The Need for a Public Health Competency-Based Education for Integrative Health Care

Douglas Taren, Benjamin Kligler, Patricia Lebensohn, Audrey J. Brooks, Victoria Maizes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Integrative health care (IH) is an approach to health that utilizes biomedical and social determinants of health to promote health and prevent disease, focusing on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention, and utilizing not only the clinician–patient relationship but also how the family and community contribute to health promotion and disease. IH is a nascent area of practice within public health training. However, many people with a graduate degree in public health have a clinical profession that contributes to integrative primary health. To support the development of a competency-based education for IH, the National Center for Integrative Primary Healthcare convened an interprofessional leadership team to develop 10 “meta-competencies” in integrative primary health care. Following the development of the meta-competencies, individual members of the leadership team worked with colleagues within their profession to develop subcompetencies for specific professions for each meta-competency, including public health. The meta-competencies and public health subcompetencies were used to develop an online 33-hour introductory IH course: “Foundations in Integrative Health.” The public health subcompetencies were used to guide the development of a case study for a 6-hour unit, “Interprofessional Practice in Community Settings and Systems at Large,” on how to conduct and utilize a community health assessment that focused on health equity issues related to diabetes, which can also be taken as a stand-alone course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalPedagogy in Health Promotion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • competencies
  • integrative health care
  • interprofessional
  • primary care


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