The Osher Center
The Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Washington was established in July 2018, with the generous support of the Bernard Osher Foundation. We seek to transform healthcare in the region by integrating traditional and complementary wellness approaches into patient care.
We seek to nurture new and transformational integrative models of care that are patient-centered, acknowledge the role of lifestyle as a major determinant of health, and respect the healing approaches of diverse cultures, while emphasizing patient empowerment and focus on prevention and whole-person healing.
What is Integrative Medicine?
Integrative medicine brings together conventional and complementary practices in a coordinated manner to promote health, illness prevention and healthy living. It emphasizes a holistic, patient-focused approach to health care and wellness, treating the whole person. The UW Osher Center emphasizes that the practitioner and patient are partners in the healing process, and all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease are taken into consideration.
How does Integrative Medicine differ from Complimentary Medicine?
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health more than 30% of Americans use approaches to health care that are outside of conventional medical care of usual Western medical practice. When these practices are used in conjunction with conventional medicine, they are considered “complementary.” Often people using a complementary approach do not share this information with their primary care provider, keeping the Western and complimentary providers and practices separate.
Integrative health care brings together conventional and complementary healthcare in an intentional, coordinated manner. Because of the open, wholistic approach and open communication between practitioner and patient integrative medicine supports both parties working together to achieve health care goals.