National College of Natural Medicine Announces Age Wise Institute

NCNM to Focus on Health and Well-Being of a Growing Aging Population

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 4, 2016)—National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) today announced the formation of a new institute aimed at improving the lives of senior citizens through promoting healthy, active living. The new Age Wise Institute is the fourth community education institute at the college, joining NCNM’s Food as Medicine, Traditional Roots, and Women in Balance Institutes, and also NCNM’s renowned Helfgott Research Institute, dedicated to natural medicine scientific research and education.

image010With the number of Americans 65 and older projected to nearly double by mid-century, more emphasis on the specialized needs of older people is a must, noted NCNM President David Schleich.

“In America, aging is often viewed as a disease, when in fact this natural process can be supported through proper nutrition, age-focused healthcare and supportive programs that promote staying active and connected to the community,” he said.

Age Wise kicked off that effort January 23-24 with its first annual symposium for physicians and the general public. The focus: early detection, prevention, treatment and reversal of age-related dysfunction, disorders and diseases. The program also highlighted innovative science and research demonstrating how to prolong a healthy lifespan and enjoy a better quality of life.

NCNM plans to develop new curricula for NCNM’s medical students around the issues of aging. In addition to image011symposia, the new institute will sponsor hands-on classes, community lecture series and public events. Plans are also underway to develop evidence-based research studies on prevention and treatment of age-related conditions through NCNM’s Helfgott Research Institute.

Joining NCNM to lead the new Age Wise Institute is Lead Gerontologist Amy Henderson. Henderson holds a master’s degree from Marylhurst University in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration on gerontology. She is also founder and executive director of the Geezer Gallery, a non-profit dedicated to the empowerment and well-being of elders through art.

“Aging continues to be a harsh reality for many elderly Americans. Our elderly population faces desperate health conditions,” said Henderson. “Social isolation and low economic status create major health risks, often leading to Alzheimer’s, strokes and progressive chronic disease.”

Henderson adds, “In a country as wealthy as the United States, the healthcare and living conditions available for most of our seniors is shameful. Seniors are held in high regard in many less advanced cultures. NCNM wants to begin helping change the paradigm, to help create a culture in which aging is a story of life, health, and dignity.”

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Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and an educational leader in naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine, and integrative medicine research. NCNM offers seven postgraduate and graduate degrees, and is launching two undergraduate degree programs in fall 2016. NCNM’s prestigious Helfgott Research Institute offers students the opportunity to help design and develop evidence-based research with expert investigators. The medical school’s teaching clinics, including NCNM Clinic, NCNM Beaverton Clinic, SIBO Center for Digestive Health, and NCNM’s many community clinics assist many thousands of patients each year by providing low-cost medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area. NCNM also offers community education through the NCNM Institutes. Visit for more information.

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