Orange, Calif., June 25, 2015 — More than 500 community and business leaders came together to honor wellness advocate Susan Samueli and other health heroes of the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the UC Irvine Health Heroes Gala held June 6 at the Disneyland Hotel.
“Viva!,” a celebration of those who help others live well, generated $1.75 million in proceeds, setting a UC Irvine Health Heroes Gala record. The event raised funds to support research and treatment initiatives that help people in Orange County and around the world discover and experience wellness as a path to a longer, healthier life.
“The Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine has produced groundbreaking research that answers the question of whether integrative practices such as acupuncture work,” said Roger Steinert, interim dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine and Gavin Herbert Eye Institute director. “It has also introduced many future physicians to wellness concepts that they adopt in their practices. We are indebted to Susan Samueli for her sustained contributions to healing mind, body and spirit.”
Steinert and event co-host Terry Belmont, UC Irvine Medical Center CEO, paid tribute to Susan Samueli for her visionary guidance of the Samueli Center, which has fostered the growth in integrative medicine and pursuit of wellness observed across UC Irvine Health today.
“With increased interest in prevention and wellness, Susan’s vision for an academic wellness center is proving to be fortuitous for UC Irvine Health and the community,” said Belmont. “It was a privilege to recognize her for launching the Samueli Center, which stands at the forefront of integrative treatment that is supported by evidence.”
Attendees responded enthusiastically to a special appeal to fund a heart disease prevention program at two new UC Irvine Health locations. The Preventive Cardiology Program, which is currently offered only at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, is designed to save lives through early identification of health risks and development of personalized plans for lifestyle change.
Local legends, JT & Friends, led by drummer John Tu, co-founder of Kingston Technology, entertained attendees with their special musical style.
Jim Peterson, CEO of Microsemi, and Sheila Peterson were honorary event co-chairs and major sponsors. Both are long-time friends of UCI. Sheila Peterson serves as Samueli Center advisory board chair. Jim Peterson is a member of the UC Irvine Foundation board of trustees and Chief Executive Roundtable.
Other major sponsors were Abbott Medical Optics, Arbonne International, Joan and Don Beall, FivePoint Communities, Microsemi, Pat and Bill Podlich, Samueli Foundation, Betty Tu and David Tsoong, Mary and John Tu.
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About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.
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