Thanks to a $1 million commitment from Iris Cantor, a lifelong philanthropist, the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine will develop new curricula, train a new generation of integrative health professionals and empower individuals and communities to optimize health and well-being through the establishment of the Iris Cantor Research and Innovation Fund.

An advocate of the arts with a passion for improving health care, Iris Cantor is chairman and president of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. Under her leadership, the foundation has made health-care and medical research a top priority, supporting the vision that encourages preventive health measures and healthy lifestyles.

“The UA Center for Integrative Medicine is making an indelible, positive impact on health around the world. It is the very reason I have offered my support for their mission to improve health and empower people in their own health care,” Cantor said.

As the world leader in integrative medicine education, the UA Center for Integrative Medicine optimizes health and well-being through evidence-based, sustainable, integrative approaches that take into account the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle, including mind, spirit and community.

“We are so grateful for this wonderful gift to our UA Center for Integrative Medicine and the impact it will have on people now and for generations to come,” said Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. “We share Iris Cantor’s vision and her generosity will directly impact integrative medicine education and empower patients with research-based information they need to improve their lives.”

The UA Center for Integrative Medicine was founded in 1994 by integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, MD, clinical professor of medicine and the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“This generous gift gives us the opportunity to develop and implement evidence-based approaches to common health problems, moving us to a new standard for individual well-being and national health care,” Dr. Weil said.

In addition, the funds from the $1 million gift will be used to expand the integrative health residency program to include the specialty of women’s health, including the creation of a gender-specific curriculum.