The Connector: March 2020

by | Mar 25, 2020 | The Connector | 0 comments

Message from the Director

Joint Efforts with Purchasers of Healthcare

I hope this issue finds all of you safe and healthy during this challenging time. Our AACIPM team is focused on advancing our work as we navigate through this uncharted territory.

On a positive note, I am enthusiastic about the information in this month’s newsletter. In Connecting the Dots below, you can read about AACIPM’s efforts to educate employers — purchasers of healthcare — and our new partnership with the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. And don’t miss Dr. Kavitha Reddy’s spotlight below, where you can read highlights from the Veterans Health Administration’s Whole Health Flagship Site Initiatives and related evaluations. In Relevant Reading (to the right), you will find some helpful information about care during COVID-19.

Also, save the dates, May 13-14 (see details below in Pain Policy Congress update) to be a part of AACIPM’s first virtual meeting.  More information will be coming soon, including an important survey being developed with input from the Duke-Margolis Health Policy team.

I appreciate the opportunities to learn from each of you and look forward to more meaningful work ahead.

Onward and upward,

Connecting the Dots

Joint Efforts Yield Important Discussions and Action to Educate Employers about Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management

The Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM) and the Midwest Business Group on Health convened the first Healthcare Purchasers Focus Group on March 4th in Chicago, Illinois.

And AACIPM and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions are joining efforts to elevate the importance of including comprehensive, value-based approaches to treating pain within employer health coverage plans.

“At this early point, decision-makers are telling us that the information we’re sharing about comprehensive integrative pain management is useful and is changing their thoughts and questions as they assess cost, design, and quality outcomes in their health plans,” said Amy Goldstein, Director, AACIPM.

Click below to read more information and next steps about the focus group and partnership.

Pictured (left to right): David Elton, United Health Ventures; Alyssa Wostrel, AACIPM; Leah Hole Marshall, Washington Health Benefit Exchange; Amy Goldstein, AACIPM; Daniel Blaney-Koen, American Medical Association; Christine Goertz, Duke University; Lance Luria, Mercy Care Management; Kavitha Reddy, Veterans Health Administration

Pain Policy Congress 2020

AACIPM’s in-person Pain Policy Congress is postponed until we have further information to reschedule. We are holding a virtual meeting with a modified agenda to share important updates and move forward with AACIPM’s core work.

Please hold these times as we are working out the details to make this experience as informative and productive as possible. We may shorten the time frames listed below once we have the new agenda finalized.

  • Wednesday, May 13, 1:00-5:00pm CDT
  • Thursday, May 14, 9:00-12:00pm CDT

Important Pre-Meeting Survey is Coming in April

This is modeled after the pre-meeting survey completed by 88% of participants before the November 2018 Pain Policy Congress when 95 leaders representing 75 organizations came together. This survey is being developed with collective input from AACIPM leaders and in collaboration with the Duke-Margolis Health Policy Center.

Guest Spotlight: Kavitha Reddy

Kavitha Reddy, MD, Whole Health System Clinical Director, Veterans Health Administration, was one of five presenters during the Focus Group facilitated by AACIPM and Midwest Business Group on Health on March 4 in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Reddy shared some exciting preliminary findings from VA’s Whole Health initiative, such as veterans with chronic pain who used whole health services had a 3-time reduction in opioid use compared to those who did not use whole health services.

A challenge in complementary and integrative health is examining the effectiveness of approaches that have not been tested through formal research. VA researchers are conducting studies to determine which approaches are truly safe and effective. This information can help clinicians and people with pain make informed decisions about treatment options. Read about these outcomes and more in the VA Center for the Evaluation of Patient Centered Care (EPCC): Whole Health Flagship Site Evaluation.

Read more about VA’s Whole Health initiative and the flagship facility in St. Louis, Missouri, where Dr. Reddy and team are making a positive impact on the lives of veterans.

The team at one of VA’s eighteen flagship Whole Health facilities in St. Louis, MO


NIH Announces Spring Lecture Series on Mental Health & Pain

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has announced the dates of the NCCIH Integrative Medicine Research Lecture Series. This year, the series includes three lectures under the theme “Novel Approaches at the Intersection of Mental Health and Pain.” Access the videocasts. Learn more about the speakers at NCCIH’s Research Blog.

AACIPM at Work

See where AACIPM is headed this Spring

April 22 – Moving Upstream of the Opioid Epidemic – Kentuckiana Health Collaborative

May 13-14 – Pain Policy Congress – AACIPM

June 14-17 – June Conference Nat’l Assn of Social Workers

Relevant Reading



We welcome your input! What do you like? Do you have a contribution for an upcoming newsletter? Send us your comments, suggestions, or contributions.


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