The University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine’s second annual Health & Wellness Conference was held on Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Hilton Baltimore. More than 350 health care professionals and lay people gathered to hear Mark Hyman, MD, doctor, author, and advisor to the Dr. Oz Show, speak about how society can influence health and how we can be a part of the wellness movement. More than 20 leading experts in Integrative Medicine led workshop sessions throughout the day, and the lunchtime panel and plenary sessions rounded out the day, giving the audience the opportunity to interact with speakers.
“It was a wonderfully executed conference,” said one attendee. “Each session was better than the previous. I look forward to attending next year and spreading the word about it to others.”
From nurses, social workers and yoga practitioners, to physicians, pharmacists and therapists, to the general public, the Conference catered to the interests of health and wellness enthusiasts of all kinds. This year, in addition to Continuing Education credits for many health care professions, the Conference offered a Pain Management track that was approved for Continuing Medical Education credits, drawing two-thirds more physicians than at the first conference.
Overall, 97% of attendees who responded to the post-conference survey reported that the Conference met or exceeded their expectations, and 56% said their main goal for attending the conference was to gain knowledge to share with others. “I will share what I learned at the Conference with my patients when they press me for pain meds,” said one participant who asked to remain anonymous.
In a survey comment, another attendee wrote, “I felt uplifted at the Conference. It was inspiring to see speakers and presenters who strongly projected their desire to help others.”
More than 20 experts in health care and integrative medicine led workshops throughout the day on topics such as nutrition, meditation, yoga, spirituality, environmental health, Ayurveda, manual medicine, acupuncture, and more. Participants were able to select one of three to five workshops from each of the four sessions and were united in one room for Dr. Hyman’s keynote lecture, the lunch panel on “Changing the Paradigm of Health Care,” and the plenary session addressing “Pain Management in the 21st Century” led by the Center’s Associate Director Dr. Delia Chiaramonte.
“Are the social threads that connect us as important as the genetic threads?” asked Mark Hyman, MD, doctor, author, Functional Medicine expert, and advisor to the Dr. Oz Show, in his keynote address “Social Ecosystems and Chronic Disease.” Through his work, he has discovered that our social environment and connections can be a major influencer over our health. In an inspiring presentation, Dr. Hyman explored how the community can be part of the medicine and part of the cure.
“All of us in healthcare need to embrace our partners across the professions if we are going to serve patients and serve the needs of the public properly,” said University of Maryland’s President Dr. Jay Perman in his remarks that introduced the lunchtime panel. Moderated by the Center’s Director Dr. Brian Berman, a panel of health care visionaries came together to give the audience an intimate look at how they have seen and helped “Change the Paradigm of Health Care.”
Dr. Thomas Scalea, physician-in-chief of the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, stated, “It’s not so much about what it is we do – it’s about the total care package that we provide the people … we will continue to push the envelope that is about the total care of the patient and measuring the effect of what it is that we do.”
Lori Knutson, RN, a nurse who helped make dramatic changes in the healthcare system in the Midwest, shared her story, and Diane Hoffmann, director of the health care law program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, addressed how political and legal changes affect health care, such as licensing practices. Half an hour of questions from the audience gave participants a chance to interact with the panel.
In a post-lunch plenary lecture, Delia Chiaramonte, MD, Associate Director and Director of Education at the Center for Integrative Medicine, tackled the topic of “Pain Management in the 21st Century,” analyzing what we do and what we can do differently, such as looking at the whole person. “We can’t really talk about pain, particularly chronic pain, without thinking about all kinds of things…like people’s emotions, their genetics, their social situations, like how happy they are in their life, the context of the pain…” said Dr. Chiaramonte. A running theme throughout the day, Integrative Medicine takes a team approach and looks at the whole person – for better health and wellness.
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Thank you to our 2013 Conference Sponsors! If you are interested in sponsoring our 2015 conference, please contact Sheila Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-706-0106.
Biologische Heilmittel Heel GmbH is a pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures, and distributes medicines based on natural substances. Being the global leader in homeopathic combination preparations, the company is a pioneer in the field of scientific research in natural healthcare. Heel actively fosters the concept of Integrative Medicine and is building the bridge between homeopathy and conventional medicine to improve patient care and health. Heel medicines are available in over 50 countries around the world.
The Institute for Integrative Health is committed to shifting the emphasis of healthcare from disease management to the promotion of health and wellness. We support scholars exploring the science of health, identify successful wellness-based initiatives that can be replicated, and offer trainings and forums to educate the next generation of professionals.