IHPC Letter Writing Campaign

Stop the erosion of the commitment to improving the research capacity within complementary health care institutions

Appoint the mandated number of licensed integrative health care practitioners on its Advisory Board 


Send a letter to influence the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) to change its ways

This is being coordinated by an Integrated Health Policy Consortium (IHPC) Task Force on NCCIH.

The Alliance  and the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) are both member organizations in the IHPC, whose purpose is to advocate for an integrative healthcare system with equal access to the full range of health-oriented, person-centered, regulated healthcare professionals. The NCCIH was created in 1999.  It is supposed to have nine licensed complementary healthcare practitioners on its Advisory Board. It has two.  It is supposed to conduct and support research about complementary health practices and encourage the development of research capacity at the schools that train us. It is doing less and less of this. Let’s speak up and get them back on track.

Address letters to:
Josephine P. Briggs, MD
NCCIH Director
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892

Your letter should include these six (6) talking points:  

1) I am writing to express my concern about the direction NCCIH is going….

2) Chief among my concerns are…

3) The mandated number of licensed complementary healthcare practitioners on your Advisory Board is nine.  The current number is two.

4) Part of your strategic plan calls for NCCIH to help develop research capacity at the institutions that educate complementary healthcare practitioners…

5) The dollars granted to complementary educational institutions like chiropractic colleges has decreased significantly.

6) This trend is counter to your mandate and your own strategic plan

Please include this specific request for action :  

Please alter your course to come into compliance with your mandate and fulfill the intention behind the NCCIH.

Suggested closing:  

Thank you for your service to the health of our nation and the collaboration between conventional and complementary health care.

We have included a letter template for your convenience:   Example Letter for Dr. Briggs


Why is the Alliance a part of this?   

The letter writing campaign for educators and individual practitioners began when the Alliance published our October newsletter.  ACCAHC sent a letter a few months ago, and IHPC sent a letter a few weeks ago.  IHPC is coordinating a campaign to solicit letters from other organizations in the complementary health field by January, 2016

NCCIH’s own website shows the members of its Advisory Board.  There are two complementary health care practitioners on the Advisory Board now, and one who is an MD/DC at a medical university in California.  The NACCIH Member Roster on the website shows that there are currently seventeen members on the Advisory Board, two of which are from complementary schools with no massage therapists. There are supposed to be nine (by statute).  Their press release on August 30, 1998 shows the makeup of the initial Advisory Board with nine (9) complementary health care providers, including two massage therapists.

In a press release from September 30, 1999 showing some research grants on CAM practices.  The NCCIH website also shows the history of grants that have been issued since the inception of the NCCIH, which originally was the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

The IHPC Task Force is a source of information regarding the decrease in funding for research on complementary health care as well as the directing of research dollars to conventional research programs at medical colleges and away from the educational institutions that train complementary health care practitioners.  A careful review of the press releases on the website since the formation of NCCAM (now NCCIH) in 1998 support that claim.

Please help us with this letter writing campaign.  Let your voice be heard!  If you have further questions and want to become more involved please contact Stan Dawson at Stan@afmte.org .


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