Former fellow, integrative medicine pioneer, best-selling author and philanthropist Andrew Weil (Latin America, 1971-1975)  has committed $15 million to name the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine – adding to his previous gifts totaling $5 million – ensuring the University of Arizona – Tucson (UA) is the world’s nexus of integrative medicine education, research and innovation.

In addition to naming the center, Weil’s commitment 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. Both chairs will benefit from the UA’s Eminent Scholars Program, established to help the university recruit and retain top faculty. Through the program, donated funds are augmented in order to grow the endowment faster and to provide more immediate support than is typical with an endowed chair.

“This gift marks the high point of my career at the University of Arizona,” Weil said. “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.”

Since its founding, the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine has sought to transform health care by creating, educating and supporting a community of practitioners that embodies the philosophy and practice of healing-oriented medicine. The center is internationally recognized for its innovative educational programs, evidence-based clinical practice and research that substantiates the field of integrative medicine and influences public policy.