UC San Diego Launches New Centers for Integrative Health


August 17, 2017  |  

​On Saturday, August 19, UC San Diego will debut its new Centers for Integrative Health with a public conference featuring TED talk-style presentations by noted local scientists, doctors and experts on integrative medicine, mindfulness, integrative nutrition, integrative research and integrative education.

“This will be a ‘first-of-its-kind’ event, marking a key turning point in our seven-year history,” said Lauray MacElhern, managing director of the Centers for Integrative Health, which unifies a number of current, complementary programs at UC San Diego. “We need empowering approaches that encourage active patient self-care in support of whole-person health. Our new Centers are dedicated to that mission from research, educational and clinical perspectives, with each established center uniquely poised to leverage our collective strength.”

The all-day event at Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine is designed to introduce health care leaders, supporters, patients and community members to the concept of integrative health. Conference speakers will discuss research behind integrative health, new approaches to patient care and how to translate knowledge into action. Among the presenters are cardiologist and author Mimi Guarneri, MD; Rob Knight, PhD, director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego; Rusty Kallenberg, MD, executive director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at UC San Diego; Mike Kurisu, DO, associate physician in the UC San Diego School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine and Public Health; Dan Slater, MD, professor of family medicine and public health; doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine Erin Raskin; Gordon Saxe, MD, PhD, director of research at the UC San Diego Center for Integrative Medicine; Paul Mills, PhD, co-director of translational research technology at UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute; and Melanie Fiorella, MD, assistant professor of family medicine and public health and primary care physician at UC San Diego Health.

Conference topics include integrative medicine and health, health care transformation, optimal nutrition, movement, massage, manual therapies, osteopathy, acupuncture, meditation, guided imagery, mindfulness, mindful self-compassion, expressive arts, yoga and tai chi.

“We are very excited to be expanding our current integrative medicine components at UC San Diego into the new Centers for Integrative Health,” said Kallenberg. “This new name and structure more accurately portrays our diverse and growing work, accomplishments, services and activities.”

The new Centers for Integrative Health is comprised of five distinct, existing centers:

  • The Center for Integrative Medicine, established in 2010, offers whole-person, integrative clinical services that include physician consultations, osteopathic manual therapies, acupuncture, massage and jin shin jyutsu at multiple UC San Diego Health clinical sites. The center currently treats more than 10,000 patients annually.
  • The Center for Mindfulness offers a range of mindfulness-based programs for both UC San Diego Health patients and the public, plus training to teach mindfulness-based programs. It was among the first university-based centers in the world solely devoted to studying and teaching mindfulness.
  • The Center for Integrative Research combines integrative health, public health and practice-based research efforts based at UC San Diego and establishes a granting agency through a new research endowment.
  • The Center for Integrative Nutrition houses all nutrition-related integrative programs, cooking classes and clinical services.
  • The Center for Integrative Education oversees educational programs for students, San Diego County residents and continuing education for health professionals, plus community education and outreach activities.

The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Sanford Consortium. Registration is “pay what you want.” Beverages, a light breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided. To register or learn more, call 858-334-4631 or visit cihlaunch.eventbrite.com  

More information on integrative health at UC San Diego, visit cim.ucsd.edu 

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Lauray MacElhern

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