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The Integrative Medicine Wheel, copyright William Collinge, Ph.D.

UC Irvine Integrative Medicine for Underserved Patients

The Department of Family Medicine, in a collaborative partnership with the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, the UC Irvine Health Family Health Centers and the Orange County community, is developing a new model of primary care.

Our goals are to improve the quality of life and health outcomes for patients at the family health centers in Anaheim and Santa Ana and to increase access to integrative medicine resources for our underserved patient community.

We also strive to change the focus of healthcare and medical education for our residents, medical students and faculty to include a multidisciplinary, patient-centered approach that emphasizes wellness, prevention and self-care skills, and the adoption of the principles for creating optimal healing environments.

The intersection of food and health is an area of special interest. With support from the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and others, we are cooking up evidence-based nutrition education for providers and patients alike through the Culinary Medicine Initiative.

Residents »

The UC Irvine Family Medicine Residency Program's track in Integrative Medicine is a unique program designed to offer additional education and training in the diagnosis and treatment of primary care patients using the tools and philosophies of integrative medicine.

Learn more about the program ›

Medical Students »

HEAL-IM Health Education to Advance Leaders in Integrative Medicine 

This four-year longitudinal program for UCI medical students is intended to provide a sound foundation on integrating the best of Western scientific medicine with an evidence-based, holistic approach to patient-centered care.  

View the descriptive brochure

Learn more about the HEAL-IM program on the UCI School of Medicine website >

Culinary Medicine Elective

Using a proven curriculum, first- and second-year medical students learn hands-on, practical healthy cooking skills paired with evidence-based whole food nutritional concepts that will be applicable to their own health as well as to many future patients they will see with diet-related illness.  

In addition to examining clinical applications of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet with guidance from physician and dietician faculty, learners get hands-on cooking instruction from a chef to learn how to make healthy and delicious culturally appropriate dishes, and help patients make practical changes to eating and shopping habits.  

Learn more about the Culinary Medicine Initiative 

Health and Wellness Curriculum

The Health and Wellness curriculum provides all UCI first- and second-year medical students with practical, evidence-based information about the fundamental elements of health and wellness. The course goals are to provide medical students information to help improve their own physical and mental health as well as to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to educate and motivate their future patients in making healthy lifestyle choices.

Students learn from experts on the following health and wellness topics: mindfulness, nutrition, exercise, motivational interviewing and healthy sleep

Integrative Resources for Patients »

Integrative Medicine Classes and Clinics at UC Irvine Family Health Centers

Two-page summary of Integrative Health Clinics and Classes presented by Department of Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine Program and the Health Scholars Program 

Spanish versions:

Clínicas de salud integrativa: Consultas de Medicina Integrativa, Toque Sanador, y Tratamiento de Manipulación Osteopatía (OMT, por sus siglas en ingles)

Clases gratuitas en sitio: Yoga Moderado, Zumba™, Clase de Diabetes en Español, Clase de Peso Saludable, y Reducción del Estrés 

"Santa Ana health clinic provides alternative treatments and preventive care to the uninsured" Deepa Bharath, OC Registrar, June 3, 2019

Acupuncture Clinic

In collaboration with a senior acupuncturist from the Samueli Integrative Health Institute, we offer a weekly acupuncture clinic at the Family Health Center, Santa Ana. This clinic is set up to be able to offer low cost access to this effective, evidence based Integrative treatment for a variety of conditions seen commonly in underserved communities.

Integrative Medicine Consult Clinic 

Dr. Kilgore has established an integrative medicine consultation clinic (Consultas de Medicina Integrativa) at the UC Irvine Health family health centers to deliver holistic healthcare to underserved populations.

Unlike a regular clinic, doctors and residents specializing in integrative medicine conduct more extensive consultations with patients interested in integrative methods of healing. Implementing a more biopsychosocial approach in assessing patients, doctors and residents help patients help themselves to overcome health-related issues with more natural treatments, including nutrition, exercise, mind-body relaxation exercises, herbals and supplements, as well as referrals for acupuncture and osteopathy.

Group Medical Visits

Diabetes Education

The purpose of the class is to enhance patient empowerment over diabetes, self-management and to slow the progression of type 2 diabetes. Instruction about healthy cooking, nutrition, movement and mindfulness are incorporated into each session.  

Weight Management

Description to come

High Blood Pressure

Mi Propio Camino is a NIH-funded study that aims to help Latinx patients find their own path  (mi propio camino = “my own path”) to manage high blood pressure.

Movement and Exercise

Our free classes are open to UC Irvine Health patients, as well as to staff members and physicians from the Family Health Center.

Healthy Cooking Classes (Clases de Cocina Saludable)

We are delighted to be piloting hands-on Healthy Cooking classes for adult patients with chronic conditions in the new Lois Eisenberg Teaching Kitchen at UCI Family Health Center.  Each class features ingredients and cooking skills that tie in with nutritional objectives (such as choosing healthier types of carbohydrates, enhancing flavors while decreasing sodium) and fun, affordable and tasty recipes.

Mobile Food Pantry at UCI Family Health Center - Santa Ana

Monthly free distribution of fruits, vegetables and other groceries.

Despensa Mensual de alimentos: verduras y frutas por Familia a no costo.

Healing Touch (Toque Sanador) Clinic

Energy therapies, such as Healing Touch, work by removing energy congestion that forms in our energy field and energy centers and can cause physical symptoms in the body, including stress, pain, anxiety, and insomnia. The Healing Touch Practitioner uses gentle, light or near-body touch often resulting in feelings of calm and relaxation.

Patient Resources from the Healthy Living (La Vida Sana) Program

UCI Medical Students developed patient resources (handouts, recordings, links) in English and Spanish concerning Nutrition, Exercise, and Stress Reduction as part of the Health Catalyst project.

Community Outreach and Research »

Live Healthy OC - Empowering a Community of Wellness

Launching a groundbreaking and innovative initiative, the UC Irvine Department of Family Medicine, Health Funders Partnership of Orange County, the Samueli Foundation, the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine (SSCIM), and the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers (Coalition) formed a partnership in 2014 to help transform community health centers from a disease-focused health delivery model to one that focuses on prevention and health creation through the implementation of integrative health practices. Over a three year time period, this Initiative aims to accomplish the following:

  1. Improve health outcomes for economically disadvantaged communities through patient education and self-management skill building and through the use of evidence-based integrative medicine modalities that are less invasive, and support the foundational elements of health and wellness.
  2. Create a robust and sustainable network of community clinics in Orange County that have the capacity to provide comprehensive health and wellness services and supports for their patients, with an emphasis on whole person patient-centered care.
  3. Improve the knowledge and skills of safety net clinic providers and staff in the foundational elements of health and wellness and the optimal use of integrative modalities.
  4. Ensure implementation of financially viable, sustainable and innovative integrative health practices and approaches within each participating clinic, such as use of the group visit, motivational interviewing techniques and paired allopathic-allied health provider models.
  5. Create a professional learning community of clinics focused on transforming their operations and practices through integrative health, and position the learning community to share best practices to inform the field.

By the end of 2018, more than 100 providers and staff at 8-10 safety net community health centers serving our disadvantaged community will have received additional training in nutrition, healthy cooking, yoga, tai chi, osteopathic manipulation therapy, mindfulness, Healing Touch and Acupuncture. Their patients will receive the benefit of seeing providers and staff at their medical home clinics who have an expanded skill set and are able to offer a broader scope of care that includes Group Medical Visits, Motivational Interviewing and clinic-based integrative resources such as yoga and cooking classes, acupuncture and mindfulness training.

Tai Chi master Shin Lin teaches community providers

Rhonda Smith presents at Live Healthy OC Launch

This is also a large research project studying how to best provide Integrative training to a whole network of community health centers serving underserved communities who lack access to these resources. During the duration of the program, Drs. Kilgore and Billimek will be conducting evaluations to measure efficacy of the process, transformative change and patient outcomes. Learn more about the Health Funders Partnership of Orange County Integrative Health Initiative