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

UC Irvine Integrative Medicine Program

The Department of Family Medicine, in a collaborative partnership with the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine, 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 Center for Integrative Medicine 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 »

Culinary Medicine Elective

Culinary Medicine Elective group with dishes from module on fats

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.  

Dishes prepared at workshop on Fats

In addition to examining principles of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, learners get hands-on cooking instruction from a chef and/or culinarian with a focus on making healthy and delicious culturally appropriate dishes, using efficient food preparation techniques, and helping patients make practical changes to eating and shopping habits.  Learn more

Health and Wellness Curriculum

The Health and Wellness curriculum provides 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.

The course covers several major topics: mindfulness, nutrition, exercise, motivational interviewing and sleep hygieneStudents learn from professionals in each field. At the end of the course, first-year students are invited to take on health coaching roles with employees at local companies during a seven-week Healthy Living summer program

Health Catalyst Summer Coaching Program


Over a seven-week period in Summer 2013, each student who chose to participate in the summer health coaching program worked closely with 12-15 emplyees of a local community manufacturing worksite. Weekly meetings alternated between small group interactive educational sessions, followed in the next week by a 1:1 meeting between the student and each employee re: individualized goals and plans for healthy lifestyle change. Students constructed a website for additional patient educational resources, and put together educational handouts matching information reviewed in the group sessions.

Visit online resources for La Vida Sana, or the Healthy Living summer program here.

Physician and Staff Wellness »

By planning and working with instructors and residents who are knowledgeable in a particular field, we strive to provide exposure to self-care skills and tools for personal wellness of faculty, residents and staff.

  • In June 2013, we started a bimonthly lunch and learn series on health and wellness for staff, faculty and residents. Topics have included: self-massage, stretching techniques, mindfulness, Tai Chi, yoga, healthy cooking and more.
  • On Jan. 31, 2014, we hosted “Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals” at the UC Irvine Medical Center for the larger UC Irvine community.
  • An eight-week mindfulness course for staff and faculty was held at the UC Irvine Health Family Health Center in Santa Ana beginning in April 2014.
Melissa Ricker teaching massage and yoga
Yoga instructor and Massage Therapist, Melissa Ricker, teaches various stretching and self-massage techniques to UC Irvine Family Health Center physicians and staff at a lunch and learn wellness session.
Shin Lin teaching tai chi
Shin Lin, a world-renowned Tai Chi expert and faculty member at UC Irvine, leads Family Health Center staff and faculty in a noontime Tai Chi class.
Pamina Barkow teaching cooking
Nutritionist and chef Pamina Barkow conducts a healthy cooking demonstration for FHC staff.
Integrative Resources for Patients »

Patient Fliers: 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 

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.

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.

Diabetes Education

At the UC Irvine Health Family Health Center in Santa Ana, free monthly Spanish-language Diabetes Management classes (Clase de Diabetes en Español en Santa Ana)  are available at four dates/times:

  • 2nd Wednesdays of the month, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • 2nd Wednesdays, from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • 4th Wednesdays of the month, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
  • 4th Wednesdays, from 5 to 7 p.m.

At the UC Irvine Family Health Center in Anaheim, free monthly Spanish-language Diabetes Management classes (Clase de Diabetes en Español en Anaheim) are available at two dates/times:

  • 1st Wednesdays of the month, from 4pm to 6pm 
  • 3rd Wednesdays of the month, from 4pm to 6pm

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.  

Para más información, llame al 657-282-6355.

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.

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) Injury Clinic

Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) uses a variety of gentle hand-on techniques to diagnose and treat muscle and connective tissue problems. The clinic is supervised by a highly trained Osteopathic Physician and volunteer faculty with a background in Sports Medicine.

Healing Touch

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.

Healthy Cooking (Cocinando Saludable, in Spanish)

Durante 6 sesiones, aprenderá como prepara comidas saludables usando recetas fáciles y de bajo costo. Cada clase incluye objetivos nutricionales (por ejemplo, La importancia de la fibra, tipos de carbohidratos) y cocinados (por ejemplo, Como asar, picando) con recetas relevantes. 

Photo of Chef Pamina describing how to stock a healthy pantry

Photo of participants learning to chop various vegetables

Photo of participants preparing baked salmon and shrimp ceviche

Este curso es posible gracias al apoyo de la Fundación Samueli, Discovery Cube del condado de Orange, y los Health Scholars.

Stress Reduction for Health (Spanish group)

La Reducción del Estrés para un Estilo de Vida Saludable es un grupo de clases de 6 sesiones, enfocadas en las técnicas de manejo del estrés para la vida diaria. Muchos factores ambientales, desde la falta de sueño o enfermedades, hasta las obligaciones personales o dificultades en la casa o en el trabajo, pueden afectar dramáticamente su salud. Nuestros trabajadores sociales trabajarán con usted para crear un plan de acción y de afrontamiento para ayudarlo a vivir mejor.  Para anotarse o para obtener más información, por favor llame al 714-480-2479.

Additional Resources Planned

We also plan to offer a Group Acupuncture Clinic coming this Summer.

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