The Bravewell Collaborative



The Bravewell Collaborative is a community of leading philanthropists who work together to transform our health care system and improve the health of the American public through the advancement of integrative medicine.


Bravewell began in 2002, when a small group of philanthropists joined in conversation with prominent physicians in the field of integrative medicine to discuss potential solutions to the growing health care crisis.  Two key questions were asked: Could a group of philanthropists working together to fund strategic programs accomplish more than individual philanthropists working alone?  Did the field of integrative medicine hold some of the answers to our health care system’s mounting problems.


In both cases, the answer to the question was “yes.”


Following that meeting, The Bravewell Collaborative established itself as an operating foundation and began to fund initiatives that supported broad system change.


Integrative Medicine is a philosophy of care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences affecting a person’s health.  Bravewell believes that by addressing the whole person and shifting the focus of health care to prevention, health maintenance,  and early intervention, integrative medicine holds the power to transform the economic models that impede our present system and vastly improve the health of the public, which is essential to our nation’s future.




Integrative medicine is an approach to care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s health.  Employing a personalized strategy that considers the patient’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances, it uses the most appropriate interventions from an array of scientific disciplines to heal illness and disease and help people regian and maintain optimum health.


The defining principles of integrative medicine are:


  • The patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process.
  • All factors that influence health, wellness and disease are taken into consideration.
  • The care addresses the whole person, including body, mind, and spirit in the context of community.
  • Providers use all appropriate healing sciences to facilitate the body’s innate healing response.
  • Effective interventions that are natural and less invasive are used whenever possible.
  • Because good medicine is based in good science, integrative medicine is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.
  • Alongside the concept of treatment, the broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount.
  • The care is personalized to best address the individual’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances.
  • Pracitioners of integrative medicine exemplify its principles and commit themselves to self-exploration and self-development.


In addition to addressing and handling the immediate health problem (s) as well as the deeper causes of the disease or illness, integrative medicine strategies also foster the development of healthy behaviors and skills for effective self-care that patients can use throughout their lives.




  • We value the treatment of the individual in a holistic manner and the fulfillment of the needs of mind, body and spirit.
  • We recognize the sacred and healing nature of the relationships between patients and health care providers and acknowledgement that humanism, compassion and caring are central to health and healing.
  • We believe that the empowered patient is the responsible and that a person’s emotions, trauma and stress levels directly affect the risk and course of disease.
  • We will work for health care system which creates an environment that supports healing relationships and recognizes that in order to be healing and empowerment, healers themselves must be restored and whole.
  • We will support truly integrative medicine that offers the highest standards of excellence in a full and complete array of evidence-based care modalities.
  • We embrace the spirtual dimension of life and acknowledge the importance of context and intention in the healing process for patients, caregivers and healers.
  • We acknowledge that the risks of many serious illnesses, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, can be reduced with scientifically based nutrition, exercise and mind-body interventions.
  • We believe in giving voice to the patient, in the openness of healers, and in honest and supportive communications among all members of the health care community.
  • We will support the efforts of healers to develop the integrity and spiritual qualities, which are as important as medical knowledge and technical skills to the process of healing.
  • We dedicate ourselves to the change necessary to bring about the new medicine in an optimal healing environment.




As an individual, you have:


  • The right to person-centered care.
  • The right to receive health care that addresses the wholeness of who you are – body, mind and spirit in the context of community.
  • The right to a health care system that focuses on prevention and wellness.
  • The right to be empowered as the responsible, central actor in your own healing.
  • The right to education about self-care that includes access to scientifically-based nutrition, exercise and mind-body interventions.
  • The right to a healing relationship with your health care provider that is grounded in humanism, compassion and caring.
  • The right to speak openly and honestly with your health care providers and in return, to experience honest and supportive communications from all members of the health care community.
  • The right to a health care environment that recognizes that to be healing and empowering, health care providers themselves must seek to be restored and whole.
  • The right to embrace the spiritual dimension in the context of your health care.
  • The right to health care providers who understand the integrity and spiritual qualities are as important as medical knowledge and technical skills in the process of healing.
  • The right to truly integrative medicine that is supported by rigorous scientific research, maintains the highest standards of excellence, and offers a full and complete array of care modalities.
  • The right to healing even when there is no cure.
  • The right to be whole.
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