As we conclude this season of Commencement and approach the closing of our fiscal year on June 30, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the events that have shaped the University over the past twelve months. While there is no way to share all of the accomplishments, the challenges, and the much-deserved recognition, I hope that this offers a glimpse into the life of the University.
First, I am happy to share that the Board of Trustees has completed and blessed Bastyr 2021, the strategic plan that will guide the University over the next five years. There are so many people to thank for participating in the creation of this living document, so I will simply say to the more
than 1000 people who participated in a survey, town hall, meeting, or by email: THANK YOU.
I hope that you are as excited as I am about what lies in front of us and the endeavors we will be tackling as a community, particularly our focus on student success and career preparedness, faculty/staff welfare, financial sustainability, and expansion and support of the professions in
which we serve.
Some of the other milestones reached this year are record enrollments, and improvement in our alumni satisfaction, student satisfaction, and retention rates. We increased benefits for staff and faculty without raising health care premiums and we funded salary pools to maintain the high standards we have set for employee compensation. We had a successful acceptance of our regional accreditation report, and we had an overwhelmingly positive site visit at BUC from the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME).
Additionally in California, we graduated our inaugural class, met our strategic goal of 10,000 annual patient visits, formed strategic partnerships, doubled our fundraising, expanded our facilities, and hired one ND resident and an additional 14 faculty and staff in support of students.Thank you to the leadership, faculty, staff, and students at BUC!
At BCNH, our providers excelled at patient care and our clinic was once again recognized by the Washington Health Alliance as ranking among the top 10 of 266 clinics in Washington State in three out of five patient survey categories. This year also saw the creation of a strategic plan for
our teaching clinics that sets targets for improved services, customer service, patient retention, and financial sustainability. The Board and I are confident in the abilities of the clinic's leadership team to provide a world-class environment for both student learning and patient care.
Within our academic programs we saw innumerable successes.
The acupuncture department began the year by doing a deep dive into how it can best serve students, reduce tuition and credit burdens, and expand their offerings. Our new Doctor of Acupuncture program will launch in 2018, and we will host an accreditation visit later this year thanks to the hard work of the acupuncture faculty.
The midwifery program once again established itself as the premier
program in the country with perfect placement and exam rates, and the Maternal and Child Health Systems (MCHS) program will launch an online program this summer (with a full cohort) to share with the world how providers can be policy leaders in maternity care.
Our Master of Public Health (MPH) program saw a successful launch in 2015 and has made an impact with relevant research and advocacy for preventative medicine; the psychology department has begun the process of refining its programs to better address licensing concerns and has hired two new outstanding faculty members with extensive clinical experience and an impressive interest in scholarly work.
Our basic sciences department continues to be one of the strongest cores of our institution, providing amazing education across our programs and keeping us evidenced-based in our focus.
The Ayurvedic program continues to grow, and the Ayurvedic clinic shift remains one of the most popular and fastest growing specialty clinics at BCNH.
Our naturopathic medicine program remains among the highest in terms of student exam passage rates, and the Schoolís students, faculty, and staff have once again made tremendous impacts in the world through international relief efforts, state and federal lobbying, outstanding clinical care, and expansion of residency and preceptorships.
Finally, our newest program at BUC, the Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness, has exceeded expectations with excellent leadership from Dr. Neal
Our Research Institute continues to impress, having completed some major clinical trials and publications on Parkinsonís disease, and having achieved primary authorship status in the Cochrane Review for the health topic of IBS.
Our gardens are flourishing with the new raised beds. Thanks to our garden staff, and to those who volunteer, for creating and maintaining such a sanctuary in our very own back yard.
Financially, I am happy to share that we have renegotiated the bonds that hold the debt for our University, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have had one of the strongest financial years in our institution's history. These resources were refocused to reduce the annual tuition
increase, expand our residencies, spend greater focus on our alumni, expand our marketing efforts to reach more potential students, and ensure that our faculty and staff are adequately rewarded and remain part of the Bastyr family.
Relationship building beyond Bastyr is branching out to include Swedish Medical Clinics, Veterans Affairs (VA), the City of Kenmore, the regionís Community Health Centers (CHCs), and many more like-minded, mission-driven organizations and individuals.
From a fundraising perspective, I am pleased to share that in spite of a first-year president, the development team exceeded last year's fundraising levels, doubled corporate sponsorships, expanded the benefits to our donors, built an impressive infrastructure for communication and
are about to launch both a Legacy Giving Campaign and a Grateful Patient Campaign in conjunction with the other naturopathic medical schools. I will be sharing more about these efforts in the future, but I want to thank the presidents of the other naturopathic schools for their very warm welcome; we have all become much closer, speak regularly, and are scheduled to
meet in person at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) conference to discuss how our institutions can work together in a more cohesive and meaningful way for the betterment of our students and alums.
I want to thank the Board of Trustees for their faith in all of us. In a period of time in American higher education where fundraising, enrollments, and budgets are shrinking, it is a rare opportunity for all of us to lead an institution that is growing in each of these areas, not to mention our growing reputation and recognition in the world. We would be remiss if we did not acknowledge their collective leadership over the past 38 years in steering the institution, and their ongoing support for what we do. As a non-profit, we owe a great deal to these influential men and women who donate their time, effort, contacts, and resources to the cause of natural medicine.
I am grateful to have many new colleagues who have joined us, and I am saddened by the loss of our colleagues who have departed. As a community and family, each departure is met with a heavy heart. I count each new member as a new blessing and an important part of who we are.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the many opportunities that have been given to me to grow as a professional and as a human being. Bringing my family to Washington and leaving behind the community that I had built in California was a transition that required adjustment. Thank you for your patience with me, your generosity of spirit, and your acceptance of me as part of your community.
I look forward to the next five years and beyond as we return our focus to Bastyr 2021, our alums, our students, our mission to educate future leaders, and our vision to transform the health and well-being of the human community.
Yours in Health,