Abstract ID: 3395

Primary Topic: Integrative Health and the Underserved
Secondary Topic: Integrative medicine delivery models

Traditional, Complementary, Integrative and "Articulated Medicine" at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO): Research Priorities and Partnerships
John Weeks, 4 hon dr, The Integrator Blog News & Reports, Seattle, WA, United States; Ricardo Fabrega, MD, MPM ; Daniel Gallego-Perez, MD, DrPH (Cand), Pan American Health Organization/WHO, Medellin, Colombia; Daniel Miele Amado, MD, Brazil Health Ministry, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Tabatha Parker, ND, Natural Doctors International, Ometepe, Nicaragua

Late Breaker: No


Participants will explore the most significant integrative undertaking in the western hemisphere: to create the skills, knowledge, collaborations and partnerships that will optimize the role of traditional, complementary and integrative health products, practices and practitioners in meeting the goal of primary care for all. The goal is urged by the WHO 2014-2023 Traditional Medicine Strategic Plan, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)'s Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage (2014).  National efforts throughout the Western hemisphere are presently being supported by PAHO's technical cooperation, and networked through a PAHO-facilitated effort, with the support of academic collaborations. This panel will provide perspectives from professionals who have been engaged in providing advice and leadership in developing PAHO and WHO strategies, as well as those others working inside various national healthcare systems in the region, and supporting academic institutions, to achieve the goals in what the majority of PAHO participants prefer to call "articulated medicine."


Increasingly, many active in advancing integrative medicine and health have begun to view the movement as global, and intertwined and supportive of the WHO's effort to optimize the role of traditional and complementary health products, practices and practitioners in meeting the goal of primary care for all. Yet knowledge is limited among the integrative health community in the better-resourced nations of North America, Europe and Asia of the directions urged by the WHO in its 2014-2023 Traditional Medicine Strategy. For instance, the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health (ACIMH) and the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH) each endorsed the 2017 "Berlin Agreement: Self Responsibility and Social Action in Practicing and Fostering Integrative Medicine and Health Globally" (https://www.ecim-iccmr.org/fileadmin/ecim-iccmr/editors/documents/Berlin_Agreement_on_Self-Responsibility_160417.pdf). That global vision is of an integrative model that draws not only on biomedicine but also on "traditional medicine practices" and "respects multiple philosophies" recognizing that "traditional medical products, practices and practitioners are the main access to healthcare in most regions of the world." The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which serves as the WHO regional office for the Americas Region, is fostering cooperation for traditional and complementary medicine integration into healthcare systems among its member states. This panel helps bridge this knowledge and opportunity gap through presentations from professionals who provided advice and leadership in developing PAHO and WHO strategies, and others working inside South American and Central American nations to achieve the goals. Among the topics will be that of emerging partnerships and opportunities. Participants will be introduced to the concept of "articulated medicine" that was favored in a voice vote by representatives of traditional medicine systems, from nearly two dozen nations at a mid-2017 WHO-PAHO meeting in Managua, Nicaragua in which efforts to create a regional collaborative network were formally endorsed.


  • Describe how WHO and PAHO and some individual nations are engaging T&CM and promoting research
  • Explain why many in Central and South American nations favor depicting the integrative effort via a concent of "articulated medicine" rather than "integrative medicine"
  • Identify priority T&CM research needs of PAHO member states
  • Evaluate the challenges and opportunities of existing and potential collaborations with academic health institutions and delivery organizations
  • Discuss possible partnership strategies for researcher and institutions.

Methods/Session Format

We hope this is sufficiently covered above.


The panel will be opened by the moderator-organizer (Weeks) who served on workshops that led to the WHO strategy and participated in the PAHO meeting. He will help set the context of the WHO strategy and open some of the issues that emerged in the PAHO meeting. (5-10 minutes) This will be followed by presentation from the other panelists of

  • Fabrega will share more on the WHO-PAHO link and the context of PAHO interest in traditional, complementary integrative medicine, as well as its articulation to PAHO)'s Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage. (10)
  • Gallego-Perez will offer details of PAHO's current activities and emerging partnerships and provide examples of the diversity of T&CM activity in a selected set of nations. (10)
  • Parker will share information from a long-standing clinical offering in Nicaragua that serves an underserved population and offers global service learning opportunities to health professional students. (10)
  • Miele-Amado will offer insight into TC&M integration in the health system and research initiatives in Brazil. (10)

This will leave time for limited discussion in a 60 minutes panel. We would prefer 90 minutes or at least 75, for more dialogue with the audience, and the potential to expand one or more of the talks to 12-15 minutes.