Barrows Appointed Director of Clinical Programs at Osher Center

April 26, 2010
Contact: News Office (415) 502-6397

Dr. Kevin Barrows has been appointed as director of Clinical Programs for the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.

Margaret A. Chesney, director of the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, recently announced the appointment of Barrows, an associate clinical professor at UCSF and graduate of the UCSF School of Medicine.

Barrows, trained as a family physician, finds inspiration in the field of integrative medicine, which combines modern medicine with established healing practices from around the world. Integrative Medicine integrates evidence-based healing approaches to promote health, healing and wellbeing.

"Integrative medicine increases the breadth of what we can bring to a patient encounter," says Barrows. "As integrative physicians we have the benefit of our powerful conventional medical training, including the expert specialists here at UCSF to whom we can refer people, as well as our additional training in integrative medicine. This additional training allows us to integrate other effective approaches such as botanical medicine, mind-body medicine, acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine, therapeutic massage and biofeedback."

Awarded a Bravewell Fellowship in 2004, Barrows completed the two-year Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona in 2006 and received board certification from the American Board of Holistic Medicine in 2004.

Barrows is also inspired by the tremendous public enthusiasm for integrative medicine.

"People come here ready to partner, ready to commit and ready to make changes in health-related behaviors that are often very difficult to change, like nutrition, exercise and lifestyle," says Barrows. "Some of the enthusiasm I think comes from the fact that people want to be empowered in their own health care and integrative medicine offers that."

Furthermore, Barrows notes, many of the complementary health modalities from integrative medicine combine perfectly with conventional medicine to extend the spectrum of care available for people.

"Conventional medical and surgical therapies are powerful at treating disease and integrative therapies have a long tradition of focusing on prevention, so the two together offer more opportunity to impact people's health," Barrows adds.

Expanding Osher Center Clinic

Barrows envisions a full spectrum integrative medicine clinic that offers care to all patients, children and adults, of any diagnosis, whether they are seeking cancer support, treatment of chronic pain or ways to enhance overall health and well-being.

The Osher Center Clinical Programs, which began in 2000, emphasize the combined use of modern medicine with healing practices for which there is evidence of effectiveness. Included in the services offered are Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, mind-body therapies such as biofeedback and guided imagery, botanical medicines, therapeutic massage, manual medicine/spinal manipulation, integrative oncology, integrative mental health services and group programs in mindfulness meditation, Tai Chi, yoga and more.

In the coming years, the Osher Center will build upon current strengths, and hopes to further develop integrative women's health, integrative pain management, Ayurvedic medicine and pediatrics.

The clinic will also increase its capacity as a clinical training site for residents, fellows and medical students who want to learn integrative medicine. "There is a rapidly growing demand for integrative clinical training of physicians and it's exciting to be a part of that," says Barrows.

Chesney and Barrows are optimistic about the future of the Osher Center clinic. "Under the direction of Dr. Barrows, our clinic is well-positioned to treat the person, not just the disease; form a partnership between patient and provider; and care for the mind, body and spirit together," says Chesney.

"We are seeing patients who seek guidance on mindfulness for childbirth preparation, acupuncture for pain relief, guided imagery to ease surgical stresses, and therapies to integrate with their cancer treatment," Chesney adds. "Dr. Barrows and the clinical team at the Osher Center are providing effective therapies that address treatment and prevention, healing and wellness. We are working with UCSF to transform medicine so that it offers compassionate care, addressing the full spectrum of health and well-being to all of those who come to the clinic."