The University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine Earns 'Center of Excellence' Designation

Jun 12, 2008, 01:00 ET from University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine

    TUCSON, Ariz., June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arizona Board of Regents
 recently conferred Center of Excellence status on The University of Arizona
 College of Medicine Program in Integrative Medicine -- a move that
 reaffirms the positive impact integrative medicine has had on health-care
 system transformation.
     Now known as the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM), the
 program underwent an intensive evaluation process and earned unanimous
 endorsements from UA health sciences program directors and college deans.
 The new designation formally recognizes the center's achievements in the
 field over the past 14 years, and its status as the world leader in
 integrative medical education.
     Founded in 1994 by internationally renowned author and integrative
 medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, MD, the Arizona Center for Integrative
 Medicine joins nine other Centers of Excellence at the UA College of
     "Having our work recognized in this way is among our greatest
 accomplishments to date," Dr. Weil said. "The Center of Excellence
 designation formally recognizes us as an innovator in educating the next
 generation of physicians and health-care professionals. Our challenge now
 is to remain at the forefront of innovation so as to make integrative
 medicine available to everyone, regardless of economic or geographic
     UA President Robert N. Shelton lauded the Regents' decision, saying,
 "This formal designation acknowledges that the Arizona Center for
 Integrative Medicine is a respected and significant voice within the
 University, and indeed throughout the global health-care community.
     "What began as a small, pioneering program has now inspired the
 development of scores of similar programs across the country, another
 manifestation of the University's innovation and leadership in the health
 sciences arena."
     Since its founding, the center has created five integrative medicine
 fellowships, received more than $7 million in federal funding and graduated
 nearly 300 integrative medicine fellows. Many of these fellows are now
 academic leaders in other prestigious centers, including The Johns Hopkins
 University, Stanford University, Duke University, Tufts University, The
 University of Wisconsin, and the University of Maryland.
     The Center of Excellence designation will enhance the center's ability
 to court top-tier faculty and inspire a new era of program growth -- led by
 the center's most ambitious program to date: the Integrative Medicine in
 Residency (IMR). The center's integrative medicine curriculum soon will be
 incorporated into standard three-year family medicine residency programs
 across the nation. Residents will learn to incorporate integrative medicine
 concepts into their practices, including patient-centered care techniques
 that facilitate lifestyle change.
     Through funding raised from both public and private sources, an IMR
 pilot program will be launched in July at eight family medicine residency
 programs nationwide, including the UA; Beth Israel Medical Center, New York
 City; Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, N.C.; Maine Medical Center,
 Portland, Maine; Maine-Dartmouth, Augusta, Maine; University of
 Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.; Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis,
 Minn.; and the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
     "This will be the first program in the nation to create a required
 curriculum in integrative medicine for physicians during residency," said
 Victoria Maizes, MD, executive director of the Arizona Center for
 Integrative Medicine. "Over the next 10 years, development of IMR into the
 national model for residency education is a major goal for the center. We
 will gradually move beyond primary care into subspecialty training."
     Dr. Shelton added, "Through the center's leadership in education and
 research, the role that integrative medicine plays in health-care
 transformation has been revealed in exciting new ways. I celebrate the
 center's roots right here in Tucson, and I am eager to see its future
 unfold as a Center of Excellence."
     For more information about the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine,
 please visit the Web site:, or
 call (520) 626-6417.
     The mission of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine is to lead
 the transformation of health care by creating, educating and actively
 supporting a community of professionals who embody the philosophy and
 practice of integrative medicine. The center defines integrative medicine
 as healing-oriented medicine that takes into account the whole person
 (body, mind and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes
 the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies,
 both conventional and alternative.
Media Contacts: Matt Russell Jean Spinelli Russell Public Communications University of Arizona (520) 232-9840 Health Sciences Center (520) 909-3941/cell (520) 626-2531

SOURCE University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine