Local businesswoman Nanette Gardetto announced she will donate $1 million to the Aurora Health Care Foundation to pilot an innovative integrative medicine program that aims to help people better manage and prevent chronic health issues.
The program, named the Lifestyle Initiative, is expected to begin in mid-2015 focusing on people served in 16 Aurora Health Care clinic sites in eastern Wisconsin.
“Visionary donors like Nan Gardetto allow Aurora Health Care to explore innovative, effective ways of providing care, so that more people who face serious health issues have better tools to manage their health–physically, mentally and spiritually,” said Dr. Nick Turkal, president and chief executive officer of Aurora Health Care.
Chronic health conditions, including hypertension and diabetes, impact communities globally. They are the root cause of more serious health issues, including hospitalization, amputation, loss of vision and others, especially when symptoms go untreated.
Additionally, a recent survey of 800 Aurora Health Care patients showed that more than half of the respondents were interested in receiving primary care that was holistic and well-focused. One out of three of those interested patients shared they would consider switching doctors in order to receive this type of care.
The Lifestyle Initiative will study the impact of integrative medicine in primary care plans on individuals prone to developing or currently managing chronic health issues. The project will engage 16 Aurora primary care clinic locations, monitoring clinical metrics–such as blood pressure changes, BMI reduction and overall quality of life improvement.
“This commitment to integrative medicine aims to help people lead their best, healthiest lives, while creating a sustainable, expandable care delivery model,” said Gardetto, who also serves on the Aurora Health Care board of directors. Gardetto is the owner and CEO of Baptista’s Bakery, a Franklin-based company with approximately 375 employees.