Dr. Paul Mittman: Celebrating a Great Year for Community Medicine
How does a small school like Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, with an enrollment of 360 naturopathic medical students provide free or low cost care to more than 8,000 patients annually in underserved communities?
There are three ways:
- By staying committed to the college’s mission that “Everyone deserves high quality healthcare” and to “Empower individuals and communities to achieve optimal health.”
- Thanks to the generosity of individual donors like you and foundations who share these ideals and support the SCNM Sage Foundation.
- Through partnerships with innovative school districts (Murphy, Roosevelt), social service organizations (Sojourner Center, Changing Lives) and healthcare organizations (Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Adelante Healthcare, the River Source, World Addiction and Health Institute).
Two developments stand out to me among many highlights of what was a great year.
First, we opened the SCNM Roosevelt Health Center in April, a 4,000 square foot clinic in the Roosevelt School District’s George B. Brooks Community School. Patients are stunned when they walk through the door of what was four 60-year old classrooms, renovated into a beautiful and inviting space for healing. Since opening in April, hundreds of patients – women, men and children – have received naturopathic care by blending conventional and alternative therapies to suit each patient’s individual needs. The Center has become so busy that plans are already in place to expand hours early in 2018.
Second, awareness and recognition of naturopathic doctors’ role in recovery programs for drug and alcohol addiction continues to grow. Three SCNM Sage Foundation supported sites are pioneering an integrative approach to the opioid crisis, and to other forms of addiction. Clinical Nutrition adds three key elements to a comprehensive recovery program: Dietary macronutrient support; intravenous fluids, electrolytes and micronutrients; and Targeted intravenous and oral amino acid support. Healing the gut and replenishing neurotransmitters helps addicts rebuild sound biochemistry to support long-term recovery. We will feature one of these clinics in an upcoming Sage newsletter.
Throughout 2017, we’ve shared stories, videos, notes and letters of thanks. We hope you have been able to see the positive impact your gift has on our community. We wish you good health, joy and happiness during this holiday season and in the New Year. Thank you again for your support.
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine