Endowment Campaign Background
“Endowment gifts link today with forever. They are the backbone of organizational effectiveness, providing support for present and future needs and opportunities in perpetuity. A gift to the Osher Center’s Living Endowment will span generations and provide access to new possibilities in health and healing.”
~ Carol and Norman Traeger
The establishment of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in 1997 was made possible bythe vision and generosity of Bernard Osher and the vision of Dr. Haile Debas, former UCSF School of Medicine Dean.
Dr. Debas believed that as one of the top-ranked biomedical research and teaching institutions in this country, UCSF had a responsibility to take the lead in researching complementary and alternative therapies and educating doctors and other health practitioners so that they could help their patients utilize these techniques safely.
Given that the number of visits to complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in the mid-1990s exceeded the total number of visits to all United States primary care physicians, the Osher Center’s creation could not have come at a better time.
The Bernard Osher Foundation and the UCSF School of Medicine provided initial operating funds for developing the program, supporting faculty, and setting up the administrative infrastructure needed to run the Center. The Osher Center’s achievements over the last decade have been impressive:
Our research program was given two prestigious Center of Excellence awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2004 and 2008, and since the Center’s creation, our cumulative research funding has grown to over $30 million.
Our education program, which teaches medical students, health professionals, and the public about integrative medicine practices, has expanded tremendously. Founded on just two elective classes, the integrative medicine curriculum now features more than 25 hours of required instruction for all UCSF medical students.
Our patient care program is also thriving. Since the opening of the clinic, we have had over 41,000 patient visits. Over 6,300 of these have been subsidized by the Community Care Fund, which provides assistance to patients who would not otherwise be able to afford treatment.