PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 13, 2012) —National College of Natural Medicine announced Friday the promotion of Melanie Henriksen, ND, LAc, CNM, as dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine after completing a national search to fill the position. Henriksen previously served as associate dean of naturopathic medicine, the medical college’s flagship program.
Dr. Andrea C. Smith, NCNM’s provost and vice president of academic affairs, noted the increasing importance of the naturopathic medicine degree program within the profession of natural medicine. “The role of dean demands an understanding of the full scope of practice of naturopathic medicine, a deep passion for its roots, and insight to best position our students as primary care physicians within the quickly shifting paradigm of health care,” she said.
Smith added, “This critical position will require bold leadership to help advance NCNM’s mission and goals during the most dynamic period of change in the college’s 56-year history. Dr. Henriksen has been an extremely valuable member of our team and will continue to contribute even more in her expanded role. We’re confident that Dr. Henriksen will lead our students successfully into a bright future.”
After graduating in 2005 from NCNM’s naturopathic and Chinese medicine programs, Henriksen completed her residency at NCNM, where she supervised senior students as an adjunct clinical faculty member. Henriksen also saw patients in her private practice as a licensed primary care physician and acupuncturist. In 2009, she received a Master of Nursing degree from Oregon Health & Science University and was also certified as a nurse midwife. She worked as a registered nurse at a Portland medical rehabilitation facility.
Henriksen has played an increasingly significant role within NCNM‘s administration since she joined NCNM full time in 2009 as director of the clinical residency program. In January 2012, she was promoted to associate dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine. In that role, she helped administer the department’s day-to-day programmatic operations, while still continuing to oversee NCNM’s residency program. Henriksen replaces Dr. Margot Longenecker, who left NCNM in August to join family on the East Coast.
Founded in Portland in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and an educational leader in classical Chinese medicine and CAM research. NCNM offers four-year graduate medical degree programs in naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine, and a Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research degree. Its community clinics provide low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area. In addition to the campus-based NCNM Clinic, NCNM practitioners care for approximately 37,000 patient visits per year. Until July 2006, NCNM was known as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. The name change reflects the diversity of the college’s programmatic degree offerings.