March 25, 2008

Symposium explores complementary health care

by Pete Rosenbery


CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale next week will host a conference that looks at the future of complementary health care in the United States.

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, an internationally known clinician and educator, is keynote speaker for the symposium, "Complementary Health Care: What You Should Know," from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 31, in the Student Center's Ballroom D.

The morning panel discussion will cover the past, present and future of complementary medicine. The afternoon panel will look at issues including legal, regulatory, oversight, insurance liability and consumer protection concerns.

SIUC's Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and the Center for Delta Studies are sponsoring the symposium.

According to the institute, the conference is for members of the public who are using or considering complementary medicine techniques as part of their overall health care options, and also for traditional and alternative health care providers and researchers who want to bolster their understanding of the benefits and challenges of the two practices.

A medical doctor and complementary medicine practitioner, Low Dog was appointed in 2000 by President Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She is director of education at the University of Arizona's Program on Integrative Medicine.

She received Time Magazine's "Innovator in Complementary and Alternative Medicine" award in 2001, and the Martina de la Cruz medal in 1998 for her work with indigenous medicines. She also received National Public Radio's People's Pharmacy Award in 2007, and is a regular contributor on NPR's "The People's Pharmacy," and has also appeared on ABC's 20/20 and CNN. Additional information on Dr. Low Dog is available at

Mike Lawrence, institute director, said, 'We are pleased that Dr. Low Dog will bring her internationally recognized expertise into a health care topic that deserves more attention. Complementary health care has inspired strong support from many practitioners and patients. It has attracted skepticism from many others. Her balanced, informed approach is vital to an increasingly important discussion."

Admission is free, but registration is required for space and meal considerations. To register, contact institute project coordinator Christina Rich at 618/453-4078 or by email at

The conference schedule, along with panel discussions is:

9 a.m. — Welcoming remarks by Mike Lawrence, director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

9:10 a.m. — Keynote speech by Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, director of education, Program on Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona.

10:30 a.m. — Panel 1 – "Complementary Medicine: Past, Present and Future." Moderator: Jane Adams, professor, SIUC Department of Anthropology.


  • Dr. Shyam K. Bhat, assistant professor, departments of Internal Medicine and Psychiatry, SIU School of Medicine.
  • Les F. Lloyd, associate professor, physician assistant program, SIUC.
  • Lola Lehman, a certified Healing Touch practitioner and retired nurse educator.
  • Sharon Peterson, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science, Food & Nutrition, SIUC College of Agricultural Sciences.

11:45 a.m. — Lunch

1 p.m. — Panel 2 – "Consumer Issues in Complementary Medicine." Moderator: Linda Renee Baker, Paul Simon Policy Institute/University professor.


  • W. Eugene Basanta, SIU School of Law Southern Illinois Healthcare Professor of Law, and co-director, SIU School of Law Center for Health Law and Policy.
  • Dr. Timothy E. Morthland, assistant professor of clinical family and community medicine at SIU School of Medicine's Family Medicine Residency Program.
  • Lori L. Bielinski, executive director Washington State Chiropractic Association, and former senior health policy adviser to the Washington State Insurance Commission.

Contact institute assistant director Matt Baughman at 618/453-4001 for more information on the program or visit