The University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM) kicked off its 20th anniversary by announcing a $20 million fundraising campaign and cutting the ribbon on new office space in East Hall. The fundraising campaign features a grant from an anonymous donor who will match donations dollar for dollar up to $7.5 million.
Among the dignitaries and special guests at the ceremony were U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and Ryan Major, a soldier wounded in Iraq who benefited from integrative therapies he used at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. "Integrative health is -- and will be -- absolutely critical to providing patient-centered health care," said Senator Mikulski. "The University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine will be absolutely important to reaching that goal. The Center for Integrative Medicine will lead the nation in educating the next generation of practitioners. If we can change health care, we can change the world," said Senator Mikulski.
Millions of Americans now use acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and other complementary therapies to feel better and stay healthy.
However, 20 years ago, many physicians and medical schools viewed these therapies to be on the fringe. When the center began as a School of Medicine program in 1991, it was the first program in the country based at a medical school to conduct research into complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, investigating the potential benefits and risks of treatments that many people were using but were afraid to tell their doctors.
Under the leadership of CIM founder and director Brian Berman, MD, the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine has become an international leader for research, patient care, education, and training. It is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Excellence for research in complementary therapies, with key research interests in acupuncture for pain management and mind body therapies. The CIM offers acupuncture, massage, Qigong, tai chi, and other treatments at its clinic at Kernan Hospital.
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"Using science, education, and collaborative patient care, we have led the way in building a scientific foundation for integrative medicine and demonstrating a new model for people to heal and maintain optimal health," said Berman, who is also professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
"The center has an impressive list of over 400 peer-reviewed publications, which has significantly expanded the body of knowledge about integrative medicine and how it can be used to treat diseases and conditions such as arthritis, chronic back pain, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer pain," said E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs of the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the School of Medicine.
University of Maryland President Jay A. Perman, MD, praised Berman and his center for taking a collaborative approach to working within the framework of an academic medical center, and with the other professional schools of the University. "The Center for Integrative Medicine is a world-class organization, skilled at interprofessionalism and working in teams," said Perman.
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