Bastyr University – Moving Forward, Changing Lives and Carrying Out Its Mission

Since its inception in 1978, Bastyr has been a pioneer in science-based natural medicine. Today, through its clinical training efforts, the University continues to provide holistic medical care to the surrounding communities in Seattle and San Diego. Bastyr’s achievements in 2017 show the many ways in which the school is moving forward, changing lives and carrying out its mission to model an integrated approach to education, research and clinical service.

Bastyr Alumni Make Seattle Met’s Top Doctors of 2017 List

Each year, Washington’s health practitioners nominate their most esteemed peers for the acclaimed Seattle Met Top Doctors list. The magazine then selects finalists based on “years of experience, competency, rapport with patients, patient satisfaction and compliance with care recommendations, and ability to work effectively with colleagues across specialties to deliver the best patient care.” Six Bastyr alumni carry the title this year, including Andrew Simon, ND, who sees physical medicine patients at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health, runs the community care site at Ballard Northwest Senior Activity Center, and also operates a private practice clinic, Fit Naturopathic, at Fit Wellness Centers. Read more about all of Bastyr’s Top Doctors.

Bastyr University California Expands Naturopathic Care in the Community
Bastyr University California has partnered with La Maestra Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the City Heights area that provides health care services and social programs for San Diego’s most diverse community, with more than 60 different countries and 30 languages represented. La Maestra provides culturally and linguistically competent prevention, treatment, chronic disease management and essential support services to men, women and children in San Diego’s lowest income communities, seeing over 200 patients daily. La Maestra has a food pantry and a community garden designed to support the community’s nutritional needs and to prevent obesity and diabetes through nutrition education.

Bastyr University has created the first-of-its-kind partnership with this FQHC  to establish an external clinic site that provides naturopathic medical services to community members in a fully integrative care delivery model. Bastyr naturopathic medical team works alongside medical doctors, nurses, psychologists and medical assistants (MAs) to enhance the community health center’s impact by adding naturopathic medicine to the repertoire of services it offers its patients. This partnership will not only support the community health center’s initiatives and improve its patients’ health outcomes, but will also provide an invaluable learning experience for Bastyr’s future doctors, who will graduate better-equipped to find careers in community medicine.

UC Irvine Provides Opportunity for Bastyr Graduates

Since last fall, the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at University of California Irvine School of Medicine has served as the host site for a naturopathic residency program made possible through a collaboration with Bastyr University. Currently, two graduates from Bastyr University California’s inaugural class, Rowena Daly, ND, and Michael Palladino, ND, each see as many as 20 to 25 patients weekly.

Funded through an education grant, the residency is provided for two residents for two years.  However the program has been so successful that additional grants are being pursued to add a third resident.

The UC Irvine Center for Integrative Medicine is an interdisciplinary powerhouse combining the best of Western medicine with scientifically proven complementary and integrative therapies in one model, as cardiologists, osteopathic doctors, nurse practitioners and naturopathic doctors collaborate to provide care. Patients with a broad range of conditions receive clinical services in acupuncture, massage, naturopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and lifestyle education.

Grant Makes Expansion of Clinic for EJE Academies Charter School a Reality

Bastyr University recently received a generous grant from the Alliance Healthcare Foundation (AHF) enabling the University to double the capacity of its clinic serving the students and their families at EJE Academies (EJEA) Charter School in the El Cajon neighborhood of San Diego. The expansion was announced at a press conference held at EJEA on Monday, May 15, 2017. Representatives from Bastyr and EJEA were joined by State Senator Joel Anderson, who represents El Cajon in the California Legislature. The Senator presented Senate Certificates of Recognition to Alliance Healthcare Foundation, EJE Academy, and Bastyr University in honor of their innovative partnership and significant expansion of their services.

Bastyr Alumnus Leading Research on Integrative Treatments of IBS

Up to 15 percent of the world’s population is diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and between 2.4 and 3.5 million physician visits are attributed to IBS annually. Bastyr alumnus and research scientist Joshua Goldenberg, ND, is leading the University’s multiple research efforts on IBS. The goal is to build an evidence base for integrative approaches to IBS and other digestive disorders.

“We are currently investigating how effective probiotics are for IBS in children, the effect of biofeedback on IBS, and how expert naturopathic doctors manage and approach IBS,” Goldenberg says. “Additionally we have been in the planning stages of a large multinational study on naturopathic approaches to IBS.”

Bastyr University Works to Improve Health Policy

Bastyr University is unique among naturopathic academic institutions in supporting students and alumni through its Center for Health Policy Leadership. With a dedication to expanding patient access to integrative health and medicine (IHM) and contributing to the scholarly study of health policy issues, the Center collaborates with both national and state associations through legislative advocacy and outreach initiatives to increase regulatory recognition and workforce opportunities for naturopathic doctors and other IHM professions. The Center works with students and faculty in contributing to health policy research to address topics in health equity, inter-professional collaboration, global health, and health workforce issues.

To further support participation and skill building, the Center  offers students internships as research assistants to develop abstract writing skills for conference presentation and publication. Working with students, faculty members and alumni, and three scholars from other institutions as co-authors, the Center produced research posters presented at ten conferences over the past two years. Presentations at national conferences and meetings continues to benefit the naturopathic profession by increasing public awareness of the medicine and providing students the opportunity to gain confidence in both public speaking and inter-professional networking.

Research Could Result in Therapies for Prostate Cancer

Faculty member Jing Meng, MD (China), PhD, and her colleagues at Bastyr are conducting research to begin the process of identifying plant extracts that may promote apoptosis, or cell death, of prostate cancer cells. The team observed that three herbs decreased the viability of the cancer cells as measured by assessing essential cell metabolic enzymes. “We are particularly interested in identifying natural products which have both anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties,” she says. “We hope our studies open the door for a complementary therapeutic approach for prostate cancer treatment and prevention.”

Bastyr Alumna Offers World-Class Parkinson’s Treatment and Education

Bastyr alumna and research scientist Laurie Mischley, ND, MPH, PhD, is busy sharing strategies for slowing, and even reversing, Parkinson’s Disease. In collaboration with Bastyr University, Laurie led and facilitated a Parkinson’s Disease School for patients and their caregivers in August 2017 and is already planning for next year’s session at Bastyr’s Kenmore campus. The one-week educational workshop provided strategies and tips designed to improve the lives of individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. All attendees received the latest information on medications, environmental toxins, nutrition and diet, exercise and more from a multi-disciplinary faculty of Parkinson’s Disease experts.

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Keep up with the latest news on Bastyr University’s offerings and other noteworthy developments by visiting their website.


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