A growing body of scientific evidence and patient outcomes shows that integrating natural health concepts with traditional medical techniques and knowledge can better treat the whole patient, leading to better health, a more complete and compassionate course of treatment, and a broader base of knowledge for physicians, nurses, and other health practitioners. Up until the late 1970's, doctors and medical professionals who used natural medicine had to learn from those who came before them, or piece together their knowledge from many sources. In 1978, three naturopathic physicians and one University of Washington medical administrator decided that in order to better prepare naturopathic and natural health practitioners for licensure and practice, and also to help promote the field, an accredited institute of learning was necessary. Bastyr University, the first of its kind, was founded.
The founders of Bastyr University, Joe Pizzorno, Bill Mitchell, Les Griffith and Sheila Quinn, started Bastyr with a big vision and just $200, donated from a patient. They fleshed out the idea of a University dedicated to natural health sciences, based on sound scientific principles, and named after a much loved instructor three of the founders had at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, John Bastyr. That college had closed and state legislators in Washington were threatening to get rid of licensing for naturopathic practitioners because no new graduates were applying. Facing a tidal wave of obstacles did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm and commitment of these four people, and in fact, after Bastyr was founded, Dr. Pizzorno served as its president for 22 years, and Ms. Quinn was the school administrator for ten years.
Today, Bastyr University includes the main campus in Kenmore, Washington and a new branch in San Diego, California, which was opened in September 2012. The San Diego location became the first and only school of accreditided naturopathic medicine in the state of California. Together, the two campuses consist of just over 1,000 students. The largest university of its kind in the United States, Bastyr offers students baccalaurate, graduate, and master's degree programs, plus certificates and training programs that combine learning in natural health, science, and medicine. Areas of study include nutrition, psychology, herbal or exercise science, biology, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and midwifery.
Students at Bastyr can take advantage of the school's complete approach to natural medical education, with everything they need located within the university. The Kenmore campus has a research laboratory that participates in ongoing integrative studies. The Bastyr Center for Natural Health is the school's teaching clinic, where students can hone their skills at the largest natural health clinic in the Northwest, with over 35,000 patient visits recorded annually. In keeping with the University focus on healthy and natural living, the campus food service provides whole food, including herbs and vegetables grown in the Bastyr Medicinal Herb Garden.
The crowning jewel of Bastyr's on-campus commitment to green is the LEED Platinum certified Student Village. These 11 three-story buildings were completed in 2010, and were designed to create a low environmental impact, blend with the surrounding landscape, and encourage social interaction among the 12 students housed in each unit. In 2010, the Student Village was also awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's Outstanding Multifamily Project of the Year award. It's the first student housing building on the West coast to receive the LEED Platinum designation, and it was also featured in a showcase tour of best green buildings in the Seattle area.
In order to sucessfully practice medicine in today's modern world, a health care practitioner must understand the science and technology necessary to sucessfully administer and treat patients. With more and more patients turning to natural, herbal, and naturopathic medicine, a health practitioner must also be versed in how to treat a patient using sound and effective natural methods. For over 30 years, Bastyr University has been providing the best natural health and naturopathic medical education in the country to students from all walks of life and across the globe. Bastyr University is helping those with the dream of healing people receive the best science and research-based foundation possible.