Interest in complementary medicine has grown sizably in recent years as has the number of individuals providing services in many of its sub-specialties. Aetna (NYSE:
) highlights some of the most fascinating African-Americans contributing in this field of health care in its 32
African-American history calendar titled “Celebrating African Americans Practicing Physical and Alternative Healing.”
Yvonne Bronner, Sc.D., R.D., a professor and founding director of the M.P.H./Dr.PH. program at Morgan State University wrote in the calendar’s introduction, “The NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has supported research in this area since 1992. Positive effects of some therapies can be explained and supported. Others can’t. But practitioners continue to present positive experiences from their patients.” Dr. Bronner previously was director of the University’s complementary and alternative medicine research training program.
Mark T. Bertolini, chairman, CEO and president of Aetna said, “There is so much we have yet to know about complementary medicine. There is a rather lengthy history of medical research that either supports or negates traditional Western medical practices, but the research conducted on complementary medicine is relatively new. Still, there are many components of complementary medicine providing beneficial results with many people living healthier. There is no doubt that many of these therapies are alleviating pain and suffering.”
“Aetna is proud to focus on the accomplishments of African-Americans in these healing arts. They are people making an important contribution, both to their communities, as well as to their specialty,” said Floyd W. Green III, Aetna’s head of Community Relations and Urban Marketing.
Practitioners featured in the calendar represent a wide diversity of practices. For example, Lester L. Carter, Jr., a pharmacist who opened his own pharmacy in Milwaukee in 1968, is also an herbologist, and ships homemade remedies all over the country. Cynthia Shelby-Lane, M.D., is a Detroit doctor who promotes therapeutic laughter and is developing a 12-step program to help people laugh more and live longer. After earning a Ph.D. in sociology/criminology and teaching at several universities in Washington, D.C., Andrea Sullivan sold everything and moved to Seattle to earn a doctor of naturopathic medicine degree. The author of “A Path to Healing: a Guide to Wellness for Body, Mind and Soul,” Sullivan moved back to Washington and opened the Center for Natural Healing in 1988.