|Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences is joining the institutional membership of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health. The Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences was announced in March 2021 as part of philanthropist Alice Walton’s vision for Whole Health and will be a standalone sister organization to the Whole Health Institute. In joining the Academic Consortium, the Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences will collaborate with 76 of the world’s most prestigious academic medical centers and health systems dedicated to research, education and patient-centered health and healing through all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches.
Academic Consortium Chair Francoise Adan, MD, said, “We are delighted to welcome this institution to our global community. Uniquely, this new school has the opportunity to build a thoroughly integrative whole health curriculum before accepting its first student. We look forward to working together toward the vision we share – a transformed healthcare system promoting integrative medicine and health for all.”
Building evidence-based approaches, the curriculum will infuse traditional and conventional medicine with integrative techniques and will include biomedical sciences, clinical training, medical entrepreneurship, research, and a capstone with Whole Health principles ingrained throughout. The program is allopathic, with graduates earning a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.
“We are joining the Academic Consortium because we believe in bringing everyone together if we want to see a positive, transformative change in the health and well-being of our society,” said founding dean Elly Xenakis, MD. “Grounded in a focus on the whole person, physicians of the future will be better equipped to redesign professional care with a focus on the empowerment and support of patients.”
Executive Vice Dean Colleen O’Connor, PhD, said, “Integrated medicine is the future of healthcare. This partnership between the Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Academic Consortium will help us all work toward this goal. Our team is looking forward to future engagement between our organizations and the more than 75 academic medical centers and health systems we are proud to be associated with through this membership.”
Vice Dean of Education at Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences, J. Adam Rindfleisch, MPhil, MD, is a recently confirmed Member-at-Large on the Board of Directors of the Academic Consortium. A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Rindfleisch’s academic interests include clinician self-care, enhancing medical education, spirituality and medicine, and mind-body medicine. In his role on the Academic Consortium’s Board of Directors, Dr. Rindfleisch, along with the other members, is working to advance patient-centered, evidence-based care, while transforming healthcare through integrative medicine and health for all.
The Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences plans to break ground on the construction of a new, state-of-the-art education and training facility in Bentonville, Arkansas in 2022. The first students will begin classes in 2024 and graduate in 2028.
In announcing the new school, Alice Walton said, “The Whole Health School of Medicine will help medical students rise to the health challenges of the 21st century through a reimagination of American medical education that incorporates mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health, the elements of Whole Health, to help people live healthier and happier lives.”
What is Integrative Medicine and Health: Integrative medicine and health reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing.
Who we are: The Academic Consortium is the organizational home for the major academic health centers and health systems in North America that have programs in integrative medicine and health. The Academic Consortium was founded in 1999 by eight academic health centers (Duke University, Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California, San Francisco, University of Arizona, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts, and the University of Minnesota). Now, with 76 institutional members, the Academic Consortium represents thousands of scientists, educators, clinicians, and other health professionals who share an interest in the field of Integrative Medicine and Health. Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences: Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences will be a new, independent, degree-granting, not for profit, medical school in Northwest Arkansas that seeks to reimagine medical education in America by creating a pipeline of medical professionals trained in conventional medicine and Whole Health – a new approach to health that equips and empowers individuals to actively optimize their own mental, physical, and spiritual health and well-being in collaboration with an integrated team of healthcare providers.
Whole Health Institute and Chopra Library (wholehealth.org): Established in 2020 and based in Bentonville, Arkansas, the Whole Health Institute and Chopra Library is a non-profit organization founded by Alice Walton to radically redesign the systems in our society that impact health and well-being with the ultimate goal of making whole health and well-being accessible to everyone. As a champion for change and a connector of ideas, Whole Health Institute is actively creating partnerships and programs with numerous other organizations to create a bridge to the future – a future in which our nation has achieved an ambitious, unified vision of health that enables people to live a full and meaningful life.
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CONTACT: Dale West