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Integrative health center to bring innovation, greater accessibility and higher quality of life to Vermonters

Vermont Business Magazine University of Vermont today announced a broad, new initiative that will deliver innovative, interdisciplinary, evidence-based health care practices to our region. The Osher Center for Integrative Health at UVM, funded by a $ 5.5 million grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation, will dramatically advance entire patient care, research, education, and health policies centered on treatments that incorporate proven methods from a variety of areas that complement allopathic (conventional) medicine.

“The Osher Center will greatly help advance our focus on serving the people of Vermont and beyond,” said UVM President Suresh Garimella. “As an integrated health research and training center, this new center will help us meet our strategic requirements to serve Vermont, invest in distinctive research forces, and ensure student success. We are grateful for the Osher Foundation’s continued trust and their generous new investment in The future of UVM and Vermont. “

An established leader in integrative clinical and educational programs, UVM joins an international collaborative network of ten academic institutions – ranging from Harvard and Northwestern to the University of Washington and UC San Francisco – as a center of excellence in integrative health, aiming to improve patient care and well-being.

“We are pleased to have the University of Vermont become a member of the Osher Collaborative for Integrative Health given the institution’s reputation as a champion of integrative care and because of the close collaboration between its numerous health science surgeries,” said Mary Bitterman, President of Bernard Osher Foundation. “UVM has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to our mission to improve the quality of life and has the expertise and innovative culture to influence sustainable, meaningful change in the areas of health and wellness.”

“This grant has the potential to improve the lives of many patients in Vermont and northern New York. As the academic medical center of our region, we are proud to partner with the University of Vermont on this new designation,” said the president of UVM Medical Center and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Leffler, M.D. “All the communities served by the UVM Health Network will benefit from the innovation made possible by this partnership that supports our mission to provide high-quality care that improves people’s lives.”

Integrative health practices allow patients to take more control of their own quality of life instead of relying solely on drugs or invasive procedures.

For example, UVM Medical Center’s comprehensive pain program – led by Jon Porter, M.D., Division Head of Comprehensive Pain Management – has garnered national attention for both its use of an interdisciplinary integrated clinical team that addresses chronic pain, and a new bottom-up payment system. of integrated services not traditionally covered by health plans. Porter will lead the new center.

“The national movement toward integrative care brings to the table everything we know about the documented benefits of a wide range of therapies, including acupuncture, mindfulness, movement, reiki, nutrition and culinary medicine,” Porter said.

Interest in integrative care has grown as healthcare systems and individual providers search for effective value-based solutions to a wide range of chronic disorders in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Integrative approaches have caught the attention of healthcare systems as they show more positive results at a lower cost than some traditional approaches.

The Center’s political arm will leverage Vermont’s advances in health care reform with the goal of achieving greater health care, especially in rural and underserved communities. Research that has shown promising results in urban areas will be tested in rural settings where people are located further away from their health providers.

“UVM and UVM Medical Center have an important leadership role in the delivery of care in our region and the conversation about making quality care more accessible to society,” said Patricia Prelock, UVM Provost and Senior Vice President.

The Osher Center will report to Prelock, who is also a former dean of UVM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and an internationally recognized researcher in the study of autism spectrum disorders. In addition to Porter’s appointment as center director, the center’s management team includes Cara Feldman-Hunt, associate director; Kim Dittus, M.D., medical director of oncology support services; and Karen Westervelt, Ph.D., education program manager.

The Osher Center will include practitioners, faculty members, researchers and students from UVM’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences and Larner College of Medicine. And it will serve the patient populations and clinics of UVM Medical Center, UVM Cancer Center and the entire UVM Health Network. Together, patient care, research, and education under the UVM umbrella extend beyond Vermont’s borders to New York and other New England states.

“The Osher Center represents a rare and important opportunity to come together as ‘One UVM’ in the interest of people in our immediate community and throughout Vermont,” Prelock said. “It will showcase UVM at its best – building a healthier society.”

Plans for the new center include facilities at Burlington’s main campus and at UVM Medical Center’s offices in South Burlington. The center is expected to be launched later this year.

Since 1791, the University of Vermont has worked to bring humanity forward. UVM’s strengths correspond to the most urgent needs of our time: the health of our society and the health of our environment. Our size – large enough to offer a breadth of ideas, resources and opportunities, yet intimate enough to enable close faculty-student mentorship across all levels of study – allows us to pursue these interrelated issues through interdisciplinary research and collaboration . Giving our students a unique educational experience and ensuring their success is at the heart of what we do. As one of the nation’s first land subsidy universities, UVM promotes Vermont and the wider community through the discovery and application of new knowledge.

“UVM” is an abbreviation of the Latin Universitas Viridis Montis (in English, University of the Green Mountains).

BURLINGTON, Vt. – University of Vermont 23.6.2022

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