What a week everyone!
I thought the highlight of this week's story would be the
Trimester Games (or Tri Games). Instead we received word on
Saturday that NUHS has just earned full accreditation with the CNME
(Council on Naturopathic Medical Education)!
But first, I will share a bit about Tri Games as this was the
first appearance of 'Cyggy the Cygnet' (our school mascot is a baby
swan), who will be representing our school along with our students
at Chiro Games. (Chiro Games is an annual Olympics-style
competition among all the chiropractic schools. NUHS' naturopathic
students are invited to compete for our school alongside our
chiropractic student colleagues. Yet another reason why I love this
school is the camaraderie between our programs and sense of
inclusion of all students on our campus!
Pictured (L-R) are Janet, Cyggy 'Joseph Vazquez', me
(kneeling) Megan and Lauren.
Now for the big news!
Since NUHS re-started the naturopathic program in 2006, we have
been working with the CNME to attain full accreditation. What do I
mean by re-started? Well, National was the last of the old
naturopathic schools to close its doors (so to speak) by removing
the naturopathic medicine program in the early 1950s. Just about
every doctor who graduated from National prior to that time was
considered an ND and DC by earning both a naturopathic and a
A bit about the current program and how we achieved this
incredible milestone in only a few years! Our university president,
James Winterstein, DC, worked tirelessly for a number of years to
convince the NUHS' board of directors, alumni and faculty that
restarting the naturopathic medicine program was the proper
direction to take given the increasing demand for natural medicine.
Once the program was given the green light, Dr. Winterstein
recruited Fraser Smith, ND, as assistant dean of naturopathic
medicine, to establish, build and lead the Doctor of Naturopathic
Medicine Program at NUHS. Dr. Smith then proceeded to recruit
faculty, build the curriculum, gather up the first small group of
students, and start on the accreditation process.
Dr. Smith insisted upon including a strong philosophical basis
for the naturopathic medicine program at NUHS. The philosophy would
focus on the history (or roots) of naturopathic medicine, the
determinants of health, the naturopathic principles, and how all
fit into the practice model and method of cure for our
As someone who has been in the business world, been a part of
huge projects that could 'make or break' a career, I have
tremendous respect for the courage that Dr. Winterstein displayed
in convincing board members of a chiropractic college and a host of
chiropractic alumni that evolving into a health sciences university
and allocating resources to a new naturopathic medicine program (as
well as an acupuncture and oriental medicine program) was the right
course for our school. Along the same lines, Dr. Smith's acceptance
of the challenge to come to Lombard, Illinois, while already
successfully practicing and leading at CCNM (Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine) is an example of courage that few, in my
experience, would attempt. I think both of these men knew that
failure was not an option for the new naturopathic program here.
Failure would most likely have been a huge career setback for both.
In spite of the challenges, through the leadership of these two men
and countless efforts from many members of the administration and
faculty at NUHS, we stand as an accredited school a mere SIX YEARS
from the inception of our program!
I remember reading Rachel's and Miravone's blogs (the first ND
Bloggers for NUHS) when I was deciding upon a naturopathic school.
Their open and fair assessment of the program's infancy, the
strides being made despite the lessons learned, and growing pains
of a new enterprise helped me to see that all persons concerned
were fully committed to the success of our program! Now, a few
years later, I am honored to share with each of you that our
school, NUHS, has met and passed a significant milestone! I wish I
could express the joy that was shared within and without our
student and faculty family here! Facebook was lit up like the
Griswold's at Christmastime ("Christmas Vacation")!
With joy for our school, our students and our faculty, this week
I'm grateful for the sacrifice, efforts and persistence of our
leadership to help NUHS' Naturopathic Medicine Program reach