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Gerald Oppenheimer Family Foundations Conference on Integrative Medicine: Welcome Message from the Chair

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the First Annual Gerald Oppenheimer Family Foundations Conference on Integrative Medicine. Today, we will share with you the breadth and depth of UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicines academic and community activities on Integrative Medicine at UCLA.

CCIM is directed by a multidisciplinary group of leaders across disciplines in medicine, public health, psychology, sociology, and the arts, and we strive to advance the public’s awareness of the increasing evidence-based research on Integrative Medicine.

Despite technological advancements and enormous expenditures, the healthcare system is in crisis and medicine is at a crossroad. We must challenge ourselves to critically examine the ingrained beliefs, habits and the current outdated structure of the healthcare system. What has worked should be kept and what has not should be improved or discarded. Optimal healthcare—care that is safe, effective, affordable, and accessible— will require the concerted efforts, ingenuity and collaborative spirit of the scientific and medical communities, policymakers, the business community, and the public. As the healthcare system continues to evolve, medical traditions other than the conventional biomedical model should be recognized for their potential to heal both the individuals as well as the current broken system.

Modern Western Medicine (MWM) emphasizes a reductionistic approach that focuses on the physical and objective basis of disease. In contrast, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) carries an emphasis on wellness, individuality, self-healing and mind-body interac- tion. There is increasing recognition of the synergistic effect that physical, nutritional, psychosocial, environ- mental and genetic factors have on health and disease. In general, CAM stresses the importance of balance as well as normal flow of adequate energy to maintain them.

I believe that CAM and MWM are complementary, with the strength of one being the weakness of the other. We, a group of dedicated health professionals and scientists, would like you to join us in developing this health model, which will bring us closer to achievement of the goals of medicine: to ease human suffering and improve quality of life.

Ka Kit Hui, MD, FACP Wallis Annenberg Professor in Integrative Medicine
Chair of UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine
Director of the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine


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