Making a Difference in At-Risk Patients’ Lives – Bastyr

Written by J. Allan Mossbarger

As the summer comes to an end, we look back on Bastyr’s many accomplishments: ND Mini Camp, students like Liqaa Essam Naser making a difference, new graduates, and community care sites that are essential to Bastyr’s vision.

Bastyr ND mini camp

ND Mini Camp: A full immersion experience

Bastyr University’s second annual ND Mini Camp reached capacity at 44 students. Campers spent August 5-9th at the Kenmore campus immersed Bastyr culture, participating in hands-on events such as Qi Gong, hydrotherapy, a tour of campus amenities, and more. Led by distinguished professors from Bastyr’s Naturopathic Medicine department, campers explored the many modalities used in naturopathic medicine, as well as how NDs use physiology, pathology and diagnosis in their overall care of patients. The five-day program follows major themes of the naturopathic medicine curriculum including wellness, disease and diagnosis, tools for restoring health and wellness, and patient care.

liqaa essam naser headshotSpotlight on Liqaa Essam Naser

As health care disparities rise in the United States, the need for trained providers committed to improving patient outcomes is growing. Eleven naturopathic medical students make up the first cohort from Bastyr University to join the University of Washington’s two-year Area Health Education Center program (AHEC). Open to students from all health care disciplines, AHEC is an interdisciplinary educational and training program that focuses on a diverse, culturally competent healthcare workforce specializing in rural and underserved areas. AHEC attracts students who are looking for a team-based approach to addressing health disparities.

Bastyr ND and AOM student Liqaa Essam Naser ’21 began her journey in Iraq, where she studied medicine at the University of Mosul.

Upon finishing AHEC, Naser and her fellow Bastyrians will have completed an important service-learning community project, and will have a richer understanding of how to meet the needs of underserved communities.

bastyr graduate walking across stageGraduates turn calling into their career

In 2019, 303 extraordinary students graduated from two Bastyr campuses. Beloved and renowned Bastyr University alumna, Mary Purdy, MS, RDN ’07, delivered the commencement address at both events. She inspired Bastyr graduates to step outside of their comfort zones and work with patients who might not know much about natural health. Said BU graduate Britta Nevitt, “Bastyr University is so much more than an educational institution. It is a collaborative community, dedicated not just to helping people, but to empowering others with the knowledge and tools to help themselves.”

marys place

A look inside Mary’s Place – NDs helping in homeless crisis

Every Tuesday morning, a team from Bastyr Center for Natural Health, together with Bastyr University students, set up their clinic space at Mary’s Place homeless shelter in downtown Seattle. Guests like Betty have been receiving free naturopathic care for nearly 20 years through this Bastyr partnership. Appointments with Bastyr clinicians help Betty manage her diabetes and hepatitis, and she credits them with saving her life. Community care sites like Mary’s Place are essential to Bastyr’s vision to transform the health and well-being of the human community, and vital to humanizing the condition of homelessness. An important step in improving health outcomes is ensuring that future providers graduate well equipped to care for underserved communities.

Bastyr continues to make significant contributions within its local, regional, and national medical communities through programs like AHEC and Mary’s Place. To be a part of this fulfilling work click here.


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