The Office was created in 2022 to promote a fundamental change in the American health care system, shifting it from one focused mostly on disease care to one focused more on well care. Disease care is essential once we become ill. But well care can help us stay free from disease and live a longer and more fulfilling life. Well care is built on how we take care of ourselves, and how we are cared for, well in advance of preventable illness or deterioration. This concept captures not just a state of being but a way of living. In large part, we achieve wellness by eating a healthy diet, moving often and seeking physical and mental resilience. Although life inevitably presents stress and adversity, it also provides tangible options for promoting strength, flexibility and durability that can help us thrive in the face of the inevitable physical and emotional challenges we all experience in our unpredictable world.
The dilemma all of us face in seeking wellness is that even the best research has provided conflicting answers to questions about food, activity, or dealing with the physical and emotional stresses of everyday life and the crises we all confront. Making things worse, most Americans don’t have access to the best research or authoritative consensus opinions, relying instead on pop science that extolls the “five things you should eat every day” or the precise number of steps everyone needs to walk to stay fit. The Office of Wellness Education will seek to cut through the hype by providing sober critiques of the latest magazine-cover claims and objective information from experts who have their fingers on the pulse of the most recent science.
Provide reliable scientific and consensus-based information about wellness that will help people make decisions to achieve optimal health and prevent disease.
UC Davis is uniquely positioned to explore what it means to be well. By harnessing the breadth and expertise of our university, we can broadly address wellness and make reliable and life-changing information available to all. Every college and school within UC Davis is already deeply engaged in work that intersects with and informs our understanding of individual and global wellness. Few universities have such resources and the commitment to this essential part of health.
“The Office of Wellness Education has the potential to revolutionize how we all think about wellness. Our goal is to provide every person, regardless of their expertise, with information that can empower them to harness their own wellbeing and avoid preventable illness.”
The Office of Wellness Education at the UC Davis School of Medicine was funded by Jim Anderson in honor of his late wife, Jacquelyn (Jackie) Anderson, who passed away from cancer in March 2021. Jackie Anderson inspired all she met with her art and photography, her passion for fitness and nutrition, and most of all, her compassion and strength.
The vision for the initiative began with Scott Fishman, M.D. and Jackie Anderson’s shared interest in health and wellness. According to Fishman, “Jackie was an inspirational person, not just around art, but also around health."
Thanks to the incredible generosity of Jim Anderson, we’re embarking on a transformative journey toward wellness at the UC Davis School of Medicine.