First Female Graduate Paved the Way for Future Naturopathic Physicians
PORTLAND, Ore. (Dec. 9, 2010) — Betty Jo Radelet, DC, ND, of Beaverton received the inaugural Living Legend award from the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) and the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Medicine (OANP) at a banquet held in Portland on Dec. 4. Dr. Radelet is recognized as NCNM’s first female graduate and for advancing the profession of natural medicine. Prior to retiring a year ago at age 89, Dr. Radelet held the distinction of being the oldest continuously practicing naturopathic physician in Oregon.
NCNM and the OANP selected the Living Legend award recipients for their demonstrated leadership, commitment to excellence and selfless contributions in the advancement of natural medicine. Dr. Radelet and Dr. Kenneth D. Peterson, DC, ND, of Hermiston both were honored with the prestigious awards.
NCNM’s president, David J. Schleich, PhD, expressed his gratitude to Dr. Radelet and Dr. Peterson for a lifetime of service to the profession of naturopathic medicine. “All of us are indebted to the doctors who built the tradition of natural medicine in the Northwest with quiet determination, continuously helping patients improve and maintain good health. Their dedication to their patients and to the practice of natural medicine is the bedrock of the profession and serves as a shining example for the thousands of NCNM graduates who have followed in their footsteps.”
Being widowed with seven children at age 43 did not stop Dr. Radelet from enrolling at Western States Chiropractic College (now University of Western States) and completing her doctorate of chiropractic degree in four years. Dr. Radelet went on to obtain her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from NCNM where, in 1968, she made history in the male-dominated profession by becoming the first woman to graduate from the college.
Dr. Radelet spent nearly nine years practicing medicine in Washougal, Wash., before opening a clinic in Beaverton, Ore., in 1980. In her private practice, Dr. Radelet specialized in physical medicine, performing adjustments and naso-specific procedures to treat headaches, sinusitis, and other conditions while serving as the primary care physician for many families. Some of Dr. Radelet’s career highlights are chronicled in her book, Antidotes and Anecdotes, which she self-published in 2009.
The Living Legends dinner also celebrated the accomplishments of Leo Scott, ND, who was posthumously inducted as an Honorary Alumnus of NCNM. The care he provided his patients led one of them, Violet Beebe, to bequeath $100,000 to NCNM in Dr. Scott’s honor. Two of her survivors, Jennifer Calvert and Judy Armes, presented the check to Susan Hunter, NCNM vice president of Advancement, at the ceremony.
Four of Dr. Radelet’s seven children attended the banquet in her honor. She credited her spirituality and the support of her family as contributors to her success.
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 graduate medical degree programs in Naturopathic Medicine and Classical Chinese Medicine. Its community clinics offer low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area, and along with the campus-based NCNM Clinic, practitioners attend to approximately 40,000 patient visits per year. NCNM’s Helfgott Research Institute conducts rigorous evidence-based research to advance the science of natural medicine and improve clinical practice. Until July 2006, NCNM was known as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine.