NCNM to Create New Women’s Hormone Health Institute

 In Naturopathic News

Women in Balance Association Joins Natural Medicine College

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 18, 2012) —The National College of Natural Medicine today announced that it has signed a transfer of net assets agreement with Women in Balance (WIB) Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating women and health professionals about the health impact of hormone imbalance as women age. The medical college assumes immediate ownership of the Kansas-based organization and its assets. NCNM will rename the organization the Women In Balance Institute, becoming the first natural medicine educational institution in the nation dedicated to education and research on women’s hormone health.

The transfer agreement includes the acquisition of all intellectual property, including research and articles within the WIB archives and databases. It also transfers ownership of mailing lists and website research tools and the largest online directory of health providers specializing in natural hormone balance and integrative therapies.

NCNM President David J. Schleich believes the new women’s health institute is a timely and important addition to NCNM’s growing roster of health-based educational initiatives for the public.

Schleich added that “the Women in Balance Institute fits perfectly into NCNM’s overall mission of providing natural medicine education, clinical training and research for our students.”

“In recent years, research on women’s health has elevated the need for more awareness about natural approaches in women’s hormonal health—something our naturopathic doctors have practiced for decades,” Schleich observed.

NCNM’s respected Helfgott Research Institute will play a prominent role in helping develop evidence-based studies in natural hormone balancing, he said.

Sharon MacFarland Burrus, Women in Balance Association executive director, agreed that NCNM is well suited to continue to sustain and expand the work the organization launched in 2004. “Women in Balance is an internationally respected, noncommercial resource for information that promotes collaboration and awareness concerning health solutions for women’s hormone imbalance,” Burrus said.

“There’s a growing body of scientific evidence indicating that natural forms of progesterone and estrogen may benefit women as they age,” she said. “However, because every woman’s body is different, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to address the problem of women’s hormone health. Much more integrative medicine collaboration and research needs to take place,” Burrus observed. “NCNM’s global recognition as a leader in natural medicine education and in natural medicine research makes it an ideal partner to expand WIB programs.”

“We’re very excited to have NCNM acknowledge the importance of WIB mission to women’s health in this way. As a generation of Baby Boomers enters their senior years, there’s an urgent need to raise public awareness about natural approaches to hormone health. With NCNM’s leadership, far greater numbers of women can be educated about natural alternatives to hormone health,” Burrus said.

Schleich noted that WIB has been an early pioneer in the effort to empower women to take charge of their hormonal health through natural means. “We’re delighted to be entrusted to protect and grow WIB’s well-deserved reputation as the only national nonprofit organization focused on addressing and exploring these issues without bias,” he said.

Plans for the new WIB Institute include national conferences on women’s health and lifestyle; research studies; publications, newsletters and online educational courses and other materials, Schleich said. A search is under way for a lead naturopathic physician with a background in public heath and research to oversee the new nonprofit organization.


Founded in Portland in 1956, NCNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and an educational leader in classical Chinese medicine and CAM research. NCNM offers four-year graduate medical degree programs in naturopathic medicine and classical Chinese medicine, and a Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research degree. Its community clinics offer low-cost or free medical care throughout the Portland metropolitan area, and, in addition to the campus-based NCNM Clinic, NCNM practitioners attend to approximately 33,000 patient visits per year. NCNM’s Helfgott Research Institute conducts rigorous evidence-based research to advance the science of natural medicine and improve clinical practice. Until July 2006, NCNM was known as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. Additional information is available at


Women in Balance is a national, non-profit association of women, doctors, health care professionals and organizations dedicated to helping women achieve hormone balance. Founded in 2004, its goal is to educate women and the health care community about hormone imbalance, and its impact on a woman’s health and well-being as she ages. Women in Balance is the only non-profit focused on addressing these issues for women, without bias or affiliation.

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