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Living Legends Award 2011
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NCNM and OANP Honor Dr. Rick Marinelli with 2011 Living Legends Award

Rick Marinelli, ND, MAcOM, was honored with a Living Legends Award from the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) and the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Medicine (OANP) at a banquet held in Portland on Dec. 3. Dr. Marinelli is a clinical authority on pain management and natural medicine. In 2005, he was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to the Oregon Pain Commission, where he continues to serve. 

In 2010, Marinelli was nominated by the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care to serve on the National Academy of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education, to which he was appointed—the first naturopathic physician or licensed acupuncturist ever appointed to that committee.

NCNM and the OANP selected Marinelli to be honored with this prestigious Living Legends Award for his demonstrated leadership, commitment to excellence and selfless contributions in the advancement of natural medicine. 

NCNM’s president, David J. Schleich, PhD, expressed his gratitude to Marinelli for decades of service to the profession of naturopathic medicine. "All of us are indebted to the doctors who built the tradition of natural medicine in the Northwest with quiet determination, continuously helping patients improve and maintain good health. Their dedication to patients and to the practice of natural medicine is the bedrock of the profession and serves as a shining example for the thousands of NCNM graduates who have followed in their footsteps.”

Marinelli is well-known as a leader in the profession. He has served as board president of  the American Academy of Pain Management, chair of the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine, president of the Naturopathic Physicians Acupuncture Academy, vice president of the Naturopathic Academy of Therapeutic Injection, and co-chair of the Portland Continuing Education Committee of the Pain Society of Oregon.

Marinelli, who received his naturopathic doctorate from NCNM in 1982, and a master’s in acupuncture and oriental medicine from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) in 1992, has served on the faculties of both his alma maters, as well as the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona. Marinelli also serves on the NCNM Board of Regents.

The Living Legends Award dinner also celebrated the accomplishments of three other NCNM alumni, Dr. Ed Alstat, Dr. Joseph Coletto, and Dr. Jared Zeff, who were inducted into the NCNM Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established to honor members of the natural medicine community who play a vital role in the advancement of natural medicine’s reputation, prestige and pursuit of excellence. 

Alstat helped establish the first NCNM clinical Medicinary, which now serves naturopathic physicians throughout the country. He was instrumental in helping NCNM become financially secure during an especially difficult economic period for the college. 

After receiving his naturopathic degree from NCNM in 1983, Coletto received a certificate in acupuncture from OCOM in 1989. In addition to his private practice, Coletto has shared his knowledge of medicine as a teacher first at NCNM and at OCOM, where he has been teaching for nearly 25 years and has served as chair of the biomedicine department, faculty development and faculty senate.

Zeff has been in private practice in Oregon and Washington, with a focus on obstetrics and family medicine, and more recently on chronic disease. In 1989, he was named by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians as "Naturopathic Physician of the Year” for his contributions to the development of naturopathic clinical theory. In 2002, he was given the first Lifetime Achievement Award of the Northwest Naturopathic Physicians Association for his contributions to naturopathic medical education. Zeff teaches at Bastyr University in Seattle.

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