About NUNM

Vision and Strategic Plan


To improve human health by making the healing power of nature accessible.


To lead the transformation towards a more equitable healthcare ecosystem that champions natural medicine for all.


To advance education, healthcare and research in the art and science of natural medicine.


We create an interconnected medical ecosystem by building relationships and partnerships within our university and beyond.

We promote a culture of transparency and honest feedback to continuously deepen our alignment with our Values.

As a healthcare institution of higher education, we work to repair historical health and educational disparities, and to prevent future disparities.

We seek to identify root causes and then look for holistic, creative solutions to challenges facing the university.

We are careful stewards of our resources and foster a university environment in which talents and energies flourish.

Framework for Action 4 – Strategic Plan (2022-2027)

The FFA 4 is designed as a five-year strategic plan to help guide our institutional decisions and track our progress toward accomplishing our projected metrics. We are cognizant, however, that the next few years are likely to continue to bring educational and societal changes at a lightning speed, and that academic and clinical leaders will need to continually evolve our programming, infrastructure, delivery and assessment.

This Framework was created utilizing a shared governance approach in partnership with NUNM’s students, faculty, staff and Board of Directors. Throughout this collaboration, we heard consistent calls for a more inclusive document that focused on balancing the needs of our current students, graduates, staff and faculty with a dedication to the fields we serve. We built upon the 2018–2022 Framework (FFA 3), which focused heavily on institutional growth, to create a plan of action that reflects the entire NUNM community as we work to transform the healthcare system into one that embraces natural medicine. Over the next five years, our work will place even more emphasis on institutional excellence, a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and graduating students who will advance education, healthcare and research.

Framework for Action Goals

Strategies and Activities

Strategy 1: Define, Develop and Deploy High-Quality Academic Programming

  • Use student satisfaction survey data to determine the level of academic and clinical education satisfaction reported by current students.
  • Each college/school at NUNM will develop a strategic plan for their department. This strategic plan must include a comprehensive program assessment plan.
  • Annually assess the academic excellence of each college/school in relation to students accomplishing program outcomes and course competencies.
  • Annually assess the effectiveness of teaching methodologies and delivery strategies in all programs, using instructional designers and in-depth course audits.
  • Annually assess faculty training needs, including teaching needs and Continuing Medical Education (CME) needs. Provide professional development opportunities that are both mandatory and elective for all faculty.
  • Assess the need for software updates and acquisitions of licenses that will improve the infrastructure and organization of NUNM’s internal governing structure, communications and professional promotion of faculty members.
  • Strengthen the training program for volunteer peer tutors and volunteer peer counselors.
  • Strategy 2: Bolster Role Sustainability

  • Conduct a market analysis of salary rates for NUNM faculty and staff every two years.
  • Annually adjust compensation package to work toward meeting market rates for all NUNM faculty and staff.
  • Annually conduct an institution-wide, departmental staff needs analysis to assist hiring practices and budget prioritization.
  • Annually assess faculty training needs, including teaching needs and Continuing Medical Education (CME) needs. Provide professional development opportunities that are both mandatory and elective for all faculty.
  • Conduct 360 annual evaluations of all supervisors, department heads and leadership.
  • Strategy 3: Sustain Clinical Excellence

  • Increase patient contacts and use of ancillary services via reintroduction and relocation of the clinic.
  • Perform quarterly assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of student learning in clinical practices.
  • Track patient satisfaction and establish quality annual improvement metrics using Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey data.
  • Use active learning strategies to improve the delivery of didactic and clinical education, both online and in person.
  • Maintain and continue to build on PCPCH status to support patient care, clinical operations and student education.
  • Strategy 4: Foster an Infrastructure that Promotes Capacity for Research

  • Increase annual number of student and faculty presentations at research conferences.
  • Increase annual research grant applications.
  • Establish a research-based mentorship program for faculty at the Helfgott Research Institute.
  • Create a framework for ethical patenting in the research department that supports researchers in the development of intellectual property that is original and ethical to monetize/own rights to.
  • Strategy 5: Increase Non-Tuition-Based Funding

  • Prepare grant applications to specifically support NUNM Health Centers and community clinic partners.
  • Gather data on department projects, initiatives and events that can be matched to passionate, like-minded donors and partners for specific funding.
  • Establish an NUNM endowment fund so that the institution may diversify revenue streams.
  • Increase promotion of projects and initiatives being worked on at NUNM through digital channels to attract collaborators.
  • Develop a process that helps NUNM identify values-aligned donors.
  • Strategies and Activities

    Strategy 1: Increase Inclusivity


  • Conduct annual cultural climate surveys alternating between student and staff/faculty surveys.
  • Annually refine and use Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) best practice guidelines in hiring, onboarding, training and coaching.
  • Annually audit and improve physical and online campus spaces for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility.
  • Offer annual training to the NUNM community that focuses on building foundational knowledge and literacy in DEIB.
  • Develop an institutional calendar accessible from the NUNM website that displays all university-wide events.
  • Clinics

  • Incorporate evaluation of DEIB literacy (training/coaching/etc.) into staff/faculty/preceptor evaluations.
  • Conduct annual bias training for faculty, staff and students that addresses topics in social determinants of health.

    Helfgott Research Institute

  • Annually audit and revise patient intake forms through a DEIB lens.
  • Conduct annual bias training for faculty, staff and students that addresses topics in social determinants of health.
  • Annually audit and revise patient intake forms through a DEIB lens.
  • Annually review NUNM’s research publications and digital research content for DEIB incorporation.
  • Develop a speaker and visitor exchange series that specializes in topics on DEIB research in the field of natural medicine with partnered institutions.
  • Secure consistent funding in the form of grants and charitable giving to fund natural medicine and DEIB topics in research conducted at NUNM.
  • Strategy 2: Attract International and Diverse Students

  • Annually evaluate and improve strategies to attract international and diverse candidates.
  • Promote attendance of faculty, staff and students at recruitment events at institutions that have received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.
  • Strategy 3: Provide Support to Increase Enrollment and Graduation of a Diverse Student Population

  • Maintain and/or expand scholarship fund for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students.
  • Facilitate credit transferability from other colleges/universities (via articulation agreements, prerequisites, alignment agreements, etc.).
  • Strategies and Activities

    Strategy 1: Improve Career Readiness

  • Support students and alumni in developing career-ready skills and tools (e.g., networking skills, interviewing skills, mentorship, resume, etc.).
  • Offer financial wellness counseling services for students and alumni.
  • Increase ratio of available preceptorship sites and external internship sites to students.
  • Curate targeted career programming and events geared toward aligning students with 1) knowledge needed for a variety of entrepreneurial settings, 2) tools and skills needed for job search and career development, 3) opportunities for gaining entry into internship programs and full-time employment.
  • Strategy 2: Monitor and Increase Career Opportunities

  • Annually measure the employment outcomes for each graduating cohort within 18 months of entering the workforce.
  • Advocate legislation for all licensures applicable to NUNM programming in other states within the United States to increase the opportunity for residency and job placements in health practices throughout the medical field.
  • Create an alumni network on LinkedIn where students can easily connect with NUNM alumni for informational interviewing opportunities and mentorship.
  • Strategy 3: Cultivate Entrepreneurship

  • Generate programming to assist students in creating business plans, managing practices, recruiting clients and conducting community outreach.
  • Facilitate opportunities for NUNM community members to understand emerging products or services that are in alignment with our mission, vision and values.
  • Foster relationships that support innovative career opportunities for our graduates.
  • Strategies and Activities

    Strategy 1: Increase and Strengthen Partnerships

    Define the characteristics of mutually beneficial partnerships which align with NUNM’s Mission and Vision.


  • Actively pursue collaborative opportunities with institutions of higher education and businesses that align with and/or complement NUNM’s Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values.
  • Annually evaluate, via survey and follow-up interviews, partner satisfaction with collaborative experiences at NUNM.
  • Evaluate strategies to increase the effectiveness and retention of non-tuition-based institutional support.
  • Increase the number and quality of opportunities for alumni, friends, emeriti and partners to engage with university programs, in collaboration with NUNM’s new strategic plan.
  • Generate collaborative offerings for the health professions of single course, conferences, course series and certificate programs delivered in CME format, within symposia, weekend and longer intensives, part-time, asynchronously and synchronously, online and residential.
  • Academic

  • Develop cross-collaborative higher education opportunities to support interprofessional education among NUNM students.
  • Partner with other universities in the development of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and collaboration agreements.
  • Clinical

  • Explore and nurture partnerships with community-based organizations to expand learning opportunities for students and care opportunities for patients.
  • Increase clinical service opportunities to underserved and marginalized populations throughout the Portland metropolitan area.
  • Research

  • Maintain and strengthen existing research collaborations within the complementary and integrative health (CIH) profession and leading biomedical research institutions.
  • Pursue collaborative grant submissions to support strategic research initiatives aligned with NUNM’s Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values.
  • View FFA 4 as a PDF.