February 15, 2005

Nicole A. Gaddis
(215) 349-5657

Harry Bosk,
Tai Sophia Institute
(410) 665-4787


University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Expands
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program

Collaboration with Tai Sophia Institute for the Applied Healing Arts to provide
education, research and clinical activities

(Philadelphia, PA) – The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Tai Sophia Institute for the Applied Healing Arts of Laurel, Maryland, have signed an affiliation agreement to collaborate on education, research and clinical activities in complementary and alternative medicine.

Three initiatives relating to medical education, clinical activities, and the monitoring of the quality of herbal medicines and herbal products are initial targets for the program. The initiatives will include the creation of a Master’s Degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, to be offered by the Tai Sophia Institute and developed in collaboration with Penn School of Medicine faculty. “This degree program is one of the first of its kind in the nation,” states Alfred P. Fishman, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Program Development at Penn’s School of Medicine and co-director of the collaboration. “It will afford a solid background for Penn’s medical and nursing students in their understanding of alternative healing arts.”

A second initiative will be the creation of an “Optimal Healing Environment” at the Presbyterian Medical Center. This program will be developed by the Division of Cardiology at Penn’s Presbyterian Medical Center and the Tai Sophia Institute and will integrate Complementary/Alternative Medicine into conventional cardiac care.

The third part of the collaboration will consist of the development of postgraduate and programs in continuing education. One program currently under development will provide physicians with ready access to clinically important information about herbal medicines and promote the use of on-line herbal databases. The School of Medicine’s highly rated Continuing Medical Education Program (CME), which has recently received re-accreditation with a commendation and rating of exceptional by the Accreditation Council for CME, will play an important role in this phase of the collaboration.

The Tai Sophia Institute is a graduate school located in Laurel, Maryland. Currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary Year, the Institute offers graduate degree programs in acupuncture, botanical healing, and applied healing arts. The Institute has been involved in the education of 320 full-time graduate students from all over the United States and six foreign countries. Approximately 700 graduates of the Institute actively practice acupuncture and other healing arts throughout the country.

Dr. Fishman and Robert M. Duggan, MA, MAc, President of the Tai Sophia Institute are co-directing the program and are aided by a planning committee comprised of experts from both institutions including Betsy Ann Bozzarello; Margaret Cotroneo, RN, PhD; Gail Morrison, MD; Philippe Szapary, MD, Paul Root Wolpe, PhD, (from Penn’s School of Medicine) and Sherman L. Cohn, JD, LLM; Margaret Cushman, RN, MA; Barbara Ellrich, Lana Warren, EdD, MA; Gail Geller, ScD and Simon Mills, MA, MCPP, FNIMH (from Tai Sophia Institute for the Applied Healing Arts.)


PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation’s first integrated academic health system).

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #3 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System is comprised of: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

This release is available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/feb05/compaltmed.htm