Since the end of November, Russell H. Greenfield has served as the service line director of Novant Health’s integrative medicine program.
Integrative medicine features treatment that combines the use of conventional and alternative medicine practices.
The integrative medicine program in Novant Health is currently focusing on the treatment of the hospital’s cancer patients in the Charlotte and Winston Salem regions, but is being looked at to expand its services to help with the treatment of other conditions in the future.
“So my peers and I, we define integrative medicine as healing oriented care that takes account of the whole person, body, mind and spirit, family, community and environment,” Greenfield said.
Integrative medicine is not an alternative to care but instead combines the best of conventional and complementary medicine as well as carefully chosen therapy to help treat the entire person. This can include traditional treatments combined with various therapies and something like acupuncture or some other complementary treatment to help with a person’s stress or anxiety, Greenfield said.
“Everybody wants an opportunity in some way, shape or form to be an active participant in their care,” he said.
With cancer for instance, people are often overwhelmed by the information as well as misinformation they receive about treatment for it. Through the practice of integrative medicine, they are able to discuss various forms of treatment with their healthcare provider to determine the best route for them when it comes to their care, Greenfield said.
Since 1999, Greenfield has been practicing integrative medicine. He has worked with both academic and community medical centers as well as operated his own practice.
Previously, he trained and worked in emergency medicine. In 1997, he was part of the first class of the integrative medicine program offered by the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, Greenfield said.
Steve Limentani, Novant Health’s senior vice president of cancer services, said he is happy with the addition of Dr. Greenfield to Novant Health’s integrative medicine program.
Around the beginning of 2017, he began looking into ways to augment already existing cancer services and have a comprehensive approach to cancer along the Novant spectrum. He felt integrative medicine was an important part of this and that the hospital needed people who understand it well and know how to integrate it with more traditional medicine. This led to the hiring of Greenfield. He knew about Greenfield being part of the integrative medicine program at the University of Arizona as well as knew of the work he had done in the integrative medicine field, Limentani said.
“There isn’t anybody in integrative medicine I’ve interacted with over the last 20 plus years that is any better than Russ Greenfield,” he said.
The development of an integrative medicine program in Novant Health allows the hospital to be able to offer patients a full spectrum of medical care, Limentani said.
“Our goal is to have all the services available to patients all of the time,” he said.
Reaching that goal is a challenge, but Novant Health is continuing to work toward it and create partnerships to help with its efforts, Limentani said.
For more information about Novant Health and the services it provides, visit its website at www.novanthealth.org.