The University of Arizona’s integrative medicine center received a $15 million commitment Tuesday afternoon, and has a new name thanks to Andrew Weil, M.D.
A pioneer in integrative medicine and a best-selling author and philanthropist, Weil named the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine with his $15 million gift, adding to his previous donation of $5 million.
Weil made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday, March 12 alongside UA President Robert C. Robbins, UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences Michael D. Dake and Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine Executive Director Victoria Maizes.
"This gift marks the high point of my career at the University of Arizona," Weil said, in a prepared statement. "More than 20 years ago, with strong support from (then Vice President for Health Sciences) Jim Dalen, the College of Medicine and the Tucson community, we established the nation's first Fellowship in Integrative Medicine with the aim of redesigning the education of physicians, physicians-in-training, and allied health professionals.
“We believed by doing this, we could impact our nation's struggling health care system by providing it with doctors trained to focus on the innate healing potential of patients. In addition to the best practices of modern medicine, we emphasized nutrition, a healthful lifestyle, natural therapies, and mind-body interventions, and spirituality. Perhaps those concepts were seen as radical in some circles, but today they are accepted as mainstream by most practitioners and by the estimated 8 million patients our program has directly and indirectly impacted."
In addition to naming the center, the money establishes the Andrew Weil Endowed Chair in Integrative Medicine, the Andrew Weil Endowed Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine and the Andrew Weil Endowed Program Fund for Integrative Medicine. According to a release from the UA, both chairs will benefit from the UA's Eminent Scholars Program, “established to help the university recruit and retain top faculty.”
"The UA Center for Integrative Medicine has a longstanding history of leadership in promoting a healthful lifestyle and taking greater responsibility for our own health, due to Dr. Andrew Weil's vision and innovation,” said Robbins, in a release. “We owe Dr. Weil a debt of gratitude for making integrative medicine a significant component of our nation's medical education, practice and research. It is truly fitting that the center will now bear his name."