Changing needs of health consumers is focus of Great River event

NWHSU | April 05, 2019

More than 200 professionals from around the world who practice acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine are at Northwestern Health Sciences University learning how their work is growing in demand and playing an important role in modern health care.

The health professionals are taking part in the Great River Symposium and Spring Gathering, an annual event designed to inform practitioners of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine about issues and trends in their professions and to allow them to improve their skills through professional development courses. The event takes place today through Saturday on NWHSU’s Bloomington campus.

“Modern health care is changing quickly,” said Dale Healey, dean of the College of Health and Wellness at NWHSU. “Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine not only have a place at the table but also are growing quickly in interest and demand.”

He added: “Today’s health consumers want to know how treatments such as acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine can play a role in their health care as part of an integrative approach to healing and wellness. Our conversations at Great River will examine these subjects.”

The event’s keynote address, at 8 a.m. today, is titled, “Embracing Traditional Chinese Medicine for Healing Contemporary Illness.” The presenter is Dr. Lynn Gershan, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Gershan is an expert in integrative health care.

Other topics that experts and industry professionals will discuss at Great River include treatments of: autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, sleep disorders, concussions and perimenopause. Participants also will discuss professional issues including social media, marketing and sustainable management of health care practices.

“Each year we welcome these practitioners to our campus, and we are excited about the focused approach that Great River is taking this year,” Healey said. “As interest in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine continues to rise, we have many subjects to discuss and much to learn together as health care professionals.”

For more than 75 years, Northwestern Health Sciences University, based in Bloomington, Minn., has provided world-class professional education and research as well as comprehensive health and wellness services. Its more than 130 faculty members annually teach about 6,500 students pursuing degrees and continuing education in accredited programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, Chinese medicine, nutrition and other health treatments. NWHSU has more than 7,500 graduates throughout the U.S. and in 21 countries. For more information, please visit

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