NWHSU Expertise Informs New White Paper from RAND on CIH and Public Health

RAND Corporation published new research informed by a panel conversation in which Dr. Michele Maiers, Executive Director of Research and Innovation, participated last year. The paper (Incorporating Complementary and Integrative Health Providers in the Public Health Pandemic Response: Lessons from COVID-19 and Recommendations for the Future from a Multidisciplinary Expert Panel) investigates two main questions:

  1. What public health role can CIH professions play in a pandemic, over and above the treatment of individual patients?
  2. What barriers exist to CIH professions mobilizing collectively in a pandemic or other public health crisis to form part of the public health intervention at a population and community level?

Included in the recommendations is a call for recognition of CIH care as essential health care:

Continued advocacy about the importance of CIH care, including recognition that it is essential health care and support for insurance coverage of CIH services, is important to give CIH providers sufficient financial stability to allow them to engage in responses to public health crises.

At a high level, the paper recommends that public health planning “should recognize CIH providers as an existing and organized labor resource that can be called upon in a public health crisis. They possess both the clinical expertise and the community-level connections to complement the public health workforce.”

It is a testament to the important work of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Policy at NWHSU that Dr. Maiers was included in this important conversation about the integration of CIH providers in public health initiatives.