Abstract ID: 3600

Primary Topic: State of the science/evidence base for integrative modalities

Looking Back, Looking Forward: NCCIH at 20
Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.; Anita McRae-Williams, M.A., NCCIH/NIH, Bethesda, MD, United States; Christine M Goertz, DC, PhD, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, IA, United States; Margaret A. Chesney, PhD, , San Francisco, CA, United States; David Shurtleff, Ph.D., NCCIH/NIH, Bethesda, MD, United States

Late Breaker: No


The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is the lead Federal agency for scientific research on the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health practices. The Center was established, by Congressional mandate, under provisions of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (P.L. 105-277). This bill amended Title IV of the Public Health Service Act and elevated the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) to an NIH Center. In 1998 Congress expanded the status, mandate, and authority of OAM by enacting legislation to create the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). The Center was later renamed NCCIH by a second congressional mandate as part of the omnibus budget measure signed by President Obama. The Center’s charge is to “conduct basic and applied research (intramural and extramural), research training, and disseminate health information and will identify, investigating, and validating CAM treatments, diagnostic and prevention modalities, disciplines and systems”. This ICIMH symposium will highlight NCCIH history, philosophy, current directions and research portfolios. Dr. Christine Goertz, Vice Chancellor for Research & Health Policy, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Member of NCCIH/NIH Advisory Council and former Program Officer at NCCIH will give the historical perspective for NCCIH scientific program developments in the early years. Dr. Margaret Chesney, Professor of Medicine at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, and former Deputy Director and Director, DER and Training at NIH/NCCIH, will comment on the middle years and the challenges encountered in integrating the Center’s programs to the NIH biomedical research enterprise. Dr. Emmeline Edwards, Director, DER will highlight NCCIH current vision and will update the ICIMH community on highlights of her 2012 closing session of the ICIMH meeting. Finally, Dr. David Shurtleff, NCCIH Acting Director will discuss the Center’s 2016 strategic plan, and future vision and high priority research topics.


NCCIH is the world’s largest funder of research on complementary and integrative health. To address the need for objective evidence as to the safety and efficacy of complementary and integrative health approaches, NCCIH supports rigorous scientific investigation to better understand how these interventions work, for whom, and the optimal methods of practice and delivery. The Center’s strategic priorities have been shaped by real time developments in science, medicine, and health care. The Center stresses the importance of basic/mechanistic and clinical research as the core of building the evidence base for complementary and integrative health approaches. NCCIH has developed and implemented a research framework that also brings the methods of effectiveness and outcomes research to the real world where public use is extensive. This ICIMH symposium will be an excellent forum to discuss NCCIH’s history and continued commitment to advance the science of complementary and integrative health; to build state-of-the-art research capacity through targeted training and career development programs; to foster multidisciplinary collaborations; and to provide objective and authoritative evidence-based information to the public and health care professionals.



Participants at the ICIMH symposium will gain in depth knowledge of the Center’s vision and mission. The four presentations will offer the historical perspective, a sense of the philosophy that guides our research framework and a detailed view of the current and future research priorities for the Center.

Methods/Session Format

1).  Looking back – history and program development in the early days

 Dr. Christine Geertz (15 min)

2).  Looking back – Strategic priorities in the first 10 years and integration at NIH

Dr. Margaret Chesney (15 min)

3).  New Directions and Blue-Sky Vision for Integrative Medicine

Dr. Emmeline Edwards (20 min)

4).  NCCIH 2016 Strategic Plan and Future Directions

Dr. David Shurtleff (15 min) 015 min)

5) Question and answer session (15 min) - panelists and audience

Moderated by Anita McRae-Williams (Co-Chair)


  • Historical Perspective - NCCIH creation and development of research programs
  • Integration of NCCIH Programs at NIH
  • Program Priorities and Blue-Sky Vision for Integrative Health
  • 2016 Strategic Plan and Future Directions