The Osher Center for Integrative Health at UW, established in December 2022 and housed within the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, hires Administrative Director Donna Cole to close out a year full of milestones.
Donna Cole joins the Osher center as administrative director.
Cole joins Medical Director Greta Kuphal, MD, and the entire Osher center leadership team in their mission to advance integrative health at UW, throughout Wisconsin, and beyond.
In addition to filling the administrative director role, the team is proud of meeting other important milestones starting with the addition of the center at UW to the Osher Collaborative for Integrative Health which includes 11 institutions across the US and one in Sweden. These institutions work together to support clinical care, research and educational programming that supports the whole person and the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and environmental influences that affect health. Faculty from the center at UW have leadership roles on the collaborative’s education and research committees and will help coordinate a planetary health event in the fall.
Dr. Mala Mathur is the Osher center’s pediatric liaison and will work to expand integrative health pediatric services. Relationship building at UW is an ongoing goal of the center.
Other accomplishments focus on building relationships with UW departments including pediatrics, gastroenterology, and oncology. This dynamic goal was realized in part with the UW Department of Pediatrics supporting one of their faculty, Dr. Mala Mathur, in completing the Osher Collaborative Fellowship Program, designed for practicing faculty in any discipline who want to build a strong foundation in integrative health. Dr. Mathur is now the Osher center’s pediatric liaison and will work to expand integrative health pediatric services to patients and educational opportunities to pediatric providers.
Dr. Vincent Minichiello, director of the center’s own Academic Integrative Health Fellowship, has been working to assure its curriculum consistently takes into account issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the material presented and in the experience of the learners going through this training. This work is informing DEI standards of integrative health education nationally. The center also named Lisa Simpson, PA-C, as leader for its group medical visit (GMV) program which serves as a resource for clinicians across UW Health wanting to develop GMV programs within the center’s clinical space or their home departments.
Relationship building continues to be a key objective in 2024 in addition to exploring grant funding and new opportunities for gift funding through private foundations and funders. There are also plans to focus on community outreach.
“We have been working closely with our department’s Office of Community Health to come up with ways we can support community partners and community health workers,” says Cole. “One project is the shared creation of a whole health curriculum for community health workers.”
Cole hopes the humor and energy she brings to her role complements her previous experience as a benchtop biologist and administrator in various other UW departments. She’s excited to join a team that has a strong vision for the future of integrative health.
“I look forward to the projects we will be able to work on to improve our care of patients, to contribute to our faculty, staff, and learner’s satisfaction and wellbeing, and engagement and partnership with members of our community,” adds Cole.
Learn more information about the Osher Center for Integrative Health at UW.
Published: January 2024