NCNM to Recognize Dr. Les Griffith for Outstanding Service

Leader in natural medicine will receive honorary degree

PORTLAND, Ore. (May 11, 2010)—National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) announced today that former NCNM graduate and Bastyr University co-founder, Les Griffith, ND, will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree during the college’s June 26 commencement ceremony, to be held in the Mark Building of the Portland Art Museum.

In conferring the degree, NCNM President David J. Schleich, PhD, spoke of the longstanding service that Dr. Griffith has contributed to the profession of natural medicine: “Dr. Griffith has blazed a remarkable career as an author, educator, public speaker, physician and entrepreneur. His leadership has greatly advanced the profession of science-based natural medicine.” Schleich notes that this prestigious recognition from Griffith’s alma mater is long overdue.

Schleich adds, “Dr. Griffith’s outstanding body of work through the course of more than 30 years has created a solid foundation upon which generations of natural medicine practitioners can launch practices and careers of their own.” Schleich said that Griffith’s clinical family practice serves “as a model of excellence and an inspiring example of success for today’s graduates.”

Dr. Lester Griffith earned a Master’s degree in Psychology from Western Washington University in 1971, a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from NCNM in 1975, and a Master of Herbology degree from Emerson College in 1983. He continued his health care studies and received certification as a registered nurse; an emergency room technician; an emergency medical technician; a surgical technician; and also as a midwife. Shortly after graduation from NCNM, Griffith co-founded Bastyr University with Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, Dr. William Mitchell and Sheila Quinn. He served on the Bastyr board of directors for more than 20 years and was recognized in 2000 for his service to Bastyr with an honorary naturopathic doctorate degree.

In addition to his work in education, private practice and research, Griffith founded NouvelleHEALTH Inc., and other natural products companies, to address the many health issues created by the environment and conditions of contemporary life.

Schleich observes that Griffith’s broad contribution to the field of natural health is remarkable and unique. “In founding Bastyr, Dr. Griffith and his colleagues understood the importance of meeting the educational needs of growing numbers of future natural medicine practitioners by establishing more higher education institutions. For many, this feat alone would be achievement enough in one lifetime. But Dr. Griffith’s range of experience is nothing less than astonishing: private practice, higher education leadership, entrepreneurial health product design and sales, among an array of other accomplishments.

“NCNM is proud to honor our former graduate for his enduring legacy to the profession of natural medicine and pay tribute to Dr. Griffith with enthusiasm and gratitude.”

Founded in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America. A nonprofit college of natural medicine, NCNM offers four-year graduate medical degree programs in Naturopathic Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine. Its community clinics offer free and low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area, and along with the campus-based NCNM Clinic, manage approximately 40,000 patient visits 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.