Kulongoski Health Policy Advisor at National College of Natural Medicine

Marilynn Considine
(503) 552-1504

PORTLAND, Ore. (September 25, 2008)— Ree Sailors, health policy advisor to Governor Kulongoski, will speak Oct. 1 at National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) about the state of current Oregon healthcare reform initiatives and implications for the upcoming legislative session.

Discussing challenges to health care, NCNM President David J. Schleich said, “The economy and the banking crisis are now the focus of the 2008 presidential election, but the need for health care—especially for the 600,000 Oregonians with no coverage—is still a critical concern for families.”

According to Sailors, projections show a need for approximately 65,000 new healthcare professionals to meet health care demands by 2014. Schleich believes that natural medicine will play an increasingly significant role in helping to meet that demand. Of the approximately 3,800 licensed naturopathic physicians practicing in the U.S., more than 50 percent graduated from NCNM. “NCNM is educating and training generations of physicians and practitioners to step into the breech and address the critical shortage of providers in the healthcare workforce.”

Sailors brings more than 25 years of experience in public policy analysis and consensus-building techniques having served as executive director of numerous gubernatorial and legislative blue ribbon task forces examining issues such as: competition and consumer choice in health care, medical malpractice, indigent care financing, and regulatory programs like certificate of need and hospital revenue assessments.

Sailors served previously as the health policy advisor to Governor Gary Locke of Washington. She was also the project director of a State Coverage Initiative (SCI) grant awarded from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Washington State Health Care Authority.
Sailors’s presentation is free and open to the public. It will be held at 12 – 1 p.m. in NCNM’s Great Hall, 049 SW Porter Street in Portland.

ABOUT NCNM: Founded in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America. A nonprofit college of natural medicine, NCNM offers four-year degree programs in Naturopathic Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine. Its teaching clinics offer free and low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area and treat more than 40,000 patients per year. NCNM’s Helfgott Research Institute is a nonprofit research institute that conducts rigorous independent research to advance the science of natural medicine in order to improve clinical practice. Until July 2006, NCNM was known as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine.