NUNM receives transformative award to support medical students committing to underserved communities

Naturopathic Physicians for Oregon Communities Scholarship program designed to increase diversity and representation in Oregon’s healthcare workforce.

The National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, Oregon, has received a $400,000 grant from the Oregon Health Authority through the Scholars for a Healthy Oregon Initiative-Like program. The goal of the program is to help address healthcare needs in rural and low-income areas around the state.  

The Naturopathic Physicians for Oregon Communities (NPOC) Scholarship program also aims to increase the diversity of the state’s healthcare workforce. The transformative funding supports scholarships for Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) students committing to providing primary care services in one of Oregon’s designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) following graduation.   

“When patients and providers can establish trust early on, disparities can be reduced and outcomes maximized,” said NUNM President and CEO Dr. Melanie Henriksen.  

Specifically encouraged to apply are students of color, tribal communities, immigrants, refugees, migrant and season farmworkers; students with disabilities; students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, or who question their sexual or gender identity; and students with lived behavioral health experiences.   

“Representation absolutely matters,” Henriksen said. “It’s critical to advancing health justice. Naturopathic medicine at its core is about patient empowerment, and we’re honored to be granted this opportunity to envision what that means alongside Oregonians from all walks of life.”  

One of nine recipients of the program funding, NUNM anticipates that it will award scholarships to five ND students to cover tuition and fees in their final two years of study beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. Scholars must commit to one year of service in a Primary Care HPSA for each year of tuition awarded. 

Applications are now open for the Naturopathic Physicians for Oregon Communities Scholarship. Eligible NUNM students are encouraged to learn more and apply before August 2 at 5 PM!