Northwestern Health Sciences University Defines the Future of Integrative Care, Calls on Healthcare Industry to Prioritize Health Creation

Integrative, patient-centric approach to care creates resilience and health for individuals, communities, and the healthcare system

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – August 16, 2022 – Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU), the evidence-based integrative health institution in Bloomington, Minnesota, releases its integrative care position paper, “Integrative Care: Creating a Healthier, More Sustainable System,” calling on healthcare industry organizations, associations and professionals to challenge the current approach to care and create a more holistic and sustainable system.

In an integrative care system, the goal is health creation: moving beyond symptom and disease management to create resilience for individuals, communities, and the health care system. To achieve this, organizations need to leverage a broad healthcare workforce, without distinction between “complementary” and “mainstream” care.

“The pandemic, opioid crisis, and social uprisings of the last few years have shined a light on how our current healthcare model is failing to actually make people healthier. Implementing components of integrative care can move the needle: seeing patients as whole-people, looking at care as inclusive of work beyond traditional healthcare, and leveraging a transdisciplinary care team,” said Michele Renee, DC, MAc, director of integrative care at NWHSU. “At NWHSU, we are training the next generation of healthcare professionals to put the patient at the center of care and influence systems to change how care is delivered.”

Integrative care systems are best when co-created with a range of stakeholders. NWHSU calls on the industry to consider the following:

  • Provide enhanced opportunities for interprofessional education, making space for providers and stakeholders to learn from one another and work collaboratively.
  • Coordinate a wide range of clinical and community resources for patients, emphasizing health creation.
  • Eliminate the idea of “complementary” and “mainstream” healthcare, replacing the dichotomy with an approach that prioritizes the right care at the right time.
  • Align payment models with healthcare outcomes, shifting away from a transactional model and towards one that supports whole-person wellbeing.

For more than 80 years, NWHSU has been focused on educating the industry on collaborative and holistic approaches to care. NWHSU’s Master of Health Science in Integrative Care program further establishes its commitment to education healthcare industry professionals designed to address all aspects of health and change systems to better serve patients.

“At NWHSU, we are lucky to be located in the Twin Cities, a region known for healthcare innovation. We’re collaborating with our neighbors to implement these actions to create a better and a healthier ecosystem,” said Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, Ph.D., executive director of research and innovation at NWHSU. “Through our curriculum and partnerships with a range of healthcare institutions, we are changing how people learn, envision and approach healthcare.”

NWHSU’s Master of Health Science in Integrative Care program empowers practitioners, administrators, and other healthcare professionals to transform the industry by placing the patient at the center and being a leader in their field.