Center for Integrative Medcine at the University of Pittsburgh

The Center for Integrative Medicine at UPMC Shadyside

Shadyside Place

Suite 310

580 A. Alken Avenue

PIttsburgh, PA 15232

Telephone: 412-623-3023



The Center for Integrative Medicine at UPMC Shadyside (CIM) is the first hospital-based center in Pittsburgh to combine natural healing practices with conventional medicine.  CIM provides services intended to complement — not replace — more conventional medical treatments. From age-old therapies, such as acupuncture and naturopathic approaches, to mind-body methods, such as biofeedback and relaxation therapies, our staff works with each patient to determine which services are most appropriate.

The Center was founded in 1997 at Shadyside Hospital, a community facility, under the name of the Center for Complementary Medicine, initially with our focus on providing clinical service. In that same year, Shadyside Hospital became a part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and this prompted our academic orientation. Over our history, by coincidence, the three medical directors have all been psychiatrists. While the initial affiliation was with Family Medicine, in 2004 the Center moved to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and our name was changed to the Center for Integrative Medicine.

CIM is a member of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), placing it among the top complementary or integrative medicine programs in the nation. CIM, representing the University of Pittsburgh, became a member of CAHCIM in 2003, making it part of the 2nd wave of members following the organization’s founding in 2001. Member institutions work collaboratively to advance clinical care, education, and research in integrative medicine. Through this research collaboration CIM was invited to join BraveNet in 2014.

Clinical Services

CIM’s clinical activity places the program as one of the larger university-based integrative medicine programs in the US. Individual services comprise over 10,000 visits per year and clinical space covers over 6,000 square feet. Services include:

  • The largest volume services include chiropractic and acupuncture, with two practitioners in each of these areas, representing different backgrounds and approaches.
  • Other forms of bodywork include: massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, shiatsu, reflexology, lymphatic drainage, and structural integration.
  • Counseling regarding nutrition, supplements, and preventive health are provided by two Doctors of Naturopathy and a holistic family physician.
  • Medical staffing is provided by a physiatrist who provides evaluation and management around musculoskeletal and chronic pain conditions.
  • There are two psychiatrists on staff who focus on integrative management of mental health conditions across the age range.
  • Several mental health practitioners provide counseling incorporating a mind-body orientation. Integrative mental health services include: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), clinical hypnosis, and biofeedback.
  • There is an active group component with classes in yoga and tai chi and an ongoing health-nutrition program. Our largest volume service is the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program started in 2005 with over 500 graduates.


Since being placed under the Department of Psychiatry, the research program has moved from small internally funded pilot projects to federal grant funding. Infrastructure was initially supported by philanthropic funds and now research staff are funded by external grants. CIM faculty collaborate with researchers from several schools and departments at the University of Pittsburgh on the development of research projects. The University of Pittsburgh consistently ranks among the top schools in the nation for health sciences funding, particularly from the National Institutes of Health. This creates an atmosphere that fosters the study of biological mechanisms of treatment including complementary therapy interventions.
Prior research efforts include:

  • Pilot studies which led to publications including: EMDR for PTSD and acupuncture for symptom management in systemic lupus erythematosus.
  • Case series studies leading to conference presentations on evaluation and management of fatigue and psychophysiologic testing as a means of assessing mechanism of response to mind-body interventions.
  • Pilot study of acupuncture for cancer pain.
  • NIH/NCCAM funded-studies of prolotherapy—a musculoskeletal injection technique, acupuncture for depression, acupuncture for insomnia, and chiropractic treatment of acute low back pain.
  • NIH/NIAMS funded project, Psychosocial Influences on Systemic Lupus.
  • Psychosocial Risks for Cardiovascular disease in Systemic Lupus, funded by the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation, National Branch.

Current projects supported by federal grants include:

  • The Healing Context in CAM: Instrument Development and Initial Validation, NIH/NCCAM  R01AT006453, Greco-PI, 2010-2015.
  • A Comparison of Non-Surgical Treatment Methods for Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, PCORI, NCT 01943435, Schneider-PI, 2013-2016.
  • Reducing Depression in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, the ‘Feel My Best’ study, NIH/NIAMS R01AR057338, Greco-PI, 2009-2015.


CIM serves as the hub for integrative medicine education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and residency and fellowship programs at the University. Educational activities include:

  • 1-month elective in integrative medicine for medical students.
  • 2-week or 1-month elective for resident and fellow physicians from a number of specialties
  • 6-month continuity elective for psychiatric residents.
  • An Area of Concentration for medical students in integrative medicine, involving monthly lectures and experiential programs as well as research mentorship.
  • Mentorship and supervision of medical and health sciences trainees in research in integrative medicine approaches.