Integrative Medicine Program Achieves Center Status

October 16, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Program for Complementary and Integrative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist has been renamed the Center for Integrative Medicine, reflecting the program’s growth and increasing significance at the Medical Center.

The program began in 2005 under the direction of Kathi J. Kemper, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics, social sciences and health policy, and family and community medicine, and the Caryl J. Guth Chair for Integrative Medicine.

As defined by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, “integrative medicine is a system of comprehensive care that emphasizes wellness and healing of the whole person, with special emphasis on patient participation, and attention to mental and spiritual health. The knowledge and use of complementary and alternative medicine is an important aspect of integrative medicine.”

In 2005, Wake Forest Baptist was one of the first 35 academic health centers in North America to be accepted into the Consortium.

The Center for Integrative Medicine oversees a collaboration of clinical, educational, community outreach, and research activities focusing on wellness and healing, including acupuncture, the arts, music, and the environment, communication and counseling skills, dietary supplements and herbal medicine, Healing Touch, massage therapy, mind-body, music, nutrition, stress management, tai chi and qi gong, and yoga.

“This promotion of the program to center status is a mark of its maturity and a recognition of the fact that its efforts are of great value to the institution,” said William B. Applegate, M.D., president of Wake Forest University Health Sciences and dean of the medical school. “This center is another example of the importance of programs that cross multiple disciplines.”

The Center now comprises more than 80 faculty and administrators from a variety of fields and responsibilities at the Medical Center. Faculty leaders include Thomas Arcury, Ph.D., (Family and Community Medicine), Nancy Avis, Ph.D., (Public Health Sciences), Ski Chilton, Ph.D., (Physiology and Pharmacology), Charles Tegeler, M.D., (Neurology), and Walton Curl, M.D., (Orthopedic Surgery).

The Center has five main areas of activity: research, education, clinical care, leadership development and community outreach. In 2008 research in integrative medicine generated more than $27 million in research grant income. In conjunction with Natural Triad magazine, the Center co-sponsors a community-oriented integrative medicine seminar series.

Kemper is a nationally recognized authority on complementary and integrative medicine, who last year received the inaugural IPC Leadership Award from the Integrative Pediatrics Council. Earlier this year, she was called to testify before a U.S. Senate committee studying integrative medicine as a key component of health care reform, and co-authored a white paper on research priorities for the Institute of Medicine’s 2009 Summit on Integrative Medicine. She and other Center-affiliated faculty are interviewed frequently by news and health media from around the country.

More information about the Center is available through its website:


Media Relations

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