After more than a year of planning and development, the University of Wisconsin Integrative Health program officially opened the Osher Center for Integrative Health at University of Wisconsin‒Madison.

The center will be funded through a $5.5 million endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation that the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health received in late 2021.

Housed in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, the center focuses on integrative health, which is a method of health care that addresses the health of the whole person, including a person’s physical, mental and spiritual needs, and how care teams can integrate conventional and complementary care together for patients.

In addition, expert teams at the new center are specifically working to advance salutogenic science, which focuses on the origins of health and looks at ways to explore, recognize and reproduce healing patterns.

“Being a university-recognized center will enable us to better collaborate with and learn from experts across our institution in areas such as food systems, mental health and well-being, community outreach and policy and health disparities research,” said Dr. Greta Kuphal, director, Osher Center for Integrative Health at University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Working together, we can bring a whole-person and whole-community approach to support the health of all those we serve in the state of Wisconsin and beyond.”

This new center also means UW–Madison is now one of 11 universities in the nation to be part of the Osher Collaborative for Integrative Health, which allows the centers to partner and work toward advancing salutogenic science and discovering innovative strategies for healthier communities, according to Dr. David Rakel, chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“Our department’s goal is to transform health care for all,” he said. “In the end, the research that takes place at the center will help create better patient care for people in health care settings like our partner institution, UW Health, and beyond.”

Founded in 2001 by Rakel, the UW Integrative Health program has long been a trusted academic and clinical resource for compassionate, innovative and evidence-based services striving to achieve whole-person and whole-community health for all.