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New Coalition Is Another Stepping Stone Toward Whole Person Health

Director’s Page
Helene M. Langevin, M.D.

June 10, 2024

I am proud of the progress that the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has made, taking distinct steps toward supporting the health of the whole person. Not only did we prioritize whole person health within NCCIH by incorporating it into our strategic plan, but we have also taken the lead in engaging colleagues within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and stakeholders outside of NIH to encourage a wider conversation on integrating a whole person approach into research. Additionally, we defined a framework for discussion and fostered the necessary work to develop research methods that support increasingly complex studies on whole person health. 

Now, I am excited to announce a new endeavor that will help to engage patients, health care professionals, and researchers, called the NCCIH Coalition for Whole Person Health (the Coalition). This independent coalition of nonprofit organizations will allow interested stakeholders to coalesce under a common umbrella to discuss challenges and opportunities in the research field related to delivering whole person care to individuals. The Coalition will represent perspectives of patients, communities, and professionals about the importance of whole person research, interprofessional collaboration, and keeping people and patients at the center of the conversation.

NCCIH will interact with the Coalition through events such as scientific meetings, retreats, roundtable discussions, webinars, and listening sessions, including an inaugural meeting this fall. Interactions with the Coalition’s volunteer representatives will foster information sharing, bring valuable external perspectives to NCCIH’s work, and, conversely, ensure that stakeholders are aware of and can amplify NCCIH’s research. This two-way flow of information and forum for collaboration will help to tackle important challenges related to the work of advancing research on whole person health, such as building greater research capacity, fostering interprofessional collaboration, and identifying the most promising areas of research. 

The Coalition will be led by two experienced professionals who are passionate about addressing the health challenges that patients face and the role that a whole person approach can play in meeting the health needs of people. Amy Mack, M.S.E.S./M.P.A., is chief executive officer of The Institute for Functional Medicine, and Samantha Simmons, M.P.H., is chief executive officer of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health. Together, they will serve as cochairs of the Coalition and lead a steering committee of eight founding member organizations. 

At NIH, across other Federal health agencies, and within numerous nonprofit organizations across the country, countless dedicated professionals bring unique perspectives on the barriers people face in attaining and maintaining good health. However, all face the overarching challenge brought on by a fractured and siloed approach to health. That is why I hope you will take a moment to learn more about the Coalition. If your nonprofit envisions better health for people through a whole person approach, please consider representing your organization and joining the discussion by filling out the application and attending our fall meeting. I look forward to sharing more details and the meeting agenda later this summer. 

Please contact Mary Beth Kester, M.S., director of the NCCIH Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation at for an application to join the Coalition.

Helene M. Langevin, M.D.
Helene M. Langevin, M.D.