Mission, Vision & Overview

The mission of OCIM is to provide leadership in advancing integrative health through collaborative education, research, patient care and advocacy for the benefit of patients

Our work and philosophy…

OCIM’s focus is to establish how integrative health and medicine can help achieve the Triple Aim of improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations and reducing costs. OCIM is known nationally and internationally for its unique achievements and its mission of providing leadership in advancing integrative health through collaborative education, research, patient care and advocacy.

Our past, present and future programs educate a health care workforce that engages Oregon communities in health improvement and education, support access to care, continue to establish the evidence base for integrative health and develop and share tools to drive positive systems-level change.

OCIM believes that optimal health is not attainable within any single healthcare discipline or modality but rather is best achieved through an evidence-informed, integrative approach. 

Our guiding principles…

  • Preserve and respect the integrity of the unique medical disciplines that make up OCIM;
  • Model collaboration that is transparent and founded in equality and inclusivity;
  • Maintain patient choice and the health and well being of the public as ultimate goals; and
  • Recognize that optimal health is incapable of being created by one system of medicine alone

The Ideal Health Care System…

  1. Uses a multidisciplinary approach to health care that focuses on integrating patient preferences with evidence-informed therapeutic measures and lifestyle choices to support the body’s natural recuperative capacity;
  2. Emphasizes lifestyle modifications and dietary choices that optimize health and wellness; 
  3. Is based on economic incentives that promote motivating lifestyle health promotion, disease prevention, and improving the quality of life for those chronically disabled;
  4. Operates on a cost effective Integrative Medicine platform of patient-focused, lifestyle-oriented clinical models that encourage/require cross-discipline communication; and
  5. Has clear clinical guidelines for Integrative Medicine that ensure efficacy, safety, and optimal healing.

Brief History of OCIM

The four founding member institutions of OCIM have shared a relationship since the late 1980s after OHSU was awarded a collaborative research grant with University of Western States to address low back pain.  In 1999, a research relationship flourished between the institutions when the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) funded two of five P50 research centers in Portland: Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Neurological Disorders and Oregon Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Craniofacial Disorders.  The Collaborative was formally established in 2003 as the Oregon Collaborative for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as the result of a National Institutes of Health R25 CAM Education grant awarded to OHSU.  UWS, OCOM and NCNM were all subsequently awarded follow-up R25 education grants.  OCIM formalized as a nonprofit organization in 2010. Collaborative research, education and clinical care continue to thrive.