At the Osher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), something remarkable is happening. By combining conventional medical treatments with complementary therapies, we are giving the patients we serve the tools they need to be more proactive participants in their own healthcare.
There has never been a better time for complementary medicine. It is clear that we need to identify ways to improve and maintain health. For years hovering on the fringes of mainstream medicine, complementary medicine is now receiving validation at the highest level, including from the National Institutes of Health. At the Osher Clinical Center, we are paying attention to the science behind these therapies and testing ways to prescribe them in patient care. As we do so, we are refining the model of Integrative Medicine—which we believe may become the new mainstream healthcare model of the future.
Like many cutting-edge ideas in medicine, those that form the mission of the Osher Clinical Center are costly to implement. Old therapies need to be tested and new therapies need to be combined with healing arts and treatments that may make them more effective and less invasive. Support is needed by those who recognize the urgency of changing the current emphasis on disease care to a healthcare paradigm that emphasizes prevention, wellness, and integrative therapies for chronic diseases. Foresighted philanthropists can help Osher change the paradigm of seeking care mainly in sickness to seeking ways to remain well.