A passion for naturopathic healthcare and the desire to help underserved communities led Dr. Sean Hesler (SCNM, 2010) to a position that merges both interests into one job title.
Dr. Hesler's interest in naturopathic medicine first began after chiropractic treatments helped him recover from a sports injury in high school. He attended the University of Hawaii with the intent of becoming a chiropractor, when SCNM alum Dr. Ryan Ferchoff exposed him to the powerful impact of naturopathic medicine and its various modalities.
However, Dr. Hesler still planned to take the chiropractic route. That is, until he read "Mountains Beyond Mountains," a biographical story about a man who wanted to cure the world. The book sparked an interest in holistic health on a global scale, which led Dr. Hesler to pursue his ND training at SCNM so he could also take an active role in Naturopaths Without Borders (NWB).
By the end of his first quarter, Dr. Hesler became president of NWB's student group, and he has remained in leadership roles ever since; in fact, he now serves as executive director of NWB, which Dr. Hesler helped expand into the global organization it is today.
Since graduating from SCNM, Dr. Hesler has spent several years helping underserved populations in Phoenix, Haiti and Mexico. He also teaches medical students at NWB's sites and creates all of the organization's pictures and movies. Dr. Hesler co-founded the MamaBaby Haiti birth center in Cap Haitien as medical director and staff physician, and he also won SCNM's alumni award for community service.
In his position at SCNM, Dr. Hesler plans to help continue the development of community clinics in the area and grow the community medicine presence both locally and nationwide.
"A focus on building health for the underserved through community medicine is not only our moral imperative, but it's also extremely rewarding," he said. "It's also a way to really get naturopathic medicine on the map."
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