Daniel C. Cherkin

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Biographical Information

"Dr. Cherkin's approach embodies a transformation of the way we think about health care delivery and centers around the question, "What paths to healing are absent from the typical primary care encounter?" Dr. Cherkin is dedicated to engaging patients in healing activities by understanding their underlying needs and tailoring treatment around them. He's especially interested in improving treatment for chronic conditions and is best known for his research on alternative therapies for back pain. He often collaborates with Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) investigator, Karen J. Sherman, PhD, to study therapies such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture.

"While Dr. Cherkin's work is yielding important knowledge about the effectiveness of these therapies, he remains committed to finding ways to create an optimal healing environment in primary care. This enhanced approach can only work when primary care providers' needs are met in a supportive work environment. To this end, he led a study aimed at bolstering awareness, communication, and team building among primary care staff as a way to foster mindful, patient-centered care.

"Dr. Cherkin provided nearly a decade of valuable service to GHRI as associate director for research from 1999–2008, with two years as acting director. He belongs to several professional organizations, including the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research, and was program chair for the 2009 North American Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine.

"Appointed December 2010 by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Dr. Cherkin serves on the 2011–2014 National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) within National Institutes of Health.

"Dr. Cherkin has maintained two faculty appointments at the University of Washington since the 1980s and is now affiliate professor in both family medicine and health services. As of September 2012, he is also the director of research for Bastyr University Research Institute in Kenmore, WA."[1]


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  1. grouphealthresearch Daniel C. Cherkin, organizational web page, accessed February 26, 2013.
  2. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Advisory Council, organizational web page, accessed February 26, 2013.