Brian Berman, MD, founder and director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland, was awarded the 2005 Bravewell Leadership Award from the Bravewell Collaborative on November 10, 2005. The $100,000 award was presented to Dr. Berman at a benefit dinner in New York City, hosted by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.1
Dr. Berman, who was 1 of 5 finalists nominated for the award, said he was surprised and honored to be the chosen recipient (oral communication, November 2005). "I think integrative medicine is finally starting to get recognized, and for me to be recognized in this field is a great boost," he said.
The Bravewell Collaborative, established in 2002, is a group of 29 philanthropists committed to supporting the growth of integrative medicine.1 The Bravewell Leadership Award is given biannually to a recipient chosen by the group's selection committee.
Dr. Berman is renowned for his dedication to and promotion of integrative care, his influential research studies, and his clinical work with patients. He is currently pursuing several research interests, many of which have recently received major funding (B. Berman, oral communication, November 2005). He was awarded a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health in October, totaling approximately $4 million, to support an International Center for Research of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This center intends to study alternative treatments for irritable bowel syndrome, including a special 20-herb formula and acupuncture. A second grant from NCCAM, also awarded in October and totaling nearly $6 million, is funding the study of an 11-herb formula known as HLXL, which is intended to treat arthritic conditions. The grant also allows Dr. Berman's team to further explore the mechanism of action of acupuncture.
Dr. Berman's team is also conducting a long-term, follow-up study on the cost-benefits of acupuncture, utilizing the same cohort of 570 patients featured in his groundbreaking study of acupuncture efficacy published in the December 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.2 He is also pursuing a study on the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis through mindfulness-based stress reduction.
"I think we all realize that conventional medicine doesn't have all the answers," Dr. Berman said. Many people are turning instead to integrative medicine, he explained, which offers a variety of care options and reaffirms the relationship between doctor and patient. "It involves looking at mind, body, and spirit—the whole person—and putting the patient at the center of care. The Bravewell Collaborative really wants to promote this type of approach and make it the mainstay of care in this country," Dr. Berman said.
More information on the Bravewell Collaborative can be found at http://www.bravewell.org/.
1. Brian Berman, MD, named recipient of $100,000 Bravewell Leadership Award for integrative medicine at benefit dinner on November 10 in New York City hosted by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York [press release]. Pleasantville, NY: Kelly & Salerno Communications; November 11, 2005.
2. Berman BM, Lao L, Langenberg P, Lee WL, Gilpin AM, Hochberg MC. Effectiveness of acupuncture as adjunctive therapy in osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2004;141:12:901-10. Available at: http://www.annals.org/cgi/reprint/141/12/901.pdf. Accessed November 30, 2005.