Dr. Michael Co-Leads Acupuncture Study with UF Jacksonville
Dr. Michael Kowalski A.P., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM) is pleased to announce he is leading a collaboration between his 5 Element Institute, the University of Florida (UF Health Jacksonville), and Utica College (Utica, NY) to pioneer groundbreaking research on acupuncture for neck pain. The study, “Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Chronic Neck Pain” is the first of its kind in the United States to investigate whether acupuncture is cost-effective for Medicare and private insurance companies to cover acupuncture for neck pain.
The mission of the 5 Element Institute is to build an inter-professional bridge between the acupuncture profession and conventional medical communities, through research, treatment, and educational programs rooted in the tradition of Five Element Acupuncture, with the object of encouraging collaborative and integrative clinical practices that can enhance the patient experience, improve health outcomes, and lower healthcare costs.
The acupuncture study will take place in the beautiful new research center located at UF Health Jacksonville (formerly Shands Jacksonville). Dr. Michael is Co-Principal Investigator, along with Dr. Paul Mongan MD, Chair, Dept of Anesthesiology at UF Health, and Cynthia Love-Williams RN, DNS, Associate Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Graduate Programs of Utica College. Dr. Michael and his team of four acupuncture physicians will provide all the acupuncture treatments on study patients during the study, which is expected to last about 15 months. Patient enrollment is already underway. The study is expected to open for treatments next month.
Fifty UF Health patients who have chronic neck pain will be referred to the study by their UF Health physicians. Twenty-five patients will receive twelve free acupuncture treatments plus their usual care for neck pain at UF. The other 25 (Control Group/Wait List) patients will receive only “usual care” (conventional medical treatment for neck pain, without acupuncture). Regular assessments will be taken on both groups to assess pain relief, ability to function, and quality of life. The two patient groups will also be compared for the amount of “usual care” medical services they require for their neck pain, to see if there are cost savings in the acupuncture treatment group. After the first phase is completed, the 25 Wait List patients will also receive twelve free acupuncture treatments.
The study is being paid for by a generous grant from two of Dr. Michael’s dear patients, who donated the funds to Utica College.
Dr. Michael will deliver a keynote address at Utica College’s Integrative Healthcare Strategies Conference on September 21st. His address will explore acupuncture’s role in the future of integrative healthcare. Dr. Michael looks forward to a robust conference and developing further collaborative projects between Utica College and the 5 Element Institute.
For more information about how acupuncture can help you or your loved one, call Dr. Michael Kowalski at the Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center in Jacksonville at (904) 296-9545.