The new home of the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, a 21,432-square-foot space designed to expand its clinical, teaching and research capabilities to deliver whole-person care, is now open at UC Irvine.
“The new center is the brick-and-mortar realization of our vision to make integrative care the national standard of care for all people,” said Susan Samueli, co-chair of the Samueli Foundation’s board of directors and a longtime supporter of the institute, which has several smaller clinics dotting the county. ““Every person should feel hopeful, seen and heard as an individual when they’re engaging with the health care system, and the new center’s design and approach to care achieve that goal.”
The new flagship for the health institute features 42 rooms for consultation, examination and treatment of patients, cardiac rehabilitation and a variety of other services.
Patients will also be offered nutrition, exercise, mindfulness, yoga and group medical classes. And, the center will be open to the community for yoga, tai chi and nutritional cooking classes, as well as educational lectures and events.
More than 50% of the population employs some kind of integrative health, but treatments are not typically offered in a single space, said Dr. Shaista Malik, executive director of the health institute.
“Here there is true integration, so that patients know that we are not only addressing their physical state, but their emotional well-being,” Malik said.
“We’ve started to uncover the science that underlies a lot of why these therapies work,” she said about advances and the mainstreaming of integrative health care. “For instance, for acupuncture, it has been building over the last 20 years, so much so that it is even part of the guidelines for a lot of different conditions. When it comes to treating chronic pain, there is evidence that it actually is effective.”
The institute opens as part of the new Susan & Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences’ 110,000-square-foot complex on the university campus at California Avenue and Michael Drake Drive. Separately, UCI has a large medical center under construction, with a new hospital, near Birch Street and Jamboree Road.
Orange County philanthropists Susan and Henry Samueli, whose $200 million donation in 2017 funded development of the health sciences college, were on hand for a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the institute’s new space opening.
At the time, the donation was the seventh largest to a single public university, UCI officials said.
Henry Samueli is the owner of the Anaheim Ducks and co-founder and chairman of the board of Broadcom, a manufacturer of semiconductor and infrastructure software products.
Over the years, the Samuelis have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to philanthropic causes in the county. In 2000, it was their gifted of $5.7 million that helped establish the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine.
Integrative health and wellness is a major passion for Susan Samueli, her husband said.
“We certainly hope that this new building and all it stands for reflects you, Susan, and the human dignity and bold ideas you stand for,” Henry Samueli said.
UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman said the institute elevates the entire community by encouraging the focus on preventive care and wellness, and not merely illness.
“This isn’t an alternative to health,” Gillman said. “This is what health should be. (This institute) is the actual and symbolic entry point to the most ambitions and far-reaching innovations and health education research and delivery in our entire nation.
“Health needs to reimagine,” he said, “and this is the monument to that reimagining, not just to our community, but to healthcare and wellness around the country.”
UC Irvine’s price-controlled community a prized perk for campus bigwigs
UCI freshmen play red light/green light game for the world record