Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
1545 Divisadero Street, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Margaret Chesney, PhD, Director
The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine offers a dynamic approach to wellness, including health promotion and illness prevention, by integrating modern medicine with other established forms of healing from around the world. Our mission is to transform the way medicine is practiced and experienced by conducting rigorous research on integrative medicine; creating innovative educational programs for current and future health professionals, as well as the public; and designing new integrative models of clinical care that emphasize patient empowerment and whole person healing.
Founded in 1999, the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine has become an important center at the University of California, San Francisco, one of the nation’s leading health sciences schools. The Center is directed by Margaret Chesney, PhD, Osher Foundation Distinguished Professor of Medicine. The UCSF Osher Center has strong programs in research, led by Frederick Hecht, MD; health professional education, led by Shelley Adler, PhD; and clinical care, led by Kevin Barrows, MD. Synergy among these programs is one of the key features of the Center.
The Osher Center has received two Center of Excellence Awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has obtained more than 28 million dollars in research funding. The Education Program presents a required curriculum to over 150 medical students each year, and provides additional interprofessional instruction in integrative medicine to medical, nursing, pharmacy, and dentistry learners and faculty. The Osher Center’s Clinical Program has developed a broad range of integrative medicine services and has provided over 35,000 patient visits.
The Osher Center conducts research and offers care programs across the lifespan from mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting to integrative exercise that combines conventional exercise with yoga and balance training for healthy aging. Services include general integrative medicine consultation, traditional Chinese medicine, integrative pediatrics (with special expertise in autism, ADHD, and chronic pain), manual medicine, integrative oncology, women's health, integrative psychiatry, biofeedback, massage, Ayurvedic medicine, and guided imagery.
The following is an overview of the Center’s accomplishments:
- The Osher Center was awarded its first NIH Center of Excellence grant (2004-2009) to investigate the effects of a meditation-based stress reduction intervention in HIV infection, including the impact on disease course, neuroendocrine function, and the immune system. The second NIH Center of Excellence grant (2008 – 2014) focuses on a clinical trial investigating long-term weight loss and maintenance in obesity.
- The Osher Center engages in a broad program of research investigating the health effects of mind-body interventions such as meditation, yoga, and manual therapies; traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture; botanicals; integrative psychiatry; integrative oncology; and tai chi.
- Since 1998, the Osher Center has continuously provided nationally recognized and required educational content in integrative medicine to UCSF medical students and residents.
- The Osher Center Education Program has received the only NIH-funded grant to date to develop, implement, evaluate, and disseminate interprofessional curricula in integrative medicine.
- The Center has developed a successful research fellowship with funding from the NIH that is helping to develop the next generation of researchers in integrative medicine.
- The Osher Center, under its first Director, Susan Folkman, PhD, developed a Caregivers Project in collaboration with the UCSF Department of Neurosurgery to improve the experiences of those who care for people with serious illnesses. The Caregivers, a documentary based on the project, won an International Health & Medical Media Award.
- The Osher Center Clinical Program offers care across the entire life spectrum – from prenatal to end of life – with the clinical team providing more than 550 patient visits per month.
- The Osher Center’s Group Programs in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Yoga, Prepare for Surgery, and Laughter Yoga serve over 1,500 people annually.
- The Osher Center’s Clinical Program ranks as one of the leading UCSF clinics in terms of growth in visits, patient satisfaction, and financial performance.
- The Integrative Medicine for the Underserved Program (IM4U) brings integrative health services to vulnerable and underserved populations.
- The Center offers an annual Mini-Medical School program for the public on the latest developments in integrative medicine.
- The Integrative Women’s Health Program at UCSF is creating a model of integrative women’s health that addresses needs identified by the Institute of Medicine Report, Women’s Health Research: Progress, Pitfalls, and Promise.