Bastyr and Virginia Mason Integrative Medicine Partnership

SEATTLE – (Nov. 7, 2018) – At Virginia Mason, East meets West as the medical center launches its Integrative Medicine service line that combines modern traditional medicine with the centuries-old wisdom of natural therapies to provide a balanced, holistic approach to good health.

The Center for Integrative Medicine at Virginia Mason has partnered with experts at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health to offer a variety of adjunct therapies on Virginia Mason’s main campus in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle and at Virginia Mason Bainbridge Island Medical Center. These services now or soon will include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Advice on nutritional supplements
  • Herbal therapy
  • Diet modification
  • Mind-body techniques such as mindfulness, guided imagery and visualization
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Therapeutic massage

“Integrative medicine focuses on the whole person and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health care professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing,” said Astrid Pujari, MD, medical director, Integrative Medicine. She is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and in Integrative Medicine and has extensive experience with integration of nutritional, herbal and mind-body therapies and Western medicine. Dr. Pujari has worked with Virginia Mason in Primary Care and in other capacities for the past 17 years.

“Integrative and naturopathic care, as well as acupuncture, have a long history of successfully treating many health conditions, from the common cold and flu to chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension,” said Jamey Wallace, ND, executive director of clinical training and chief medical officer at Bastyr Center. “Bastyr Center has been offering preventive and natural health for families in the Seattle area since 1980, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Integrative Medicine team at Virginia Mason to expand the reach of our holistic care to their patients.”

As a medical specialty, the integrative medicine model of health and wellness brings together evidence-based conventional treatments and adjunct or complementary approaches, such as acupuncture, massage and naturopathy, in coordinated way to benefit patients. It emphasizes noninvasive treatment and the importance of a wellness-focused partnership between the patient and his or her primary care provider.

“At Virginia Mason, we’ve always understood the importance of caring for the whole person,” said Ingrid Gerbino, MD, chief, Primary Care. “The addition of the mind-body-spirit therapies of integrative medicine builds on that understanding and will elevate the quality of the overall patient experience. Our primary care providers look forward to coordinating care plans for their patients as appropriate with our integrative medicine providers.”

Virginia Mason plans to add integrative medicine at its Bellevue Medical Center in 2019.

Bastyr Center for Natural Health, based in Seattle, is the largest natural health clinic in the Pacific Northwest, offering as many as 35,000 patient visits a year. Its services include naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and East Asian medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, counseling and mind-body medicine.


About Virginia Mason Health System
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. In the Puget Sound region, the system includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 500 physicians; outpatient medical facilities and services in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Edmonds, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the United States designed specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; Virginia Mason Foundation; and Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management method for improving quality and safety.

Virginia Mason Health System also includes Virginia Mason Memorial, a 226-bed hospital serving Yakima Valley in central Washington since 1950. Virginia Mason Memorial includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care; cancer care through North Star Lodge; breast health at `Ohana Mammography Center; acute hospice and respite care at Cottage in the Meadow; pain management at Water’s Edge; an advanced NICU unit that offers specialty care for at-risk infants; advanced services for children with special health care needs at Children’s Village; and The Memorial Foundation.

About Bastyr University and Bastyr Center for Natural Health
Bastyr is a nonprofit, private university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees, with a multidisciplinary curriculum in science-based natural medicine. Recognized globally for its rigorous curriculum and strong research, the University has a primary campus in Kenmore, Washington, and a second campus in San Diego, California. Bastyr's international faculty teaches the natural health sciences with an emphasis on integrating mind, body, spirit and nature. A pioneer in natural medicine since its inception 40 years ago, Bastyr continues to be at the forefront in developing the model for 21st-century medicine.

Bastyr Center for Natural Health is the teaching clinic for Bastyr University. Located in Seattle's Fremont/Wallingford neighborhood, the clinic emphasizes disease prevention, encouraging the body’s inherent healing ability, treating the whole person and educating patients to be partners in their own health care.


Media Contacts:
Gale Robinette
Media Relations Manager
Virginia Mason Health System
(206) 341-1509

Nancy Trent or Pamela Wadler
Public Relations
Bastyr University
(212) 966-0024