Can You Hear Me Now?
Can You Hear Me Now?
Making Ourselves Heard
The Octagon Takes Steps to Initiate a Health Policy Center at Life University.
With the continued implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the development of policies and regulations associated with the Act, it is clear that the voice of the health care community outside of the practices of medicine and surgery are going unheard. Over the better part of the past decade, Life University has participated in a number of collaborative efforts to explore avenues for engagement under the PPACA. From including these matters as a central focus of an annual Octagon conference to active membership in groups such as the Integrated Health Policy Consortium, Life University has sought engagement with other provider groups and various government agencies. Life University continues to view these paths as important and valuable pursuits for the institution, providers of care (obviously including the chiropractor) and, most importantly, for patients.
To these ends, President Riekeman has authorized the development of a health policy center within the Octagon. There are hundreds, if not thousands of health policy groups functioning at an institutional level, profession level, condition level and various government levels. The yet-to-be-named health care policy center at Life University will be seeking to assist in the transition from a pathogenic view and response to health needs to a salutogenic view of health and health care. Salutogenesis is a term coined by an Israeli-American sociologist named Aaron Antonovsky, Ph.D.
Antonovsky’s theories reject the “traditional medical-model dichotomy separating health and illness.” He described the relationship as a continuous variable, what he called the “health-ease versus dis-ease continuum.” It is this perspective, so obviously consistent with the conceptualizations of health and illness of the chiropractic profession for over a century, that will be the driving of the Life University health policy center. The center will seek to engage the lions of U.S. health policy (as opposed to disease policy) such a Senator Tom Harkin, retired U.S. Senator from Iowa.
It was Senator Harkin who brought the American population such advances as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It was also Harkin who was responsible for the inclusion of the non-discriminatory language (Section 2706) of the PPACA. On a state level, the nascent health policy initiative of Life University will seek to involve members of the legislature as well as policy-makers in identifying issues for study and response.
The current opioid crisis and the call for a transition to the use of non-pharmacologic health care approaches for pain management could easily become one of the early focuses of the center. Efforts are underway to identify an executive director for the center. Ideally we would like to see someone steeped in health care issues at a Washington, D.C. level who also has a keen and clear understanding of what is commonly referred to as “alternative health care.” A policy orientation is desired as well as the ability to function effectively at the legislative and the agency level. For more information about the development of Life’s health policy center visit the Octagon website at http://www.past.life.edu/octagon/ regularly.