The conference lineup is powerful: participants from 29 countries, 45 universities, and more than 100 scientific presentations. All are part of the upcoming 8th European Congress for Integrative Medicine’s Global Summit on Integrative Medicine and Health Care, September 26-27, 2015, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The meeting will be convened by a 2-year-old integrative medicine player in the Northern European landscape, Nordic Integrative Medicine (NIM).
NIM is also producing an “Invitational Policy Roundtable on Nordic Models of Care.” Participating in the latter are such notables as Torkel Falkenberg, PhD, from the Karolinska Institute; Victor Dzau, MD, the president of the USA National Academy of Medicine; and George Lewith, PhD, the policy meeting’s chair. Dzau will also provide the opening keynote to the Global Summit, which will be closed by Victoria Maizes, MD, the director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. All speakers are here. Conference manager Per Ankaer told the Global Integrator Blog that roughly 200 people are expected to attend.
To an electronic interview query, NIM founder Shelley Noble-Letort, PhD, E-RYT 200 (pictured), responded, “We are pioneering Integrative Medicine in the whole Nordic Region so there is a lot of education that is required.” The organization has chosen to position itself as “a work of science and a work of service.” The focus is on being a “green” healthcare model and on patient-centeredness. The mission: “Move healthcare into sustainability.” The profile on the site is both hi-tech and hi-touch, with an emphasis on the environment and “keeping a sharp focus on the patient’s mindfulbody.™” To reach throughout the region, NIM is establishing a Nordic Council with the 3 of the 6 national representatives already named.
Noble-Letort and her board of directors must raise 300,000 DKK (roughly $45,000 US) to gain status for their foundation, before receiving government support. A transplant to Denmark from California with her Danish spouse, Noble-Letort speaks to the challenges of raising money in Denmark’s socialist environment. NIM gained “small starting funding for education” from the USA-based Weil Foundation, founded by Andrew Weil, MD, who also founded the integrative medicine program represented by Maizes, above. Noble-Letort notes that World Trade Center WTC/Ballerup is helping out significantly with 3,000 square meters of donated start-up space—with potential for more than doubling the size—and is also sponsoring the pre-summit Nordic Roundtable. An international set of a dozen conference sponsors are on page 14 here.
The NIM site notes that its other most significant initiative—besides the conference and raising start-up funding—is related to corporate health. Asked about progress, Noble-Letort shares that “We are in dialogue with PFA Pension and LEO Pharma (both sponsors of summit) as well as Danica Pension who is interested in a pilot program that focuses on Stress and Integrative Health. No agreements yet.”
Comment: NIM is an ambitious, groundbreaking endeavor. It IS Intriguing to consider what finding philanthropic partners must be like for Letort as a non-national, relative outsider. Add to this the context of a socialist nation in which governmental support is more frequently anticipated than in the United States, for instance, where not-for-profit agencies must routinely pick up the pieces of a faulty governmental safety net. Letort and her team have their hands full. Hopefully this conference and the preceding policy day will prove to be the platform that catapults NIM toward additional fulfillment of its substantial mission and set of planned initiatives.