Who We Are

A Center of Excellence (COE) with a team of experts that provide leadership, best practices, research and training, and support a specific focus area—in this case naturopathic cardio­vascular medicine.

Our Founding

The Center of Excellence in Naturopathic Cardiovascular Medicine was developed through more than 25 years of collaboration between National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) and Martin Milner, ND.

NUNM, founded in 1956, is the oldest accredited naturopathic medicine college in North America, and offers programs in naturopathic medicine, classical Chinese medicine, integrative medicine research and nutrition. Dr. Milner has been professor of cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine at NCNM since 1987.

In 1991, Dr. Milner founded Center for Natural Medicine, Inc. (CNM), in Portland, Oregon. On April 22, 2013, Oregon Health Authority credentialed the Center for Natural Medicine as a Tier 2 Patient-Centered Primary Care Home (PCPCH). CNM is the first naturopathic clinic in America to be recognized with this credential, which formally recognizes its member clinics for their commitment to quality, coordinated care. In April 2014 our credentialing was increased to Tier 3 status.

Oregon Health Policy and Research: Patient-Centered Primary Care Home Program [Internet]. Salem (OR): Oregon Health Authority; cited 2013 May 6. Available from State of Oregon.

The Community Teaching Clinic’s COE at CNM was launched in 1999 to mentor naturopathic students in the clinical aspects of naturopathic cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine. The current program team’s expertise spans all areas of naturopathic cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine, research and training.

Our Mission

Provide the highest quality patient care and clinical education with a focus on naturopathic cardiovascular and pulmonary medicine.

Our Purpose

Promote excellence in integrative cardiovascular medicine training, standards, collaborations and patient outcomes.

Our Vision

  • Create expanded clinical and research training opportunities
  • Increase expertise and shared learning in our clinical community
  • Lead our field in outcomes, standards and accountability
  • Professionalize the field of naturopathic cardiovascular medicine

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Cultivate and Uphold Standards of Excellence

The Community Teaching Clinic’s Center of Excellence adheres to national standards of care on conditions of the heart, lungs and blood, augmenting those rigorous standards with evidence-informed complementary and alternative medicine. It is our intention to also serve as leaders within the field, helping create national organizations that promote and facilitate these same standards of quality in naturopathic cardiovascular medicine.

Expand training opportunities for naturopathic interns and residents

For more than 10 years, the program trained 12 interns and one resident each year. In 2011, the program expanded to accommodate 24 interns. The following year, a second expansion permitted up to 48 mentored interns, 12 rotating residents and one permanent resident each academic year. In 2013, we offered a two-year Fellowship in Integrative Cardiovascular Medicine, the first of its kind available to naturopathic physicians, further expanding our training opportunities.

Nurture collaborations between conventional and naturopathic cardiovascular care

We have established collaborations with specialists in adult and pediatric cardiology, pulmonology and vascular medicine from Seattle to the San Diego area. We have taught together in the classroom, learned from each other as clinical mentors, collaborated on patient care, and developed long-lasting professional ties and friendships—all to the ultimate benefit of our patients and our students.

Perform and set priorities for naturopathic cardiovascular research

Research is foundational to naturopathic medicine. As a leader in the field of naturopathic cardiovascular medicine, we are helping set research priorities in our field with quality assurance and outcomes high on that list. NCNM’s Helfgott Research Institute is our research base. Qualitative and quantitative research, clinical trials and practice-based research are all performed at the Center of Excellence. Our faculty release several publications annually and are featured speakers at conferences and in the media.

Create and educate leaders in the fields of naturopathic and integrated cardiovascular medicine

Our alumni are professors of cardiology, featured experts, published authors, successful researchers, outstanding clinicians, policy makers and professional board members, and have created new and enhanced training opportunities for naturopathic physicians.

Our resources, expertise and collaborations have created the premiere training facility for naturopathic cardiovascular medicine in the world. As we expand that training, we will continue to produce leaders in the fields of naturopathic and integrative cardiovascular medicine.

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