Featured Video


Mikulski Announces Passage of Highway Trust Fund, Calls for Long-Term Infrastructure Improvements

Visit the Media Center »

Get Connected



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 23-Feb-2009
CONTACT PRESS OFFICE: 202-228-1122

Mikulski Kicks off Weeklong Discussion of Integrative Medicine with HELP Committee Hearing

Press Release of Senator Mikulski

Mikulski Kicks off Weeklong Discussion of Integrative Medicine with HELP Committee Hearing

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mikulski?s hearing opens a week-long conversation about integrative medicine that features national experts at two Senate HELP hearings and an Institute of Medicine summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Chairwoman of its Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging, today presided over a hearing on the role of integrative medicine in improving health care that kicked off a week of Washington, D.C., events that will feature national integrative medicine experts.

Today?s hearing is the first of the week?s two HELP Committee hearings on integrative medicine. Also this week, the Institute of Medicine will hold its ?Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public? at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. beginning February 25th. According to the IOM, integrative medicine is, ?health care that addresses together the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of the healing process.?

?My goal is for health reform to focus on improving quality of care so that people are healthier, diseases are prevented and chronic care conditions are appropriately managed,? said Senator Mikulski, who was tapped by HELP Committee Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) to lead the Senate work group on improving health care quality as part of a comprehensive effort to strengthen America?s health care system. ?Integrative health care is a key component of improving health quality.?

Testimony was delivered by Cathy Baase, MD, Global Director of Health Services, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI; Robert M. Duggan, M.A., M.Ac, President Tai Sophia Institute, Laurel, MD; James S. Gordon, MD, Director, Center for Mind-Body Medicine, Washington, DC; Wayne B. Jonas, MD, President, Samueli Institute, Alexandria, VA; Sister Charlotte Rose Kerr, RSM, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.H., M.Ac. (UK), Practitioner and Professor Emeritus, Tai Sophia Institute, Laurel, MD; and Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, Director, University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality & Healing, Minneapolis, MN.

Senator Mikulski?s prepared remarks follow:

Today?s hearing will examine the principles of integrative health care and discuss how best to include these principles into the design of health care reform proposals. After all, health reform is not simply about expanding access to acute care. My goal is for health reform to focus on improving quality of care so that people are healthier, diseases are prevented and chronic care conditions are appropriately managed. Integrative health care is a key component of improving health quality.

This hearing also is designed to initiate a weeklong discussion on integrative health care. Today?s hearing includes a panel of national experts who are hands on integrative health practitioners to help the committee understand the potential and clear benefits of integrative health care. On Wednesday, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) will initiate its own three-day summit on integrative medicine. I appreciate IOM taking time to hold the summit and look forward to their report that synthesizes the thinking of its participants. And then on Thursday, Sen. Harkin and I will co-chair a hearing that will build off of today?s knowledge and energy of the IOM summit in order to raise consciousness of this issue in the national health reform debate.

So today?s witnesses are going to kick off this weeklong discussion. Leading off we have Cathy Baase, the global director of health services at The Dow Chemical Company. She has implemented comprehensive integrative health program for Dow?s employees. I?m interested in her findings that worker wellness and productivity have improved while increases in health care costs have slowed.

We also are joined by Bob Duggan from the Tai Sophia Institute. He has worked tirelessly to bring the principles of integrative health into practice. He is not only training next generation of practitioners, but improving today?s quality of care by influencing the range of health and wellness services that health plans provide.

Also joining us to testify today is Dr. James S. Gordon, director of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. He is a clinical professor at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and the first chair of the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine.

Another member of today?s panel is Dr. Wayne B. Jonas, president and CEO of the Samueli Institute. He is associate professor of Family Medicine at Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, where he co-founded a CAM curriculum. He also has served as Director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health.

We are pleased to be joined by Sister Charlotte Rose Kerr, a senior faculty member at the Tai Sophia Institute; assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing; and a former member of NIH Advisory Council for its Alternative Medicine Program

Rounding out our panel today is Mary Jo Kreitzer, founder and director of the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota. The Center coordinates integrative health and medicine programs in the University?s Medical, Nursing and Pharmacy Schools.

In addition to these excellent witnesses, we have a resource group who are submitting statements for the Committee record. While not everyone could make it, for those who are here, I appreciate your assistance to Committee and I hope you will be available to answer questions as they arise. Today?s resource group contributors include: Herbert Benson, MD, Director Emeritus, Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Chestnut Hill, MA; Brian and Susan M. Berman, MD, Complementary Medicine, Kernan Hospital, Baltimore, MD; Ron Z. Goetzel, PhD, Thomson Reuters Healthcare, Washington, DC; Kathi Kemper, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; and Simon Mills, MA, Project Lead, United Kingdom Department of Health project, Integrated Self Care in Family Practice, Culm Valley Integrated Centre for Health.

As you can see, we?ve assembled leading minds on integrative health care to initiate weeklong conversation wrapped around the IOM summit to generate ideas for Committee to improve quality of health system and health of all Americans.