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Director, Nancy E. Adler, PhD
 
Message from the Director

UCSF has been a leader in research from the bench to the bedside that has greatly improved health in recent decades. It has, however, become increasingly evident that biomedical interventions with their focus on individual patients and diseases are limited. Health care in the 21st Century needs to address the behavioral, environmental, social and cultural aspects of health and health care delivery. Current estimates are that 50% of premature deaths are due to behavioral factors, 20% to environmental factors, 20% to genetic factors and 10% to provision of care.

Lifestyle and behavior includes cigarettes and substance abuse, lack of exercise, high fat diets, violence, injury, and exposure to stress - things that effect us all. Our behaviors contribute to the chances that we will develop a disease and also effect our recovery from disease. These behaviors that influence our health take place in a social context. They are shaped by our family and peer relationships, community norms, public policies, and even the health care system itself.

The Center for Health and Community is a ground-breaking venture. We bring together researchers, clinicians, and community participants to help frame questions that are important for the health care choices we face. We are also committed to teaching health professional students and graduate students of the future about the whole person and the interaction of the environment with individual genetics and biology to influence health. Today's health problems are too complex for any one discipline to solve. It takes a community of researchers and teachers to make progress toward achieving a healthy community.



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