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INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE FOR THE UNDERSERVED (IM4US) AIMS FOR JUSTICE AND EQUITY IN HEALTHCARE POLICY AND PRACTICE AT EIGHTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Leading Autism Researchers Join Tesseract Medical Research's Scientific Advisory Board




Released: 05/08/18


INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE FOR THE UNDERSERVED (IM4US) AIMS FOR JUSTICE AND EQUITY IN HEALTHCARE POLICY AND PRACTICE AT EIGHTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

San Francisco, CA – As the passing of the GOP tax bill aims for the most sweeping overhaul of the US tax system in more than 30 years, the bill also aims to affect healthcare policy in a significant way. The impact of the bill could mean the loss health insurance for about 13 million people in the next decade or an increase in premiums of up to 10 percent. Many of those affected represent the most vulnerable of populations – the underserved. In addition, the opioid epidemic is a major health threat to the underserved, along with millions of Americans. Now more than ever, Integrative Medicine and nonpharmacological approaches are needed to ensure the health and well-being of those affected by these healthcare issues. A solution that is strongly endorsed by the Joint Commission, as well as many other organizations, including Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US).

IM4US fundamentally believes that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The organization advocates to preserve those rights and promote the benefits of Integrative Medicine and the impact it can have on not only improving health outcomes for chronic diseases, but also in addressing the opioid epidemic.

This summer, IM4US will head to Washington, DC for its eighth annual conference with the goal of educating and mobilizing its membership to take action on this belief. Hence, this year’s conference will focus on ensuring greater justice and equity in healthcare policy and practice for the underserved. Conference participants will learn from, as well as interact and make connections with, organizations, policymakers, and legislators working to attain health equity. Participants will also have the opportunity to gain the tools needed to take action not only nationally, but in their own local communities.

Integrative health and wellness, when incorporated in a primary care framework, has the ability to improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. This is even more pronounced in underserved settings where these approaches can also be effective in reducing health disparities.

“The poor struggle to meet their basic needs such as access to affordable healthy food, a safe place to live, opportunities for work and an environment that is free of pollutants. Unfortunately, the underserved can suffer from oppression often due to due to their race, ethnicity, sexual identity, religion, gender, etc. We know that living with oppression leads to more stress and poorer health outcomes including chronic medical conditions. An integrative approach to health care can help reduce these health disparities. It is our job as an organization not only to advocate for affordable health care for all but also advocate for access to quality and equitable healthcare for all,” says Priscilla Abercrombie, RN, NP, PhD and President of the Board, IM4US.

“As our nation faces a crisis of mounting chronic diseases, integrative approaches are well suited to bring us back to health. This is especially true in the underserved setting where many patients and communities are excluded from the current health care system and often can’t access care. We must empower patients to take their health into their own hands with a focus on prevention, lifestyle changes, nutrition, mind-body interventions, and more,” says Sharad Kohli, MD, Secretary of the Board, IM4US and Cochair, 2018 Conference Planning Committee.

The 2018 IM4US Conference will be held at George Washington University in Washington, DC. The Samueli Foundation is participating as Lead Sponsor and the AIM Health Institute--a DC based organization whose mission is to bring the world of integrative medicine to all regardless of their ability to pay--will be co-sponsoring the conference.

 

“I’m excited that George Washington University is the host site for the IM4US 2018 annual conference. The annual conference is the best event to learn practical ways of making all people healthier. The IM4US conferences always refuel my personal commitment to the underserved community and continues to teach me innovative ways of providing holistic care to every patient I see regardless of their ability to pay, or where they live,“ Mikhail Kogan, MD, Medical Director at the George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the university, and Co-chair of the 2018 IM4US Conference Planning Committee. Those interested in attending the IM4US 8th Annual Conference can learn more here. Conference registration is now open. For information about conference sponsorship opportunities, click here or email info@im4us.org.

Released: 05/02/18


Leading Autism Researchers Join Tesseract Medical Research's Scientific Advisory Board

Leading autism researchers Richard E. Frye, MD, PhD, MS, FAAN, FAAP and John Slattery, BA, have joined the Scientific Advisory Board of Tesseract Medical Research (TMR), William West, President of the life sciences company, announced. Their addition bolsters TMR's commitment to advancing safe and effective biomedical interventions for managing the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder utilizing TMR's advanced nutrient delivery technology. The company launched an emerging autism portfolio last year with its first product, AuRx®, a medical food that optimizes delivery of butyric acid (butyrate) to the gastrointestinal microbiome. This short-chain fatty acid is often deficient in autistic patients and supplementation shows promise in improving symptoms and enhancing quality of life. AuRx® is the only ASD medical food that provides a critical nutrient needed by an autistic child that is not available from the normal diet when the child has an imbalance in the gut microbiota.

"We are truly fortunate to have Dr. Frye and Mr. Slattery on our team," stated West. "Their participation validates that patient outcomes experienced thus far from our products represent an exciting new frontier. It also affirms our commitment to provide parents and medical providers with the ongoing research and clinical investigation needed to assure this supportive adjunctive therapy becomes a ubiquitous element of treatment programs throughout the world of autism." 

Child and behavioral neurologist Richard E. Frye, MD, PhD, FAAN, FAAP, received his doctoral degrees in medicine and physiology and biophysics at Georgetown University in 1998. He has co-authored more than 230 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals and professional media and has spearheaded over 40 major clinical research studies.

Dr. Frye is recognized as a pioneer in identifying and exploring many of the underlying conditions in autistic patients that, with treatment, can substantially improve quality of life. His work centers on evidence-based science to better understand how the biomarkers of the dysfunctional pathways in autism can be paired with effective treatments. Most noteworthy has been his research in mitochondrial disorders and abnormalities in the microbiome, and more specifically, on the impacts of folate and vitamin B12, plus other compounds. 

"Butyrate is pretty amazing in what it does to the cells," explained Dr. Frye. "It seems to act like a fuel as it's supposed to, but also seems to rescue cells under stress. It appears to have a positive impact on many of the important genes we've found." 

John Slattery, BA, is a longtime collaborator with Dr. Frye, having worked together doing breakthrough research at Arkansas Children's Hospital. He is currently Director of Research and Innovation for Aces Health in Atlanta, and Founder of Aces Labs. John has also investigated neural correlates of attention networks after traumatic brain injury or stroke. He has since transitioned to clinical research on neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). His work in helping to create a more sophisticated digital health ecosystem, incorporating disparate, health-centric data into a unified and robust cloud-based platform drove new insights into complex disease processes, while also improving the speed and collection of data in clinical trials. The early results of this new paradigm have profound implications for spectrum disorders like autism, but for also diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and other challenging-to-manage chronic diseases. 

"Tesseract has specifically developed an intervention that delivers butyrate into the microbiome," stated Mr. Slattery. "Indigestible fiber is converted by bacteria into three major short-chain fatty acids—acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid. Disruptions in this gut ecosystem cause disruptions in production and interconnected pathways. Inadequate butyrate production may cause too much propionic acid in the body, which animal models have shown may have detrimental effects and alter behavior, learning, and memory, and promotes physiological and behavioral features consistent with an autism-like condition. By providing more butyrate to the parts of the intestines where it is needed, AuRx® can potentially have some significant effects on these biochemical and molecular feedback loops between the microbiome, their end products, the gut and the brain. Butyrate could potentially alter the metabolic systems, improve oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, among other physiological benefits." 

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