Naturopathic Medicine’s Impact on Portland’s Underserved Communities

Naturopathic doctors in white coats measuring herbs on scale

The Institute for Natural Medicine has highlighted NUNM’s associate dean of clinical education, Carrie Baldwin-Sayre, ND, and her passion for serving the underserved populations in Portland. Dr. Baldwin-Sayre has been working with Portland’s disadvantaged communities since her internship at Outside In, a local homeless youth organization. Since running NUNM’s Lair Hill Health Center, she has only furthered her belief that “naturopathic primary care and complementary care help support our vulnerable populations, including those on Medicaid, uninsured, underinsured, undocumented, and who have low or no income.”

One of the main tenants of natural medicine is to treat the whole person, which is huge for underserved populations. For example, Baldwin-Sayre notes, “If we have a patient with long-standing, untreated hypertension, it is crucial for that patient to have their blood pressure lowered as soon as possible. It is also important that we help them protect their heart, arteries, and kidneys from damage. If the stressors and dietary choices that led to the high blood pressure in the first place are not remedied, the likelihood of that individual simply needing higher and higher doses of blood pressure medication over time is very high. A comprehensive, incremental plan, is then provided that focuses on stress management techniques, nutrition, and exercise, while also using the most cost-effective treatments available for lowering blood pressure.”

Read the full article by Kate Hagan about Dr. Baldwin-Sayre and a typical day at NUNM’s on-campus health center.