Wayne Jonas, MD and the Closure of the Influential Samueli Institute: Next Steps

The partnership of Susan and Henry Samueli and Wayne Jonas, MD that manifested as the powerfully influential Samueli Institute has been a major engine for the advance of integrative health and medicine, and in multiple other domains. At their December 2017 celebration, the founders announced that “after 15 years of service to the integrative health, healthcare, and military communities, Samueli Institute will cease research and programmatic operations in 2017.” I reached Jonas recently to talk about the decision, and his next steps with the philanthropic couple. This is a longer post than usual. The Institute’s impact warrants it.

The Institute’s influential body of work

First, a nod to the oeuvre. The Institute’s website shares the breadth and productivity of the Institute in the 15 years: over 700 peer-reviewed publications plus multiple books, white papers, and formative reports from Jonas’ convening initiatives. The Optimal Healing Environments work to energize a whole system approach for the nation’s medical delivery industry. An initiative to create healthy workplaces. And the remarkable research work with the military led by Joan Walter, JD, PA, that is credited with kick-starting the groundbreaking integrative health and medicine work in the Department of Defense and the Veterans’ Health Administration.

The website now includes a celebratory 4-minute video from the December gathering. In it are statements from: the former Integrative Health Policy Consortium executive director Janet Kahn, PhD; from Ian Coulter, PhD with the RAND Corporation; Tracy Gaudet, MD who heads the Office for Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation with the Veteran’s Administration; and Colonel Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier, III, MD and Colonel Kevin Galloway, BSN, MHA, key collaborators in the Institute’s military work. To support the work behind these accomplishments, the Samueli’s invested significantly each year. Their investment was…

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