Northwestern Health Sciences University Defines the Future of Integrative Care, Calls on Health Care Industry to Prioritize Health Creation

Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU), the evidence-based integrative health institution in Bloomington, Minn., releases its integrative care position paper, “Integrative Care: Creating a Healthier, More Sustainable System,” calling on health care industry organizations, associations and professionals to challenge the current approach to care and create a more holistic and sustainable system.

In an integrative care system, the goal is health creation: moving beyond symptom and disease management to create resilience for individuals, communities, and the health care system. To achieve this, organizations need to leverage a broad health care workforce, without distinction between “complementary” and “mainstream” care.

“The pandemic, opioid crisis, and social uprisings of the last few years have shined a light on how our current health care model is failing to actually make people healthier. Implementing components of integrative care can move the needle: seeing patients as whole-people, looking at care as inclusive of work beyond traditional health care, and leveraging a transdisciplinary care team,” said Michele Renee, DC, MAc, director of integrative care at NWHSU. “We are training the next generation of health care professionals to put the patient at the center of care and influence systems to change how care is delivered.”

Integrative care systems are best when co-created with a range of stakeholders. NWHSU calls on the industry to consider:

  • Provide enhanced opportunities for interprofessional education, making space for providers and stakeholders to learn from one another and work collaboratively.
  • Coordinate a wide range of clinical and community resources for patients, emphasizing health creation.
  • Eliminate the idea of “complementary” and “mainstream” health care, replacing the dichotomy with an approach that prioritizes the right care at the right time.
  • Align payment models with health care outcomes, shifting away from a transactional model and towards one that supports whole-person wellbeing.

For more than 80 years, NWHSU has been focused on educating the industry on collaborative and holistic approaches to care. NWHSU’s Master of Health Science in Integrative Care program further establishes its commitment to educate healthcare industry professionals designed to address all aspects of health and change systems to better serve patients.

“At NWHSU, we are lucky to be located in the Twin Cities, a region known for health care innovation. We’re collaborating with our neighbors to implement these actions to create a better and a healthier ecosystem,” said Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, Ph.D., executive director of research and innovation at NWHSU. “Through our curriculum and partnerships with a range of health care institutions, we are changing how people learn, envision and approach health care.”

For more information and to download the position paper visit:


About Northwestern Health Sciences University
For over 80 years, Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU), based in Bloomington, Minn., has provided world-class professional education and research as well as comprehensive health and wellness services. Its more than 130 faculty members annually teach programs in chiropractic, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, massage therapy, medical assisting, medical laboratory technology, medical laboratory science, radiation therapy, radiologic technology and post-baccalaureate pre-health. NWHSU prepares the next generation of healthcare professionals to not only deliver, but also advance healthcare. NWHSU has more than 7,500 graduates throughout the U.S. and in 21 countries. For more information, please visit


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