This week we are gearing up for the big Pediatric Integrative Medicine conference, Pangea. I hope you’ll join us on Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15 in NYC. It’s a gathering you’ll never forget.
Pangea was the name given when Lynn Getz, Tim Culbert and others helped me in 2005 resurrect the annual integrative pediatrics conference started by Dr. Andrew Weil et al. in Arizona in 1999. The name reflects the coming together of various PIM practitioners to dialogue about children’s health and wellness. The gathering is unique because it brings together professionals from all “walks of life” – many countries and many disciplines. Attendees include doctors, nurses, mental health practitioners, herbalists, naturopaths, acupuncturists/TCM practitioners, teachers, legislators, reiki practitioners, speech/occupational and physical therapists, nutritionists, homeopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, spiritual leaders, creative arts and child life therapists and lawyers (yes, even lawyers). I’m sure I’ve left someone out, but the point is we are all there together to truly explore integration on behalf of helping the children.
Keynote speakers this year include Michael Balick and Roberta Lee, discussing cultural issues and integrative care in our “flat” world, Martha Herbert covering the ever-hot topic of autism and environmental factors, Scott Shannon on the “Ecology of the Child” illuminating children’s mental health issues in today’s society, and Tieraona Low Dog closing this year’s meeting with a rousing treatise on the greening of medicine. Other highlights include Kathi Kemper’s address following the awarding of the first ever IPC Leadership Award and Sante Fe chocolatier Mark Sciscenti’s interactive demonstration on chocolate and its historical and modern role in health.
The main theme this year is “Putting Children First.” Lynn and I will help close the conference with a call to action beseeching folks to “go forth” and advocate for children’s health in an age where the rates of many chronic childhood illnesses are on the rise and our health care system (and education system and, well, the whole U.S. in general) is not serving our kids particularly well. Perhaps we can draw on the cautious optimism our newly elected leader inspires and encourage change we can believe in for the sake of our children’s health.