Kenmore's Bastyr University to open California branch

Offering the school's Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree, Kenmore's Bastyr University plans to open a branch campus in the state of California, according to university President Daniel K. Church.

In a press release, Bastyr officials talked about offering California students access to Bastyr’s faculty, curriculum and clinical training.

The school has not released an exact location.

“We are thrilled to expand the university’s presence and provide prospective students greater access to Bastyr’s widely acclaimed naturopathic medicine program,” Church said. “We are grateful to the California Naturopathic Doctors Association (CNDA) who have worked closely with us to determine the best approach to our expansion and we believe that a Bastyr University campus will benefit both the naturopathic medicine community and the health and well-being of the citizens of California.”

Bastyr officials have been monitoring the potential need for a naturopathic medical school in California for many years and recently garnered the support of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association. The school and the CNDA have come to an agreement that Bastyr is the academic institution best positioned to fill a perceived demand for a naturopathic medical school in the region.

Naturopathic doctors are licensed to practice as primary care doctors in the state and Bastyr's presence will also help meet a need for such doctors in California, Church said.

The first official step towards opening a California campus was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the CNDA. According to the agreement, with the support of the CNDA, Bastyr will provide the curriculum, identify and engage appropriately trained faculty, secure accreditation and identify facility options for didactic, laboratory and clinical instruction.

"The California Naturopathic Doctors Association is excited to welcome Bastyr University to California and we look forward to supporting the university in this endeavor," said Simon Barker, president of the CNDA. "There is a big demand for both a naturopathic medical school and practicing naturopathic doctors in the state and Bastyr's presence will go a long way to meeting these very important needs."

According to the CNDA, the state of California has experienced a 250-percent increase in the number of practicing naturopathic doctors over the last four years. Today, there are more than 400 licensed naturopathic doctors in California with approximately 350 actively practicing.

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