Alphabet Soup

Just returned from the Pediatric Academic Societies’ Meetings in Toronto – and here’s what I’ve learned:

“IPCAAPPSOCHIMAPASIGPEDCAMCAHCIMCCCWGPSGCCTN.”

These are the acronyms of the various US, Canadian and UK integrative pediatrics networks represented at ground-breaking discussions this past weekend. It is incredible to see the rapid proliferation of international interest in the field, and it was wonderful to witness the collaborative spirit among those sharing a dedication to pediatric integrative medicine principles. The networks present all agreed to continue exploration of collaborative efforts to promote the health and wellness of children across the world, and to seek out other networks with similar interests and goals.

Here’s the “Who’s Who” of those in attendance:

IPC: The Integrative Pediatrics Council, with a mission “to enhance the health and development of children, families and communities by bolding leading the evolution of pediatric healthcare toward integrative, high-quality, accessible care,” is a nonprofit, multinational, multidisciplinary group supporting sustainable, collaborative health care change. The IPC, which I chair, sponsors the annual Pangea Conference and the IPIM-Network listserv, facilitating intentional dialogue among a diverse group of stake-holders.

AAP PSOCHIM: The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Provisional Section on Complementary, Holistic and Integrative Medicine works to support the mission of the AAP “to attain optimal physical, mental, and social health and well being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.” Serving the needs of member pediatricians, the AAP group, chaired by Kathi Kemper, aims to support educational, clinical and research efforts in pediatric integrative medicine. The AAP is also a member of the International Pediatrics Association, and PSOCHIM leadership expressed great interest in reaching out to the international community to develop partnerships.

APA SIG: The Ambulatory Pediatrics Association Special Interest Group in integrative pediatrics served as host for a wonderful series of presentations this weekend, including discussions on research on a variety of mind-body therapies for at-risk youth in urban settings: Erica Sibinga’s MBSR for HIV-infected youth in Baltimore, Anju Sawni’s televised guided imagery for hospitalized children in Detroit, and Deborah Berger’s yoga for school children in the Bronx (NYC). The APA SIG functions within the framework of the Pediatric Academic Societies, which also includes, among other groups, the Society for Pediatric Research.

PedCAM: The Canadian PedCAM network, directed by Sunita Vohra, served as host of this weekend’s roundtable discussions among all the groups listed here. The network welcomes non-Canadian members and is a leading source of pediatric CAM research information. PedCAM has well-developed information gathering and dissemination processes, thanks in part to Network Coordinator Leah Vanderjagt, facilitating member access to research, education and clinical practice references and resources.

CAHCIM CCWG PSG: OK, here we go. And you thought PSOCHIM was tough. The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine Clinical Care Working Group Pediatric SubGroup is the newest kid on the block. The CAHCIM, supported by the Bravewell Collaborative, consists of 30+ medical schools who support integrative medicine. This group will work within the CAHCIM framework and help focus attention on the work of its member institutions’ pediatric initiatives.

CCTN: The Children’s Complementary Therapy Network is based in Birmingham, England and operates out of the Freshwinds Charity. The CCTN was developed to assist CAM “therapists working with children to share and learn from each others experiences and knowledge, provide opportunities for education and learning geared towards working with children, develop guidelines for working with children, and develop appropriate information resources on therapies for children and families.” The CCTN is one of several European integrative pediatric networks, and we greatly welcomed the contributions that Drs. Pankaj Shah and Rhonda Lee made during the weekend in Toronto.

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