Institutes of Health (IOH) has evolved from a long history of developmental milestones pioneered at the Anbar Institute (AI). Founded in 1953 by Dr. A.I. Anbar, AI grew into Canada’s largest private healthcare organization before being acquired by the government to form part of the backbone of its national healthcare system. AI’s biopsychosocial (BPS) approach has led to innovations ranging from developmental disabilities to occupational health, cardiovascular rehabilitation, senior living and healthcare, chronic pain and addictions.
In 1974, Anbar Institute established the Medical Diagnostic Center – MOR, for the National Healthcare System – NHF/Kupat Cholim, a para-government agency of the Health Ministry of the State of Israel. The computerized multiphasic medical diagnostic center currently treats over 40,000 patients per month. The goal of the MOR project was to develop a system that would raise the quality of health care while lowering costs by reducing the need for hospitalization, and the time lost by workers through early detection and more accurate diagnosis. MOR Institute provides a full range of occupational health services to small, medium, and large businesses and organizations ranging from Delek, Israel’s largest and oldest energy company and manufacturer of petroleum derivatives, to the Israel Airline Pilots Association.
In 1979, Anbar Institute established TransMed Corporation, a mobile medical diagnostic company providing and managing services to hospitals and clinics in the areas of mammography, abdominal ultrasound, Holter analysis, echocardiography and blood flow. Clients included Anchor HMO, Humana, Bethany, Augustan, Children’s Memorial, among numerous other medical institutions and group practices.
In 1980, in association with the National Institute of Neurology, a research component of the World Health Organization in Mexico City, Anbar Institute established the first Mexico-U.S. binational center for the biopsychosocial treatment of chronic pain and addictions.
In 1989 the Anbar Group (AI) launched its biopsychosocial approach of rehabilitation to reversing cardiovascular disease, the #1 cause of preventable death in the U.S. By replacing bedrest as the often-prescribed treatment for cardiovascular disease, with a biopsychosocial model to cardiac rehabilitation, this approach integrated lifestyle modifications with highly structured exercise programming, stress management, individual and group counseling, nutrition, psychoeducation and programs for weight loss/management and smoking cessation with the systematic instillation of the concept of self-help. With this approach, a new model of cardiovascular functional restoration was born, and a shift in the paradigm of treatment was launched. To address key risk factors such as a reluctance to seek immediate medical attention, other fear-avoidance behaviors or engage in exercise, AI developed one of the first pocket-sized transmitters capable of transmitting over a phone line a multiple lead EKG with a band width equal to a standard EKG machine. The result was the first comprehensive biopsychosocial transtelephonic ambulatory rehabilitation model of care. So far reaching were the implications of this paradigm shift that Dr. George Pollock, former President of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association and a world-renown pioneer in psychosomatic medicine joined the organization as its spokesman, to promote its biopsychosocial approach to rehabilitation after himself being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
In 1998, bringing together its accomplishments in senior housing and healthcare with its technological, environmental, and therapeutic milieu vision, the Anbar Group established Maravilla, a residential environment engineered to systematically improve the health of residents living in inclement regions. The development involved building the worlds’ largest residential indoor rainforest in a northern suburb of Chicago.
Dr. George Pollock
In 2002, IOH under the direction of Dr. Tomer Anbar established the first workers’ compensation insurance-affiliated biopsychosocial, interdisciplinary programs in California for chronic pain and functional restoration.
Subsequently in 2008, Dr. Anbar established the first hospital-based interdisciplinary biopsychosocial programs for chronic pain at Scripps Health in San Diego. Since 2002, and subsequently working as Chief Clinical Advisor of the California Employers’ Fraud Task Force, Dr. Anbar has been promoting the evidence-based biopsychosocial approach to chronic pain, functional restoration and addictions to insurance carriers, claims administrators, and employers.
As former Chairman of the Pain Rehabilitation SIG of the American Pain Society and Treasurer of the Musculoskeletal Pain SIG of the International Association for the Study of Pain comprised of 133 countries, Dr. Anbar continues developing and promoting the advances of interdisciplinary biopsychosocial evidence-based care. Among his accomplishments have been the establishment and management of the Global Pain Institute Consortium, with projects that have included the American Academy of Pain Management, the City of San Diego, Intel-GE, and physicians and health & fitness clubs across California, all chosen as part of a community-based and on-line chronic pain and functional restoration initiative.