National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Director to Speak at GW's Sung Symposium

Integrative Health thought leaders outline a radical redesign for health care
Sung Symposium, whole health, person, Tracy Gaudet, Wayne Jonas, Helene Langevin, integrative, medic


Washington, D.C.—Hélène Langevin, MD, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health, is among the health care thought leaders who will speak at the GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences' 4th Annual Patrick & Marguerite Sung Symposium: Whole Health & Wellness from 1 - 5 p.m. ET on Friday, April 23, 2021.  Organized by the GW Office of Integrative Medicine & Health, this virtual event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Whole Health, or Whole Person Health, empowers and equips people to take charge of their physical, mental and spiritual health and live a full and meaningful life. This means a patient’s health team will get to know them as a person, before working with them to develop a personalized health plan based on their values, needs, and goals. 

“A whole person health framework also provides critical insights and opportunities to expand and build on NCCIH’s current research portfolio on natural products and mind and body approaches,” wrote Dr. Langevin, in a 2020 article on considering Whole Person Health as the NCCIH develops its next strategic plan.  “By deepening our scientific understanding of the connections that exist across domains of human health, we can better understand how conditions interrelate, define multimodal interventions that address these problems, and deepen how we support patients through the full continuum of their health experience, including the return to health.”

Along with Dr. Langevin, the other Theodore and Cynthia Birnbaum Memorial speakers will be Tracy Gaudet, MD, executive director, Whole Health Institute, and Wayne Jonas, MD, executive director, Samueli Integrative Health Programs, and Jehan El-Bayoumi, MD, founding director, GW's Rodham Institute. 

Presentation topics include: Healing in the Time of COVID (Dr. Jonas); The Need for Whole Health: How do We Get There from Here? (Dr. Gaudet); The Future of Medicine for All (Dr. El-Bayoumi); and NCCIH Strategic Priorities on Whole Person Health (Dr. Langevin).

Dr. Langevin is a neurologist and internationally renowned expert on Integrative Medicine, acupuncture, and connective tissue.  She served as director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, jointly based at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Langevin has been a professor-in-residence of medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2012. She has also served as a visiting professor of neurological sciences at the University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine.  She currently serves as a principal investigator on connective tissue research studies funded by the NIH.

Dr. Gaudet was the founding executive director of the Veterans Health Administration’s National Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation; executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine at Duke University Health System; and the founding executive director of the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine, where she headed up the design of the country’s first comprehensive curriculum in this new field and launched the distance learning fellowship.

Dr. Jonas is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army. From 2001-2016, he was president and CEO of the Samueli Institute, a non-profit medical research organization supporting the scientific investigation of healing processes in the areas of stress, pain and resilience.  Dr. Jonas was the director of the Office of Alternative Medicine, the forerunner of the NCCIH, from 1995-1999, and prior to that served as the director of the Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. 

Dr. El-Bayoumi is a professor of Medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences with a very active clinical practice.  She has served on the boards of the Center for Women Policy Studies, the National Women’s Health Network, and Whitman Walker Health.  She founded the Rodham institute to increase the number of under-represented minorities in the health professions, to improve health outcomes for underserved populations, and to educate current and future health professionals.

For more information, email the Office of Integrative Medicine and Health.


The Sung Symposium promotes the use of Integrative Medicine. This annual event teaches health care providers and consumers about Integrative Medicine.  It encourages and supports research into the benefits of combining conventional medicine with evidence-based complementary therapies to promote optimal health and wellness.  This approach adopts a whole health approach to patient care with the widest array of evidence-based health, wellness, and disease prevention and treatment options available.  Integrative Medicine goes beyond treating symptoms and works to find the root cause of illness and disease to engage the patient in prevention and treatment. 


The Office of Integrative Medicine and Health (OIMH), at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), leads professional development, education, scholarly activities, and community outreach in the field of Integrative Medicine in the D.C. metropolitan area.  OIMH ensures excellence and sustainability of Integrative Medicine through commitments to high-quality education and training, community engagement, strategic partnerships, evidence-based practice, and patient-centered care.