Cardiologist named director of Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine

July 27, 2015
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UC Irvine Health cardiologist  Shaista Malik, MD, PhD, MPH, has been named director of the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine. The center was established in 2001 to conduct rigorous fundamental and clinical research on complementary healing practices, combining the expertise of conventional medicine with alternative approaches.

Malik is also director of the UC Irvine Health Preventive Cardiology Program and an expert in women’s cardiovascular health. She was introduced to the Samueli Center while completing her fellowship at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, under the leadership of cardiologist Dr. John Longhurst, the center’s previous director.

“I became an advocate for preventive cardiology in part, because of the seeds planted by my Samueli Center experience,” Malik said. “One of the core principles of integrative medicine is prevention, rather than reacting to illness and diseases as they happen. Those working at the center understand the best way to keep America healthy is to prevent disease from taking root in the first place. Cardiology is an ideal specialty for this integrative approach, because 90 percent of heart disease is preventable.”

Integrative medicine incorporates traditional Western medicine with alternative or complementary treatments such as acupuncture, massage, herbal medicine, biofeedback and yoga to treat the whole person, not just the disease. The center offers clinical services in acupuncture, naturopathy, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and a therapeutic lifestyle program that includes a personalized diet plan and exercise program.

“The influence of nutrition, exercise, metabolic factors and emotional well-being on heart health is supported by solid scientific research, creating a new perspective in cardiology that shifts the paradigm from treating heart disease to preventing it,” Malik said. “We will continue to work to expand our program, providing world class and unique care that helps save lives.”

UC Irvine Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UC Irvine Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 411-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 15 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UC Irvine Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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