It is hard to believe another calendar year is near its end.
It is hard to believe another calendar year is near its end. As we prepare to celebrate the winter holiday season, now is the perfect time to look back at the past 11 months to reflect, admire and appreciate all that the hardworking students, faculty and staff at Bastyr University’s campuses and clinics have accomplished. Here is a recap of our incredible 2013.
This year our San Diego campus turned a year old. Since it opened its doors in September 2012, Bastyr University California has received a very warm welcome from the local medical and academic communities. As the first accredited school for naturopathic medicine in the state Bastyr University California has made its mark in San Diego very quickly. 2014 promises continued success and growth, especially with our recent expansion that created additional space for classrooms, laboratories and a larger teaching clinic.
In the fall we accepted the first students into our new Master of Science in Ayurvedic Sciences, the first regionally accredited graduate program of its kind in the United States. Ayurveda has ancient roots dating back 5,000 years in India and is defined as the Hindu science of health. According to a 2007 National Health Interview Survey, more than 200,000 U.S. adults had used ayurvedic medicine in the previous year, citing reasons such as the high cost of traditional health care, side effects from prescription drugs and ineffectiveness with other forms of medicine. This new program will help keep us in front of the ever-changing landscape of natural medicine and help us best educate the future health care providers of tomorrow.
Bastyr University’s partnership with Choice Organic Teas continues to grow. In the fall, the teas became available for purchase at retail stores across the United States for the first time. The eight different blends of herbal teas, formulated with help from Bastyr University experts, not only taste great but a portion of the proceeds from the sale of each box goes to the University’s student scholarship fund. It is no wonder we feel this collaboration is and will continue to be a success.
With the Affordable Care Act taking effect next month, there is much speculation about what the changes will mean for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). With an estimated 30 million Americans becoming newly insured, there is the potential for a health care provider shortage, one that CAM practitioners may be able to fill. Bastyr University’s Jane Guiltinan, ND, Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine spoke about CAM and the Affordable Care Act in a Washington Post article earlier in the year.
Another step toward inserting ourselves into the national healthcare conversation came when the U.S. Senate passed a resolution designating October 7 – October 13 as Naturopathic Medicine Week. The resolution recognized the value of naturopathic medicine in providing “safe, effective, and affordable health care...” and encouraged Americans to learn about the role of naturopathic physicians in preventing chronic and debilitating conditions. The ramifications of this announcement could be huge when it comes to how Americans view natural medicine. It is just the latest example of CAM’s increasing importance in American health care.
2013 was filled with major milestones, celebrations and reasons to smile. The natural medicine community has much of which to be proud, and I wait with anticipation to see what historic changes our growing community can expect in 2014. On behalf of the entire Bastyr family, I wish you and your loved ones peace, joy and health this holiday season.
Daniel K. Church, PhD
Bastyr University President