Steven C. Halbert, 59, Physician Who Specialized in Integrative Medicine

Steven Carl Halbert, 59, a nationally known physician who specialized in integrative medicine, died Oct. 22 at his home in Wyncote.

Halbert was one of the co-founding physicians of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's Jefferson Center for Integrative Medicine (now the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine). At Jefferson Medical College, he taught one of the first integrative medicine curriculums offered to medical students in the United States.

One of the first integrative doctors in the Philadelphia area, Halbert brought together the best of mainstream medicine with dietary and complementary therapies, and devoted himself to a patient-centered approach to complex medical problems. For the past 25 years, he maintained a private practice, Preventive Medicine Group in Wyncote, in which he was committed to treating the whole person on all levels: physical, spiritual and emotional.

Halbert studied medicine at the University of Brussels in Belgium, and at Temple University, where he earned his medical degree in 1979. His classes and exams in Brussels were all in French.

After completing an internship and residency at Abington Hospital in internal medicine, Halbert pursued his interest in emergency-care medicine and became boarded in emergency medicine as well. In 1983, he joined the academic faculty at the renowned Emergency Medicine program of the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

In 1998, he was a clinical assistant professor of Emergency Medicine/Integrative Medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.

In 2006, Halbert received funding from the National Institute of Health to undertake a fellowship in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed two studies of an alternative therapy for treating high cholesterol. The results of this research were recently published in The American Journal of Cardiology and Annals of Internal Medicine.

Halbert's interests embraced athletics, the arts, nature and spiritual practice. He was a gymnast, runner, biker, hiker and chi gong practitioner. He was also passionate about music and expressive modern dance. He played classical guitar and, since the 1970s, he and his wife participated weekly in Group Motion, an improvisational-dance community in Philadelphia.

For the past seven years, Halbert and his wife trained with a group from the United States and Europe in nondualistic healing, which combines Kabbalistic and Buddhist concepts of healing the whole person.

Halbert is survived by his wife, Doris Ferleger; his mother, Lucille Mann; a son, Ari (Ferleger) Halbert; and a sister, Terry Halbert.



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