NCNM to Officially Open Portland's Largest Natural Health Clinic

Mayor Adams and Senator Monnes Anderson
to Participate in Grand Opening

Marilynn Considine

PORTLAND, Ore. (September 16, 2009)—National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) is taking a major step forward in the expansion of its campus near downtown Portland with the official grand opening of the new NCNM Clinic. On Friday, Sept. 25 at 10 a.m., Portland Mayor Sam Adams and Oregon Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, and other dignitaries and guests will cut the ribbon to launch a new chapter in NCNM’s long history. The grand opening ceremony, which will include a tour of the new clinic, is open to the public.

Mayor Adams has long been a supporter of NCNM and of the importance of natural medicine to the health care needs of Portlanders. Sen. Monnes Anderson sponsored SB 327. The bill, passed in May, goes into effect Jan. 2010. This legislation expands the prescribing authority for Oregon’s 650 licensed naturopathic physicians, who are trained in synthetically and naturally-derived medications, and paves a way for them to meet the escalating need for primary care physicians.

The newly renovated 18,000 square-foot NCNM Clinic consolidates the medical college’s two teaching clinics, providing a full spectrum of classical Chinese medicine, naturopathic medical services and specialty services, such as integrative oncology care, in one convenient location. The clinic property, purchased late last year, was renovated this summer using a variety of sustainable and green-building practices.

In addition to 30 patient treatment rooms, the clinic includes hydrotherapy and IV therapy rooms, a group-acupuncture and qigong area, a full-service natural medicine pharmacy and space for community seminar use. Directly behind the clinic, the future Min Zidell Healing Garden is being designed as a teaching botanical herbal garden.

The overall cost of the remodeling project was $2.2 million, which NCNM is self-funding. The nonprofit college will roll out its capital campaign, called RIGHT PLACE—RIGHT TIME later this year.

The South Portland clinic is located adjacent to the NCNM campus on Corbett Avenue, near the west end of the Ross Island Bridge, in an urban renewal district the Portland Development Commission refers to as “the Educational Triangle,” between OHSU and Portland State University.

The opening of the NCNM Clinic is the first of many developments in the next few years for the medical college. NCNM Board Chair Nancy Garbett spoke about the significance of the 1.5 acre purchase by the school: “This acquisition changes the direction, the momentum and the vision of NCNM. It propels us into a future where the need to meet health care demand will grow increasingly critical.” Garbett added, “NCNM is poised to grow exponentially right in the heart of Portland—and as the center of natural health care in this country.”

The oldest accredited college of natural medicine in North America, NCNM is known throughout the nation as the foundational cornerstone of natural medicine. The college anticipates approximately 18,000 patient visits in its first year of service. The timing of NCNM’s expansion—as the nation’s top lawmakers debate how best to reengineer the nation’s health care system—builds on the momentum of the extraordinary increase of consumer demand for safe, effective and low-cost natural health care. This demand is expected to trigger significant growth at NCNM, as more pre-med students explore natural medicine as a viable health care career option.

Dr. David J. Schleich, NCNM president, said that the NCNM Clinic is the second part of a three-phase growth plan for the school. “Current and future growth projections are driving these developments as we expand our medical school to accommodate increasing numbers of students, patients, faculty and administrative staff. NCNM has experienced robust growth and expansion since 1996, when we first established our footprint in this area. The 2007 purchase of our administration and research building on Naito Parkway and the 2008 acquisition of the former Siemens buildings keep that momentum going,” Schleich said.

“The growth of complementary and alternative medicine comes at a time when there are critical shortages of trained health care professionals,” Schleich said, adding, “Natural medicine is the wave of the future for health care in the U.S. and NCNM is stepping up more and more to meet that urgent challenge. In our classrooms, research labs and teaching clinic, NCNM is educating and training new generations of physicians and practitioners who are committed to fill the gap of providers in the health care workforce.”

The public is cordially invited to attend the NCNM Clinic’s grand opening ceremony. It will be held outside the NCNM Clinic, located at 3025 SW Corbett Avenue, at the corner of Corbett and Porter Street in Portland on Friday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. For more information about the event, check upcoming details about the event at

Founded in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and a leader in natural medicine. NCNM offers four-year graduate medical degree programs in Naturopathic Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine. The NCNM Clinic and its associated community-area clinics offer free and low-cost medical care throughout the Portland area, treating more than 40,000 patients annually. NCNM’s nonprofit Helfgott Research Institute 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.

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