Winter 2013 Newsletter
In This Issue
Announcements
Dr. Tippens
Congratulations, Kim Tippens! ND, MSAOM, and now MPH!
We are thrilled to announce that Helfgott Assistant Professor Dr. Kim Tippens successfully defended her Master of Public Health thesis "Developing a Measure of CAM Orientation among Allopathic Primary Care Providers" on November 7 and received her MPH degree in December 2012.

In Development: New Master of Science in Nutrition Program

Currently in development is our new Master of Science in Nutrition program. The year-long program will train students as nutrition counselors to be knowledgeable in the art and science of cooking with whole foods. Students wishing to pursue licensure as registered dieticians will complete an additional year of interning and professional training.

Welcome to our first cohort of stand-alone degree MSiMR students! 

Watch upcoming Helfgott Newsletters for profiles of our students in the Master of Science in Integrative Medicine Research (MSiMR) program.

New Additions!
With our relocation from the main NCNM campus to the SW First Avenue building comes two new additions to our staff. A warm Helfgott welcome to Lena Schell and Krista Bargsten, our new Research Administrative Assistants.

Lena Schell and Krista Bargsten
Lena Schell (on left) and Krista Bargsten in Charlee's Kitchen.
Conference Updates

Helfgott Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Kurt Beil, ND, MSOM, MPH

This was a busy travel season for me. Since August, I have presented research related to my area of study, Environmental Psychobiology*, at three events: the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians annual convention in Bellevue, WA; an MD/ND conference in Santa Clara, CA focusing on how to increase access to Integrative Medicine for Underserved Populations; and a Nature Cure-themed conference in beautiful La Jolla, CA sponsored by the California Naturopathic Doctors Association. Each of these audiences were different, but all were very interested to hear how environments are affecting their patients' healing process and how even brief exposures to therapeutic settings can improve their health and well-being. Combined with a trip to New York City to learn the latest in stress research at the annual conference of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology, and a quick recruiting trip to Naropa University in Boulder, CO, and this has been a very busy and fulfilling fall season indeed.

 

* Environmental psychobiology is the study of how stimuli from a person's surroundings influence the thoughts, emotions and perceptions that affect their physiological stress response. 

 

About Dr. Beil >>> 

Farewells

For the Helfgott Research Institute, 2012 brings new beginnings as well as some conclusions.

 

Our beloved right-hand-man and jack-of-all-trades for the last eight years, Kevin Marsman, has left for a grants management position at Portland State University. Congratulations, thank you, and we wish you well, Kevin!    

Mayen Dada has also moved on from Helfgott. While at Helfgott, Mayen was invaluable as our research project coordinator. Thank you and best of luck with the MCATs, Mayen! We will miss your quietly capable presence.

Welcome to our latest edition of the Helfgott Research Institute newsletter! We're pleased to share our successes, keep you updated on our progress and let you know of special upcoming events. We're grateful for your interest and your support. For more information or to learn more about Helfgott, we encourage you to check out our website at www.helfgott.org.
Faculty Spotlight
Dr. Barrett
Distinguished Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Richard Barrett  

"I like to view the evidence through the lens of naturopathic philosophy."

 

Richard Barrett, ND, is a faculty investigator and newly appointed scientific integrity officer at the Helfgott Research Institute. He has been an academic and clinical faculty member at NCNM for over 25 years. Dr. Barrett also serves as a co-investigator and Evaluation Committee member for the Oregon CAM Course at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), funded by an R25 grant from NIH/NCCAM. Dr. Barrett has authored numerous publications and has presented papers at the annual conference for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) on outcomes research on streptococcal pharyngitis and the diuretic effects of Taraxacum leaf. His extensive understanding of whole-body medicine has led to his appreciation for difficult clinical cases. Dr. Barrett's natural medicine research interests include clinical trials assessing naturopathic treatment protocols for ears, eyes, nose and throat (EENT) conditions; botanical medicinal applications; and naturopathic diagnostic techniques.

 

Dr. Barrett's current research includes a retrospective clinical case series involving naturopathic treatment protocol of acute otitis media with the primary outcome being pain at 48 hours and 7 days. Secondary outcomes included treatment failure, complications, and adverse events. This case series was presented at the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health held in Portland in May 2012. 

 

In 1986, Dr. Barrett obtained his ND from NCNM; in 2003 he earned a Certificate in Human Investigations from the OHSU School of Medicine, and now is a guest lecturer in the program. He was also selected to attend a Harvard Macy Institute program for educators during a recent sabbatical, where he learned valuable skills leading to the development of a simulation lab elective set to be implemented in spring 2013. As professor, mentor, and clinical faculty member, Dr. Barrett has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching. Students consistently praise his ability to integrate evidence-based medicine both in the classroom setting as well as on clinical shifts. He makes a strong point to teach the importance of using well-designed research to assist in clinical decision making. These skills are imperative for developing a new language and philosophy around the use of research in primary care.
Dr. Erlandsen

New Instructor Spotlight: Dr. Andrew Erlandsen

In a recent interview, Dr. Erlandsen describes his new classes and involvement with the ECO Project:

 

The new class I developed, RES625 Nutrition Research and Skills, will train students in the basics of nutrition research. In the course, students will learn how to design a nutrition research project, gain the ability to identify and evaluate nutrition research, develop cooking skills, and understand the ethics and politics surrounding nutrition issues. We talk about nutrition research, how it's conducted, review the literature and examine some of the more influential nutrition research papers such as the NHANES, Framingham Heart Study, the Nurse's Study, etc. We also talk about ethics - GMO foods in particular. Students all present two nutrition research articles which they find of interest. There is also a cooking component where students lead a cooking class and we all prepare a meal together and eat the yummy goodness! I also developed a second course which will be taught in spring 2013: Therapeutic Diets: Research and Cooking. This course will train students to understand the fundamental nutrition guidelines and research behind medically recommended diets. Another one of my involvements is as one of three physicians who lead community-based nutrition education and hands-on cooking classes as part of the Ending Childhood Obesity, or "ECO," Project. The ECO Project is a 12-week series of workshops that are free to the general public. During each workshop, we have a short discussion about various nutrition topics and then we cook whole-foods based meals. 

 

Dr. Andrew Erlandsen earned his ND from NCNM. As a primary care physician, Dr. Erlandsen sees patients of all ages for both acute and chronic concerns. Dr. Erlandsen believes in the true healing power of the body and optimizes patient care through his comprehensive knowledge and training. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Erlandsen is adjunct faculty at NCNM where he teaches in the MSiMR program. Currently, he is teaching courses in Clinical Research Design, Nutrition Research and Skills, and Introduction to Nutrition. His passion for medical research and nutrition has landed him in an ideal position, one where he can teach others the importance of quality medical research while being hands-on in the kitchen showing the value of whole food nutrition and cooking. Dr. Erlandsen earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Maine, Orono. His enjoyment of the culinary arts and nutrition led him to pursue a career in preventive medicine. He is a firm believer in Hippocrates' injunction, "Let food be thy medicine."

 

Student Researcher Spotlight:
Corina Dunlap
Corina Dunlap, a Third year ND/MSiMR Student, Discusses her Current Research

 

My first research project at NCNM was a case study about the combined use of a pharmacologic and biotherapeutic drainage treatment for a woman with interstitial cystitis. With the help of Dr. Enos, Dr. Thom, and Dr. Zwickey, the manuscript titled "An Integrative Approach to Interstitial Cystitis" will be published in the January 2013 edition of Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. This case is unique in that, despite practitioner observed clinical outcomes using biotherapeutic drainage, there has been little formal research done on the efficacy of this approach. Biotherapeutic drainage has become increasingly popular among the naturopathic community. It is based on natural laws and the theory that an excessive toxic load, in conjunction with predisposition, is one of the main causes of most chronic diseases. The goal of biotherapeutic drainage is to facilitate the body's natural channels of elimination in order to relieve this accumulated toxicity and treat the cause of an imbalance. In this case, the patient was initially prescribed a standard of care pharmaceutical. The addition of the biotherapeutic drainage treatment significantly accelerated healing. The aforementioned research team and I are currently engaged in surveying biotherapeutic drainage practitioners to determine how treatment effectiveness is measured and conditions most commonly treated. By gathering information on the use of drainage in practice, this study will lay the necessary foundations for future research into the clinical efficacy of biotherapeutic drainage and the unique roll drainage may play in the future of healthcare.

My other research project is the assessment of the questionnaire tools used in the process of Ayurveda diagnosis. Aside from the traditional face-to-face observation, pulse diagnosis, and history taking, Ayurveda physicians oftentimes use a questionnaire as part of the initial intake. For this study I will compare three of these questionnaires in order to determine if there is inter-reliability between them, if they give the same results as an in-person assessment of the patient, and if the results remain the same over a period of time despite a patient's level of stress. Constitutional diagnosis is the foundation of Ayurveda and a major part of what distinguishes it from other medical models. My hope is to use this as a preliminary step in my education and future research. By taking on the MSiMR program, I have been empowered to draw on the healing wisdom of this cultural tradition, while learning the research tools of today. 

More about Student Research at Helfgott >>> 
Happy Holidays from Helfgott!
Links
Student Reflections: Unite for Sight's GHIC

Second Year ND/MSiMR Student (Madeleine) Abena Tuson-Turner

Attending the Unite for Sight Global Health & Innovation Conference (GHIC) at Yale University in April of 2012 was an amazing experience for a medical research student! Sitting among like-minded audience members, I listened to experts in their respective fields speak to the central theme, "How does one effectively design complex systems in an international setting?" This is an issue especially pertinent to my own thesis research in utilization of obstetric practices in West Africa.  

 

Social innovation sessions led by CEOs and leaders of various innovative organizations from around the world were particularly focused on aspects of sustainability and cultural applicability. Innovative social enterprise pitch sessions also presented cutting-edge sustainably focused ideas in global health advancement. All the sessions I attended reminded and inspired me to be conscious of these applicatory challenges and of the increasingly crucial role of research in strengthening the bridge between traditional ethnomedicine and modern/allopathic medicine. This conference proved to be one of the most inspiring learning experiences I've had to date.

Second Year ND/MSiMR Student Laura Galati 

Unite for Sight's Global Health & Innovation Conference was an eye-opening experience for me. I have worked and lived abroad and have seen health care at work in a developing country, but I have never been witness to the research behind the practice. It was fascinating, frustrating, and awe-inspiring all in one.  

 

I left the conference deep in thought, trying to figure out the best way developed countries can assist the developing world in the realm of public health. The main take home message is the importance of ensuring that the local community is involved in any research performed in the international setting and that the research needs to benefit the community in a way that they know and understand. Though my research at Helfgott is not in the international setting, I have taken this idea to heart and am pursuing community-based participatory research for my degree. In the future, I hope to apply these skills abroad.  

Ongoing Student Projects:
Stacie Wolfe

An Update from Third Year ND/MSiMR Student, Stacie Wolfe, on Her Natural Spermicide Research  

Phase I efficacy trials of this natural spermicidal agent are now complete. The findings have shown great promise for this project, with 100% spermatolysis being achieved on application with a 1:8 ratio of citric acid to aloe vera. Various time and temperature parameters were tested to establish storage guidelines for this spermicide. Efficacy was maintained in spermicides kept at  2.0-4.0C,  20-25C and  35-38C. While mold continued to grow in batches kept longer than 2 weeks, batches tested at baseline, 4 hours, 24 hours and two weeks showed no variation in spermatolysis or mold growth. The mechanism of action for this natural spermicide is found in the maintaining of pH at approximately 3.7. At this time the study team is developing a protocol for the testing of intravaginal tissue safety that will measure the expression of cytokines as markers of inflammation following exposure to the natural spermicidal agent.
ECO Project Recipe

Are you curious to know what the ECO Project is cooking up in Charlee's Kitchen? Here's a great recipe from Dr. Erlandsen, ECO Project instructor.

 

Baked Kale Chips

2 bunches of kale, Lacinato preferable

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tbs. olive oil or grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Wash bunches of kale, pat dry, and peel leaves away from thick stems. Spread kale as well as 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic out over baking sheet and drizzle with approximately 2 tablespoons of oil per baking sheet. Massage oil into kale for even distribution. Add salt for flavor (and you may add cayenne pepper for some added zest). Bake at 375 F for 10-12 minutes or until kale is slightly crispy around the edges.

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