Frank G. Spaulding,
ND, a founder of National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM), died
on January 8, 2009, in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was 86.
In 1956, Dr. Spaulding and two associates signed the charter to
establish NCNM, the oldest accredited school of natural medicine
in North America. The medical school has since graduated approximately
50% of the practicing naturopathic physicians in the US, who have
gone on to establish a growing roster of accredited schools of natural
medicine in the US and Canada, helping to revive a resurgence of
interest in the benefits of natural health care and other holistic
significance of Dr. Spaulding's contribution to the practice of
naturopathic medicine throughout North America cannot be stated
strongly enough," said NCNM president Dr. David J. Schleich.
"By the middle of the 1950s, the naturopathic profession was
in serious decline. For all practical purposes, the profession had
practically been extinguished by the dramatic ascendancy of the
allopathic medical profession. Facing formidable challenges, Dr.
Spaulding and his associates created a medical college that has
stood the test of time and set the stage for the renaissance in
natural medicine, which soon followed."
When Dr. Spaulding signed the charter, the number of practicing
naturopathic physicians had been dropping as naturopathic schools
closed; retiring physicians greatly outnumbered new graduates. When
NCNM awarded Dr. Spaulding an honorary degree in 2005, he recalled
his motivation to establish the school: "The main thing that
kept us going was the thought that the naturopathic profession would
die if we didn't have a college to keep it alive." He personally
solicited donations from naturopathic doctors throughout the country
to support the founding of the "profession's college,"
a naturopathic medical school that advanced the interests of the
medicine for all its practitioners.
Dr. Schleich said, "Generations of naturopathic physicians
and natural medicine practitioners and all of us who enjoy the enormous
benefits of natural medicine owe a debt of gratitude to these bold
Frank G. Spaulding was born March 29, 1922, in York, North Dakota.
He served in WWII until 1945, when he was sent home as the last
surviving son after the death of his brothers. In 1946 he married
Florence Jones; they raised four children, Francis, Glenn, Linda,
Dr. Spaulding was introduced to natural medicine when an herbalist
helped him recover from asthma. He attended Western States College
in Portland, Oregon, where he earned two degrees, doctor of naturopathic
medicine and doctor of chiropractic. He subsequently joined the
faculty of Western States, and opened his private medical practice
in Portland. When Western States decided to eliminate what was by
then the last existing naturopathic program left in the US, Dr.
Spaulding, along with Dr. Martin Bleything and Dr. Charles Stone,
founded NCNM, where he served as the school's first board chair.
After launching NCNM, Dr. Spaulding moved his family in 1958 to
Fairbanks. In 1971, he married Estella Villalobos; they had a son,
An entrepreneur, Dr. Spaulding established the Golden Heart Creamery,
which reestablished local milk processing in Fairbanks, and Spaulding's
Outpost, a prominent western wear retail store. He continued practicing
medicine at the Spaulding Chiropractic/Naturopathic Clinic until
his retirement in 2006.
Dr. Spaulding was predeceased by his wife Estella and son, Francis,
and is survived by four children, his first wife, his brothers and
sisters, and many grandchildren and great-grand children.
A nonprofit college of natural medicine, NCNM offers four-year degree
programs in naturopathic medicine and classical Chinese medicine.
Its teaching clinics offer free and low-cost medical care throughout
the Portland metropolitan area, with approximately 40,000 patient
visits per year. NCNM's Helfgott Research Institute is a nonprofit
facility that conducts rigorous independent research to advance
the science of natural medicine in order to improve clinical practice.