First Advisor

Leslie McBride

Term of Graduation

Winter 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


OHSU-PSU School of Public Health




King County Natural Medicine Clinic, King County Natural Medicine Clinic Medical care -- Washington (State) -- King County



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 174 pages)


The Natural Medicine Clinic (NMC) is the first publicly funded, government sponsored clinic of its kind in the United States to integrate natural medicine and conventional medicine at the public health level. The purpose of this thesis was to provide a holistic, contextually-based, in-depth, and meaningful description of the emergence and development of the NMC.

For the purposes of illuminating and understanding the formation of the NMC, a descriptive case study was chosen. The case study approach is considered an excellent strategy for describing in-depth a unique, real-life phenomenon such as the NMC, and when posing how or why research questions. Inquiring was guided by two questions: 1) Why is the NMC emerging at this particular place and point in time?; and 2) In the development of the NMC, how will full practitioner collaboration and service integration be made possible?

Data collection consisted of document review, observation, and taped interviews with key individuals. Analysis methods employed included open coding and subsequent categorization resulting in themes grounded in the experiences of participants key to the emergence and development of the NMC.

The case study report includes a national and local analysis of factors enabling the emergence of the NMC, including consumer demand, uniqueness of the Northwest, roles of key individuals, and the persuasive power of personal experience. Factors enabling successful collaboration and integration are explored, as well as an analysis of challenges to integration and subsequent strategies employed. Results also include a description of the conceptualization of the NMC and its development process.

The NMC is considered a new model in health care that will potentially have a revolutionary impact on the health care system. Providing a richly detailed and descriptive account of the formation and development of the NMC may generate understanding and interest in future collaborations between natural and conventional medicine, serving as a useful guide for other health care professionals who are either working with clients interested in utilizing an integrated approach, or who are seeking to bring together the worlds of natural and conventional medicine to provide integrative care.


In Copyright. URI:

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Public Health Commons