Bastyr University is a hotbed for national award winners

Leanna Standish relaxes in her office at Kenmore’s Bastyr University, which has three Natural Products Association award winners affiliated with the school.  - Andy Nystrom/ Reporter
Leanna Standish relaxes in her office at Kenmore’s Bastyr University, which has three Natural Products Association award winners affiliated with the school.
— image credit: Andy Nystrom/ Reporter

Leanna Standish gives a slight smile when discussing her recent Natural Products Association Clinician Award.

It’s fine, she notes, but the Bastyr University clinical researcher has her sights on the big picture: “I don’t feel as though we’re even close to having our work done. There’s so much we don’t know, there is so much work to do.”

Standish, who’s also medical director for the Kenmore institution’s Integrative Oncology Research Clinic, was joined by Bastyr founding President Emeritus Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr. and Bastyr alumnus Michael T. Murray in garnering awards “to licensed health-care practitioners whose work exemplifies the best standards and dedication to responsible holistic, non-invasive and integrative, complementary and alternative medicine modalities,” according to the Natural Products Association.pizzorno

Both Standish and Pizzorno (top right) won Clinician Awards and Murray (bottom right) won a President’s Award. Awardees will be honored during Natural Products Association MarketPlace 2012 on June 14-16 in Las Vegas, Nev.

“It’s really quite remarkable that the three clinicians honored are all associated with Bastyr University. It’s quite a compliment,” Pizzorno said. “It’s all about helping people become healthy. My whole career has been to promote credible science-based natural medicine.”

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center Web site, naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is a system of medicine based on the healing power of nature.

Naturopathy is a holistic system, meaning that naturopathic doctors strive to find the cause of disease by understanding the body, mind and spirit of the person. Most naturopathic doctors use a variety of therapies and techniques (such as nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy and acupuncture).

“I think Joe Pizzorno and Michael Murray would agree with me that the reason we’re in medicine is because we cannot accept that people have to die miserable deaths of cancer and arthritis and diabetes and heart disease and all the things that just bring us down,” Standish said. “We believe that we can be healthy and live a very long productive life and do meaningful things and change the planet, but you need a good body for that.”Murray

Standish, who has worked at Bastyr for more than 20 years, is also a research professor for the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr and serves at the University of Washington as a clinical professor for its School of Public Health and an affiliate research professor in its radiology department.

Pizzorno, who is president of SaluGenecists Inc. and editor of “Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal,” said that he’s proud of helping Bastyr become the first accredited, multidisciplinary university of natural medicine. Also ranking high on his list of accomplishments is when he was appointed by President Clinton in December 2000 to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. He has been licensed as a naturopathic physician in Washington state since 1975.

Murray currently serves as director of product development and education for Natural Factors and is president and chief executive of Dr. Murray Natural Living Inc.

“One of the great myths about natural medicines is that they are not scientific. The fact of the matter is that for most common illnesses there is greater support in the medical literature for a natural approach than there is for drugs or surgery,” Murray said on his Web site.

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