National College of Natural Medicine Nabs Top Awards at AANP Conference

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National College of Natural Medicine President David J. Schleich, PhD, and the college’s Global Health Program Co-Chair Tabatha Parker, ND, were both honored by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the national professional organization of licensed naturopathic physicians, at its 30th annual conference held Aug. 8 in Oakland, California.

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David J. Schleich

The prestigious AANP awards are considered the top awards presented by the naturopathic profession each year.

National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) President David J. Schleich was named “AANP 2015 Champion of Naturopathic Medicine.” Dr. Tabatha Parker, an NCNM graduate, received AANP’s highest honor for a naturopathic physician, “2015 Physician of the Year.” The prestigious awards are considered the top awards presented by the naturopathic profession each year.

Schleich, who is married to a naturopathic physician, was recognized for “changing the landscape of health care through his championship of naturopathic medicine.” Schleich is known throughout the profession as a leader and catalyst for helping the profession of naturopathic medicine grow.

Since taking the reins of NCNM in 2007, he has ambitiously expanded the campus, built enrollment by nearly 78 percent, and increased the programmatic offerings of the nearly 60-year-old educational institution from three to nine, including two undergraduate degrees, which were announced in 2015 and will be launched in fall 2016.

During his tenure as CEO and president of Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, student enrollment increased from 86 students to 549 in seven years, and the college was relocated to a 4.43-acre campus. Today, Schleich often provides expert testimony before state legislatures across the U.S. in support of naturopathic licensure with the goal of having licensed naturopathic physicians in all 50 states and U.S. territories. He has developed articulation agreements with a variety of colleges—nationally and internationally, and is presently assisting the Maryland University of Integrative Health as it develops its first naturopathic program.

In presenting the award, Laura Farr, executive director of the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians and an AANP board director, noted, “His passion and commitment to naturopathic medicine is unparalleled. Most people simply identify (Schleich) with NCNM, the school he represents. In his tenure, among his many achievements, he’s also raised the bar for NCNM’s community clinics to a level of professionalism that is now attracting government funding to allow NDs in NCNM’s community clinics to operate at their full capacity as primary care physicians.”

Parker, co-founder of Natural Doctors International, the first and oldest naturopathic global health organization, and co-chair of NCNM’s Master of Science in Global Health program, the first global health program offered at a naturopathic medical school, was recognized for her leadership and individual achievement with a distinguished record of service to the profession and patients in the course of her career.

Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, president of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians, said that Parker is a visionary who has devoted her life to the advancement of social justice through her contributions to naturopathic medicine and education across the globe.

Calling Parker a change agent, Alschuler noted that Parker facilitated the development of the first permanent naturopathic clinic in Nicaragua; has developed international naturopathic internships; and petitioned the World Health Organization for acceptance of naturopathic doctors; in 2014, the World Health Organization opened the doors to naturopathic medicine for the first time.

Parker is also director of education at the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine, an inter-disciplinary organization of healthcare professionals. In addition, she has been a leader in the formation of the newly developed World Naturopathic Federation, which aims to further advance the naturopathic profession globally.

For more information about NCNM’s Master of Science in Global Health, visit

To view a video about NCNM’s naturopathic medicine program, visit

Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and an educational leader in classical Chinese medicine and CAM research. NCNM offers postgraduate, graduate and undergraduate degree programs: these include four-year medical degrees in naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine; four Master of Science degrees in Integrative Medicine Research, Nutrition, Global Health, and Integrative Mental Health; and two Bachelor of Science degrees in Nutrition and Integrative Health Sciences. NCNM’s Helfgott Research Center offers students the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking evidence-based research with renowned investigators. The medical college’s teaching clinics, including NCNM Clinic, the Beaverton Clinic, NCNM SIBO Center for Digestive Health, and the college’s many community clinics, provide low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area. NCNM practitioners, residents and student interns conduct approximately 40,000 patient visits per year. NCNM also provides community education through the NCNM Institutes: Women in Balance, Traditional Roots and Food as Medicine. Visit for more information.

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Marilynn Considine
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