Meet the 2021 Award Recipient

Melinda Ring_Portrait


Dr. Ring serves as executive medical director, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University, and as clinical associate professor in the Departments of Medicine and Medical Social Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. Dr. Ring has served as attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and as an associate member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center since 2007.

Dr. Ring is Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Integrative Medicine, and cares for patients with a wide variety of conditions and preventive health needs, with a special focus on women's health, food as medicine, and functional medicine. She earned her medical degree and completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, completed a Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

As faculty at Northwestern, Dr. Ring oversees medical student and resident integrative medicine education and directs the Osher Collaborative Clinical and Faculty Fellowships. She co-created the Cooking Up Health culinary medicine course, which has been run eight times since inception in 2017 at Northwestern, trained faculty from 14 outside institutions, and is now expanding through grant funding to teach residents, fellows and faculty about culinary medicine. Cooking Up Health was featured in the documentary film Cooking for Life by The Healthy US Collaborative.

Dr. Ring’s research projects have focused on integrative medicine training curriculum, integrative health interventions, including acupuncture, yoga, and mindfulness therapies, and community-based extensions for the Cooking Up Health culinary medicine course developed by the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. She is frequently invited to lecture both nationally and internationally and has authored academic textbooks, journal articles, book chapters, abstracts and other written publications.

Dr. Ring also serves as board vice-chair for the American Board of Integrative Medicine (ABOIM), program co-chair for the 2021 Symposium hosted by the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, and core faculty for the Duke Leadership Program in Health and Well-being. She is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and Global Advances in Health and Medicine, journal of the Academic Consortium. Dr. Ring also is a past Secretary for the Academic Consortium Board of Directors.

In 2013, Rodale Books published her first book for the public on integrative women’s health, The Natural Menopause Solution, and she has contributed to a variety of publications, including HuffPost and CNN. Dr. Ring has additionally published numerous opinion pieces on health, ethics and integrative medicine for public and professional audiences through her participation in The OpEd Project, Doximity Op-Med Fellowship and

Dr. Ring resides in Chicago with her supportive husband Michael and two dogs Bongo and Scribble, and is exceptionally proud of her college-aged sons Joshua and Matthew.


The Bravewell Distinguished Service Award is bestowed by the Academic Consortium to individuals whose work and dedicated service have made a lasting and especially meaningful contribution toward the promotion and advancement of integrative medicine and health.

To be eligible for consideration by the Board of Directors, candidates for the award meet the following criteria:

  • a record of service that has made a significant impact on the history and mission of the Academic Consortium to promote integrative medicine and health.
  • recognized across the broad spectrum of the Academic Consortium’s leadership in the field of integrative medicine and health, i.e., education, research and clinical practice.
  • associated with an Academic Consortium member institution in good standing.
  • not a previous recipient of the award.

The Bravewell recognition is the highest honor awarded in Integrative Medicine and Health.

Past Award Recipients

2012 – Aviad Haramati, PhD, Georgetown University

2013 – Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, University of Minnesota

2015 – James Dalen, MD, MPH, University of Arizona

2016 – David M. Eisenberg, MD, Harvard University

2017 – Ben Kligler, MD, MPH, Veteran’s Health Administration

2018 – Brian Berman, MD, University of Maryland

2019 – Victor S. Sierpina, MD, University of Texas Medical Branch

2020 – Adam Perlman, MD, Mayo Clinic