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"International Center for Integrative Medicine (ICIM)" is one of our partners...Please learn about ICIM and their community work and help them achieve their goals in helping others in need. Donate Today!
SUPPORTING CANCER COMMUNITIES...
International Center for Integrative Medicine (ICIM) an innovative approach to recognizing and combining the best of Eastern and Western Medicine.
VAF pledge is to support ICIM patient care treatment services through our Angel's Grant program.
Together we can help meet the needs of an under served population and relieve suffering, to "enhance the quality of life" of the cancer patient.
The treatments provided by the ICIM staff of volunteer acupuncturists and include both inpatients and outpatients at the hospital's Adult Medical Clinic are FREE OF CHARGE.
There is a current 3-6 month waiting list to receive the following free health care benefits provided through the ICIM program:
Reduced pain associated with cancer treatments.
Diminished nausea, vomiting and fatigue that can accompany chemo and/or radiation therapy.
Lessing side effects that can result from the treatment such as mouth sores, digestive upset and skin problems.
Relief from neuropathy.
Support for patient's immune system, thereby reducing the risk of infection.
We need your support to continue to provide the free services to cancer patients who otherwise would not have access to this type of care. SUPPORT US – MAKE A DONATION
About ICIM - (International Center for Integrative Medicine)
Established in 2009 as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, the mission of ICIM is to provide the best Eastern and Western Medicine to promote quality holistic health care customized to the individual patient, conduct research on the efficacy and design for integrative medicine, and educate practitioners with integrative medicine paradigm.
ICIM is an innovative approach to recognizing the best of Eastern and Western Medicine and developing treatment plans that combine both traditions and customized to the individual patient. Many patients cobble together a treatment plan that uses multiple modalities; ICIM enables this work to be done at the level of the practitioners who work shoulder to shoulder in the best interest of the patient. In this way, the patient has access to an integrated assessment, diagnosis and treatment with a team of specialists.
The International Center for Integrative Medicine (ICIM) has an integrative medicine program that provides free acupuncture treatments to patients at Highland Hospital. Acupuncture treatments are a proven evidenced-based method for treating pain and for reducing symptoms related to some chronic diseases and the side effects of cancer treatment. Hence, acupuncture treatments can stretch Highland Hospital’s scarce resources by reducing hospital stays and decreasing patient pharmaceutical consumption.
Beginning in April of 2011, ICIM had provided more than 400 acupuncture treatments to Highland Hospital patients. These treatments have been both inpatient and outpatient at the hospital’s Adult Medicine Clinic. Alameda County Medical Center’s (ACMC) Highland Hospital facility serves as Alameda County’s primary source of health care for medically indigent and uninsured patients.
ICIM’s inpatient acupuncture treatments represent the first time a public hospital has created such a service in the US. Developing this program required collaborating with the hospital in the creation of an entirely new set of hospital protocols specifically designed for acupuncture treatments. Highland Hospital’s acupuncture protocols are another first in the Nation. For hospital patients to receive acupuncture treatments they must first receive a physician’s referral. ICIM’s acupuncturists typically contact the floor nurse in charge and are then directed to the appropriate patient room. The acupuncturists consult with nursing staff and review the medical file before speaking to the patient. Then the acupuncturist conducts his or her assessment of the patient’s medical needs to devise an individual treatment plan. Most inpatient sessions last about 45 minutes and patients are encouraged to come to the hospital’s Adult Medicine Clinic for follow-up treatments. Currently, inpatient treatments occur every Monday from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. There is a current 3-6 month waiting list. This important program has extended Integrative Medicine to patients who otherwise would have no access to this type of care.
TEAM: Pictured are members of the integrative medicine team (left to right): Charlene Ossler, RN; Alex Feng , LAc; Chris Randle, LAc; Lyn Berry, MD; Gabrielle LeCompte , LAc; Colin Feeney, MD; Craig Brandt; Amy Matecki, MD; Bina Jangda, LAc; Anahita Forati, LAc; Jamie Hampton, LAc; and Tina Chin-Kaplan, LAC.
PRESS RELEASE - Integrative Medicine Program Breaks New - Ground in Ancient Field
Acupuncture Offered to Highland Inpatients, Outpatients, It may seem a little strange to celebrate milestones measured in months when referring to the age-old practice of Chinese traditional medicine, but the International Center for Integrative Medicine (ICIM) at Highland is in fact marking six months of providing integrative medical care to outpatients and a year and a half of providing it to inpatients. ACMC is believed to be the first public health care center in the US to offer acupuncture by traditional (non-physician) Chinese medicine practitioners as well as by physicians. Highland began offering acupuncture treatment to inpatients in mid-2011 and expanded the service to outpatients in July, 2012.
The integrative medicine discipline includes a host of traditional medicine practices -- acupuncture, massage, acupressure, herbal medicine, nutrition, meditation, qi gong, tai chi and more -- that weren't even legal in the U.S. until the 1970s. Today, integrative medicine treatments like acupuncture have proved effective in areas such as pain management where, for example, they has been shown to reduce post-surgical pain and reduce the risk of pain medication-related addiction. They have also been proved to minimize the side effects of chemotherapy. "Integrative medicine may enhance patient care quality and lower health care costs because it is less invasive, and it can be more efficient and more effective than Western-style medicine in some applications," said Chief of Integrative Medicine, Alex Feng, LAC, OMD, PhD. One of the challenges of bringing integrative medicine into the public hospital environment is that most insurers – including Medicare and Medicaid – don't cover these services. Without insurer reimbursement, funding is a challenge. ACMC is able to offer integrative medicine treatments by relying on 18 volunteer practitioners, who work through a nonprofit foundation, which is ICIM.
One Highland inpatient who was referred for acupuncture said, "It was like a miracle! I think it was a key element in preparing me for the difficult treatments I received in the following days. I didn't expect to be able to receive acupuncture at Highland!"
The Integrative Medicine outpatient clinic at Highland is run by Dr. Feng, Dr. Amy Matecki, Director of the International Center for Integrative Medicine (ICIM), and Charlene Ossler, RN, PhD, Executive Administrator of the ICIM.
The program is supported by ACMC leaders Dr. Judith Wofsy, Dr. Colin Feeney, Dr. David Irwin, and Dr. Lyn Berry. At present, the Thursday morning clinic serves about a dozen patients at the K-6 Adult Services clinic. The inpatient program has provided care to over 200 patients since 2011. Plans are for the clinic to expand as resources permit. The outpatient program is booked for up to 1-2 months in advance. Both services are accessed through referrals from ACMC professional staff.
Drs. Feng and Matecki are widely known integrative medicine specialists who established the first integrative medicine outpatient clinic and inpatient care at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2004. They have run it there successfully since, building the program up to 3,000 patient visits per year.
The five-year plan for the ICIM at ACMC calls for establishing the clinical value of integrative medicine by decreasing the length of hospital stays and reducing the cost of care while improving the quality of life for patients. The team envisions making the Highland program an international model that involves research and physician training components.
Highland's internal medicine, pharmacy, surgery and nursing residents are already being trained on traditional Chinese medicine techniques. The residents have reacted positively to learning these complementary modalities.
As one resident said, "We really want to learn the quality of life measures and techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine, which will help us to find the best way to minimize our patients' suffering."