets — all of which are available for free at

Shawn Stout

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

National Institutes of Health

31 Center Drive, Room 2B11

Bethesda, MD 20892-2182


News Notes


PHACT: Call for Federal Public Health Funds at Work in Your State


In addition to attending town hall meetings this year, APHA would like for you to share a story about why public health funding is important in your community or state. Preferably, the funding would come from one of these three sources:

1.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2.  Health Resources and Services Administration.

3.  Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Examples can provide:

·    An approximate estimate of the amount of the funding received.

·    Location of the program (city, state).

·    A summary of the program/intervention (PH issue and intervention being used).

·    Any examples of positive outcomes to date.

Make all submission to or email us at

Thanks for taking action to protect public health!

Check out APHA’s Advocacy Track at this year’s Annual Meeting
APHA will host a one-day advocacy track of sessions during the 2011 Annual Meeting in D.C. on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, and all APHA members are encouraged to attend to hone in on their public health advocacy skills. For more detailed information regarding the particular sessions, refer to the 2011 online program ( ) and enter the session number to see the list of planned speakers and topics to be covered. Attendees will be eligible for CE credit.

Ø  “Nailing your policy: Creating APHA’s policy buddy system,” Session 3007.0, 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.

Ø  “Media Advocacy: Breaking through the crowded news cycle,” Session 3119.0, 10:30 a.m.

Ø  “The Who, What & How of Advocacy,” Session 3216.0, 12:30-2 p.m.

Ø  “Mobilizing a public health campaign,” Session 3318.0, 2:30-4 p.m.

Ø  “The Role of Social Media in Public Health,” Session 3417.0, 4:30 p.m.

Proposed Test for Inside Public Health e-newsletter to active APHA members:
APHA is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Drexel University Online. Under this program, APHA members and their families are eligible for special tuition discounts of up to 25 percent when they enroll in any of Drexel’s online courses.  Drexel University Online offers a wide range of courses in a flexible online format, including CEPH-accredited programs in biostatistics and epidemiology. Please see the APHA partnership page for more details ( ).

Any agreement entered into between Drexel University Online and an APHA member, employee or family member, is with Drexel University Online and not with APHA.  APHA does not endorse any products or services displayed or referred to in conjunction with this partnership and is not responsible for the actual content of Drexel University Online programs.

Let APHA host your public health career day at the Annual Meeting.

Employers, this is your opportunity to meet thousands of public health professionals and qualified candidates for hire. Job seekers, here is your chance to market your resume, meet recruiters and sign up for a professional career coaching session, either an individual or group session. Advance your public health career and find new prospects with APHA’s Public Health CareerMart. Find out more

APHA’s Public Health Buyer’s Guide links users to industry products  is designed specifically for public health professionals, allowing easy search of vendors from a link on the APHA website’s home page, Within the Public Health Buyer's Guide, public health professionals will be able to easily locate products and services unique to our industry without the clutter of general Internet search engine results.

Public Health and Equity Principles for Transportation

APHA has recently released a list of ten Public Health and Equity Principles for Transportation ( ). These policies recognize the various impacts that transportation policies can have on public health — they can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, asthma, obesity and mental health disorders — especially on vulnerable populations, including the elderly, the poor and individuals with disabilities. We believe that if transportation policies are reviewed and evaluated with these principles in mind, we will be better able to ensure that health and equity are well-represented. By holding transportation policies to a stated set of standards, we can encourage a transportation system that supports health, and direct funds to programs that improve health, equity and well-being. It is essential that other organizations — at the national, state and local level — demonstrate their support for these principles by joining us as signatories. Please sign on here ( ) to show your organization’s support for these essential principles.


Win a free Annual Meeting registration!
Forward the contact information for new companies or organizations that you would like to see included as exhibitors at the Annual Meeting to Priya Bose, Meetings and Exhibits Coordinator, at Anyone submitting a qualified lead for potential new exhibitors will be entered into a drawing for a free full registration. Get to know our exhibitors before the meeting on our Virtual Expo ( )!


Policy Updates: Two Perspectives

Policy Updates

Thanks to Rick Harvey for the following news about ACHP’s role in APHA policy activities. He and Donna Feeley have been active this past year in representing our SPIG in a number of APHA discussions and gatherings.

On April 21, 2011, there was a conference call to discuss the National Center for Complementary Medicine strategic plan:
Among other topics, Susan Abramson suggested that Alternative and Complementary Health Practices SPIG members remain visible and vocal to APHA leadership as a way to ensure viability. To that end, maintaining our newsletter, as well as involvement in APHA review of policies, will continue to remain important.

On May 12, 2011, Donna Feeley and Rick Harvey submitted a review of policies proposed for adoption by APHA. The topics ranged from 'Removing Financial and Other Barriers to Over-the-Counter Contraception' to 'Public Health Accreditation as a Means to Strengthen Governmental Systems in the U.S.' Developing policy statements may be a way to increase visibility of members of the ACHP SPIG. Please feel free to review the APHA webinar related to policy statement development:

On June 20, 2011, a mid-year Governing Council conference call addressed updates in preparation for the fall Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Among the topics covered were projections for society revenue, with a note that webinars that offer continuing education units may be a way for SPIGs to generate revenue. It was also noted that conference attendance is down nationwide.

New Changes, New Hope for Prevention and Integrative Health

Donna M. Feeley, MPH, RN

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 called for the establishment of a National Prevention, Health Promotion, and Public Health Council. The Council is comprised of 17 department heads, agencies and offices across the Federal government and is chaired by the U.S. Surgeon General. It is responsible for providing coordination and leadership at the interagency federal level and among all executive departments and agencies for prevention, wellness and health promotion practices, the public health system, andintegrative health care. The Council recently developed and released the National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy on June 16, 2011, which I had the opportunity to attend. The meeting was filled with pioneers for prevention, enthusiasm and hope. This is the first national prevention plan put in place that has the multi-level cross-sectional governmental support much needed for its implementation and success.

For the last three decades, beginning in 1979 with Healthy People: The Surgeon General’s Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the corresponding Health Objectives for the Nation, there has been a national movement towards prevention. The continued achievements of the Health Objectives for the Nation significantly shaped the public health prevention emphasis incorporated within the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  The contributions of each update of the Health Objectives helped set the stage for the consciousness shift toward the evolving meaning of prevention we are now embracing.

A novel component of the new Act that exemplifies the growing shift and public interest for prevention is the inclusion of Integrative Health. The Act called for the designation of an Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, Integrative and Public Health which will report to the Prevention Council and the U.S. Surgeon General. The Advisory Group will be comprised of 25 members including Licensed Integrative Health Practitioners. The Group held its first meeting in Washington, D.C., on April 11, 2011 to create ideas for inclusion in the forthcoming Prevention Strategy. The meeting was spearheaded by prevention champions filled with exuberance for a more prevention oriented comprehensive health care system.

These two events represent historical landmarks that bring promise to shift from disease oriented care to wellness and prevention. All of the efforts across the nation including our AHCP SPIG have planted the seeds for this significant advancement – now is the time to shine.

Donna Feeley is a Faculty Member for Complementary, Integrative Health and Indigenous Medicines at Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Governing Council Representative for the AHCP APHA SPIG, a Board Member of the Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium and its Federal Policy Consortium. Donna was recently inducted by the National Association of Professional Women as “Woman of the Year for 2011/2012.

Yoga for Athletes

         Recently, researchers at the University of Southern Indiana have been exploring the benefits of yoga for athletes. Members of the men’s baseball and soccer teams have been practicing yoga for one year. After one semester of yoga training, members of each respective team were interviewed using semi-structured equations based upon Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior. The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) techniques in sports medicine is a growing trend, with a growing number of athletes using yoga as form of physical therapy or medicine.

          Benefits or reasons why more athletes are using CAM techniques in athletic training are based upon the growing amount of research that is currently being conducted on the wide variety of activities that fall under the broad CAM domains. Yoga is one of the more popular mind-body techniques that is used for both preventative medicine and treatment (yoga therapy). Athletes, coaches and athletic trainers are incorporating yoga into their sports program because of both the preventative and therapeutic values of yoga for athletes.
Athletes from the University of Southern Indiana reported many physical benefits of practicing yoga: improving flexibility, energy levels, recovery time, quickness and decreasing soreness after practice/workouts. Social-emotional benefits included improving relaxation, camaraderie among teammates, and body awareness. Despite all athletes from both the soccer and baseball teams being able to provide one physical and one social-emotional benefit they received personally from practicing yoga, only 16 percent reported that yoga improved their performance in their sport.

          Researchers believe athletes fail to cognitively connect their own athletic performance with the benefits of yoga practice (flexibility, body awareness, relaxation and concentration). These athletes spend a primary amount of time in their athletic training focusing on specific sport skills, weightlifting, cardiovascular training, and other training techniques (plyometrics, stretching, etc…). However, with the exception of minor stretching, few athletic training activities are able to create the same benefits that yoga can create for athletes. In addition to more experience in practicing yoga, athletes may also need some type of support from their coaches and/or the media (sports/health) regarding the benefits of yoga for athletes. The increased awareness of yoga as a form of sports medicine is happening slowly for many professional and some college athletes around the United States, but yoga is still not connected with other types of sports medicine and athletic training techniques.

          Future study will also look to explore the specific changes that occur for athletes when they practice yoga. Identifying certain poses that are most beneficial for specific sports and types of athletes will be used, and quantitative measures such as flexibility tests and computer-aided analysis of joint angles will confirm these results. Additionally, qualitative analyses will be conducted to examine if the perception of yoga as a part of a sports medicine/athletic training program changes over time as it becomes what is normal for college athletes at the university.


Note: Brandon Eggleston, PhD, CHES, directs the health promotion/worksite wellness program at the University of Southern Indiana and is a certified yoga instructor. He has been researching yoga practice for five years and teaching yoga to college athletes for two years. Jay Polsgrove, PhD, teaches kinesiology and exercise science in the Department of Physical Education at the University of Southern Indiana. He has been working in the area of sports medicine for six years.


Brandon M Eggleston, PhD, RYT, CHES

Assistant Professor of Health Services/Administration

University of Southern Indiana, HP 2114, Evansville, IN 47712

Phone: (812) 461-5497


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events of Interest to the Public Health and ACHP Community

2012 North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine (May 15-18, 2012, Portland, Oregon)
The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine has announced its 2012 North American Research Conference on Complementary & Integrative Medicine (May 15-18, 2012, Portland, Oregon).  The conference theme is: “Strengthening Research in Integrative Healthcare around the World,” and the conference promotes itself as “the most comprehensive scientific conference in complementary and integrative medicine.”  The research abstract submission deadline is Nov. 15, 2011, and early registration discount ends March 16, 2012.  For further detail, visit



Hot off the Press! ACHP Members Publish Their Work

Watch for these upcoming articles of interest…

Schwartz L, Xiao R, Brown E, Sommers E. Auricular acupressure augmentation of standard medical management of neonatal narcotic abstinence syndrome. Medical Acupuncture – In press.

Chang BH, Sommers E. Accupuncture and the relaxation response for treating gastrointestinal symptoms in HIV patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy. Accupuncture in Medine In Press.