$1 Million Gift to Support Integrative Medicine at UA Health Sciences

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chicago-area philanthropist Jolita Leonas-Arzbaecher has made a $1 million gift to advance the work of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

Integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, MD, is director of the UA Center for Integrative Medicine, where he also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and is a clinical professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

A long-time advocate for integrative medicine, Leonas-Arzbaecher is passionate about Dr. Weil’s vision and has followed the work of the UA Center for Integrative Medicine for many years. “Dr. Weil has been the singular driving force in integrative medicine, helping to move integrative health into everyday life. I am thrilled to know that this gift can have a profound impact on the health of people around the country,” she said.

The UA Center for Integrative Medicine is leading the transformation of health care by training a new generation of health professionals and by empowering individuals and communities to optimize health and wellbeing through evidence-based, sustainable, integrative approaches. The Center was founded in 1994 by Dr. Weil and has focused its efforts in three domains: education, clinical care and research. The Center was built upon the premise that the best way to change a field is to educate the most gifted professionals and place them in settings where they can, in turn, teach others.

“Dr. Weil and his colleagues at the Center for Integrative Medicine make wonderful contributions to the mission of the University and Health Sciences, and they have helped improve the health and wellbeing of Arizonans and people around the world,” said University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart. “I am so very grateful for Jolita Leonas-Arzbaecher’s generous support and the impact her gift will have in research, education and clinical care.”

The most gratifying way for Leonas-Arzbaecher to highlight reaching a milestone birthday in good health was to make a gift through her charitable foundation. Coupled with her earlier bequest to the University of Arizona, her support through the JKL Endowment Fund for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine will have a significant impact on integrative medicine education and innovation for years to come.

Donors like Leonas-Arzbaecher who give unrestricted gifts provide essential funding to move the UA Center for Integrative Medicine forward and ensure that the organization has the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

“Leadership development is critically important to the successful incorporation of integrative medicine into mainstream medicine. This gift to the Center will grow our faculty development efforts, support innovation and significantly advance the education of medical professionals,” said Victoria Maizes, MD, executive director of the Center.

This gift puts the UA closer to its goal of raising $1.5 billion during Arizona NOW. This comprehensive fundraising campaign, distinguished by its unprecedented scope and focus on improving the prospects and enriching the lives of the people of Arizona and the world, has nearly reached its goal 18 months ahead of schedule.

About the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (UACIM) is leading the transformation of health care by creating, educating and actively supporting a community that embodies the philosophy and practice of healing-oriented medicine. UACIM is internationally recognized for its evidence-based clinical practice model, innovative educational programs and research that substantiates the field of integrative medicine and influences public policy. Since its creation in 1994, the Center’s vision of making integrative care available to all is being realized worldwide: Center graduates now are guiding more than 1 million patients to take a greater role in their health and healing. To learn more about UACIM, please visit

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information:

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