The?UA Center for Integrative Medicine on Tuesday morning was renamed the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. The announcement came on the same day?UA officials announced that Weil, a holistic health expert, made a gift of $15 million to the center.
Tuesday's donation brings the total amount of Weil's gifts to the UA to $20 million, UA officials said.
"I firmly believe?that integrative medicine is the way of the future. Through its emphasis on lifestyle modification and bringing in less expensive natural therapies to mainstream medicine, I very much believe we can lower health care costs and improve outcomes," Weil said during a press conference Tuesday morning.?
"I feel confident that one day we'll be able to drop the word 'integrative' and it will just be good medicine."
The gift ensures that the UA "is the world's nexus of integrative medicine education, research and innovation," university?officials said in a news release.
Weil's $20 million gift?will establish?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, officials said.
Integrative medicine combines alternative health strategies such as?meditation and yoga?with mainstream Western treatment.?Weil is considered a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine and has long emphasized, whenever possible, using natural, non-invasive treatments.
The center that he established at the UA in 1994 created a program for training physicians in integrative medicine?to cover what Weil identified as deficiencies in conventional medical education.
It was the first formal training program in the country and "it's now really the leading program in the world, training physicians and other health professionals in integrative medicine," Weil said in 2010.
In addition to founding the UA center,?Weil, in partnership with restaurateur Sam Fox, in 2008?launched?True Food Kitchen, which includes restaurants in the Phoenix area and has a menu inspired by Weil's healthy food tenets.
True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen | grilled fish tacos
True Food Kitchen | heirloom tomato watermelon
True Food Kitchen | Organic Tuscan kale salad
True Food Kitchen | ancient grains bowl
True Food Kitchen | farmers market-Crudit-s.
True Food Kitchen | Korean noodle salad
True Food Kitchen | Pad Thai with shrimp
True Food Kitchen | Thai grapefruit martini
True Food Kitchen | Watermelon mojito
True Food Kitchen
Diet Dessert Hotlist - True Food Kitchen
Ancient Grains Bowl
Veggie burger | True Food
Asparagus toast from True Foods Kitchen at Devour Culinary Classic
Weil developed his own food pyramid based on foods that he says help guard against inflammation. He?has also?written several best-selling books about health.
Over the years, Weil has been criticized for advocating what some characterize as pseudoscience and quackery, but has always maintained that integrative medicine neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
In 2013, the center increased its credibility when it hired Dr. Esther Sternberg, a?leading neuroimmunologist from?the National Institutes of Health, as its first-ever director of?research. Sternberg is conducting?research to determine whether alternative and complementary healing like office design and green spaces are?scientifically effective.
Weil has become a celebrity associated with wellness.
Earlier this month, the luxury travel company Seabourn announced that two of its upcoming cruises to Arabia and the South Pacific?are?"being fashioned with input from celebrated physician, best-selling author and Seabourn partner?Dr.?Andrew Weil."
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: After $15 million gift, UA center will be named for Dr. Andrew Weil