$3 Million Gift from Connor Foundation Expands Integrative Medicine

Chris and Sara Connor and family 
Connor Family, from left: Erin Connor Reif and Nick Reif; Sara and Chris Connor; Morgan and Dan Connor; Allie and Kevin Connor

University Hospitals Connor Whole Health, one of the largest integrative medicine programs in the country, will expand services even further thanks to a new $3 million gift from Connor Foundation. This gift brings Chris and Sara Connor's overall giving to the program to more than $11.5 million. The new gift also establishes the Connor Endowed Director of Reproductive Well-being.

"The impact that UH Connor Whole Health has had on patients, caregivers and the community over the last ten years has been equally profound and humbling. We are happy to further our commitment to UH Connor Whole Health during this celebratory 10th anniversary year," said Chris Connor, former CEO of The Sherwin-Williams Company and a longtime member and former chair of the UH Board of Trustees. "Sara and I, and our family are honored to have our name on this program and to be able to continue investing in its future."

Fulfilling a Vision

In 2010, the Connor family had a vision to improve health outcomes by strengthening the patient-provider relationship, prioritizing compassionate care and emphasizing the patient's entire well-being. Sara, a trained occupational therapist and Reiki master, and Chris brought this idea to fruition with a $1 million gift, launching UH's integrative medicine program 10 years ago. Through subsequent contributions totaling $7.5 million, they expanded the program, established the Christopher M. and Sara H. Connor Chair in Integrative Health and helped position UH to become a nationally recognized model for the clinical integration of whole health services.

"With this newest gift, the Connor Family has earned Visionary status at University Hospitals because of their significant commitment to creating and growing the UH Connor Whole Health program," said Francoise Adan, MD, Chief Whole Health & Well-being Officer and the Christopher M. & Sara H. Connor Chair in Integrative Health, University Hospitals and Director, UH Connor Whole Health. "The whole health approach is the future of health care, as patients take greater control of their own mental and physical wellness. UH Connor Whole Health is equipped to lead this effort not just in Northeast Ohio, but across the country, thanks to the faith and funding from supporters like the Connors."

Integrative medicine focuses on the patient's entire well-being, combining traditional medicine with evidence-based nonpharmacologic therapies. It is a rapidly growing field with increasing scientific evidence proving that it can enhance total well-being and provide enhanced ways for people to improve their overall health. Studies show that patients who incorporate whole health and integrative medicine therapies into their care have shorter recovery times, less pain and better outcomes overall.



Creating a Positive Impact

The Connors' gift includes funding to establish the Connor Endowed Director of Reproductive Well-being, with Christine Kaiser, DACM, Lac, LCH, FABORM, serving as the inaugural appointee. It will also create a system-wide Reiki program and expand UH Connor Whole Health services system-wide with particular focus on integrative oncology services through UH Seidman Cancer Center. Additionally, it includes funds for a challenge grant.

"It's my passion to use acupuncture to help patients through their reproductive health journey and with their overall well-being," said Christine. "This gift will move the UH Connor Whole Health mission forward and positively impact so many people."

UH Connor Whole Health serves both adult and pediatric patients with services that include acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic care, expressive therapies, health coaching, hypnosis, lifestyle medicine consults, massage therapy, meditation and guided imagery, mindfulness, Reiki, stress management and yoga. Visit this website to learn more or schedule an appointment.

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