The University of California, Irvine (UCI) has received the largest gift in its history: $200 million from Susan and Henry Samueli, to support a first-of-its-kind College of Health Sciences focused on interdisciplinary integrative health.
The university says the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences will be the first university-based health sciences enterprise to incorporate integrative health research, teaching and patient care across its schools and programs.
Integrative health redefines the relationship between the practitioner and patient by focusing on the whole person and the whole community. It makes use of all appropriate preventatives, therapeutic and lifestyle approaches, and healthcare professionals and disciplines to promote optimal health and wellness.
The Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences will ultimately include:
•School of Medicine
•Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing
•School of Pharmacy (now the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences)
•School of Population Health (now the Program in Public Health)
“Despite our technological advances, too many people still suffer from chronic conditions such as pain, diabetes and heart disease or are caught in a cycle of taking too many medications,” says Susan Samueli, a supporter and practitioner of integrative health. “We must change what we mean by ‘healthcare’ and how we train all who provide care, including physicians, nurses and pharmacists. Today’s health science students ask about integrative health from day one; harnessing that interest is key to turning our national system in a better direction.”
The Samuelis’ gift will provide $50 million toward construction of a facility to house the college and $5 million for state-of-the-art technology and labs – forming the foundation of a national showcase for integrative health. It also earmarks $145 million to create an endowment for:
•Up to 15 faculty chairs across the medicine, nursing, pharmacy and population health disciplines
•Integrative health training and mentoring for medical students
•Scholarships and fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students
•Innovative curricular development and campuswide interdisciplinary research projects
•Ongoing clinical services, research and education in the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, including investigations of nonconventional interventions as part of medical treatment and educating medical and lay communities about benefits and risks associated with new healthcare approaches
“Susan and I have supported healthcare research for nearly 20 years, and over that time, we have seen a significant expansion of the scientific evidence demonstrating the value and efficacy of integrative health. This evidence base is critical as UCI – a young, innovative institution – takes this big and influential step,” says Henry Samueli, an engineer and co-founder of Broadcom Corporation. “We are very excited for the UCI College of Health Sciences to become a national model for integrative health. We believe this model will eventually become the standard approach for promoting health and well-being in our society.”