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NCCIH Research Blog

NCCIH Strategic Plan FY 2021–2025: Mapping a Pathway to Research on Whole Person Health

May 14, 2021

Dr. Helene M. Langevin ("Helene Langevin")

Helene M. Langevin, M.D.


National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

Great news! We just released our new strategic plan, “NCCIH Strategic Plan FY 2021–2025: Mapping a Pathway to Research on Whole Person Health.” The plan, which builds on a foundation the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has fostered for more than two decades, explains how we will continue and expand the Center’s current activities while advancing new strategies and ideas. 

A New Focus on Whole Person Health

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was originally created to facilitate the study and evaluation of complementary therapies. Over time, NCCAM became NCCIH and incorporated a focus on integrative health research, with the goals of improving care, promoting health, and preventing disease. 

Now, with this new strategic plan, we are expanding our definition of integrative health to include whole person health, empowering individuals, families, communities, and populations to improve their health in the biological, behavioral, social, and environmental domains. Advancing research on whole person health will support our focus on promoting and restoring health with complementary and integrative health approaches.

Our Objectives for the Next 5 Years

The new strategic plan has five objectives:

  • Advance fundamental science and methods development.
  • Advance research on the whole person and on the integration of complementary and conventional care.
  • Foster research on health promotion and restoration, resilience, disease prevention, and symptom management.
  • Enhance the complementary and integrative health research workforce.
  • Provide objective, evidence-based information on complementary and integrative health interventions.

These objectives, and the strategies for reaching each of them, incorporate our commitment to improving the health of women and underserved groups by funding research with diverse populations and promoting a diverse scientific workforce. They also reflect our commitment to emphasizing research on common and burdensome health problems such as pain and prioritizing research topics that show scientific promise and are amenable to rigorous inquiry.

Thank You for Your Input

I would like to thank everyone who contributed their thoughts and feedback by responding to our requests for information or participating in our town halls. Your insights, along with those of NCCIH staff and the members of the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health, have helped us shape research priorities to propel the integrative health field forward.

Much progress has been made in the research areas that form the NCCIH portfolio since our last strategic plan was released, but there is still much to do. We are ready to meet this challenge.

View the Plan



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