Bastyr University Joins Board of Directors of Dietary Supplement Education Alliance

America’s Leading Academic Institution for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine Supporting Industry’s Effort to Provide Public Education Campaign for Supplements

Bastyr University, one of the world’s leading educational centers for advancing knowledge in the natural health sciences, has joined the board of directors of The Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA).

According to Elliott Balbert, CEO of Natrol Inc. and chairman of the DSEA board of directors, who made the announcement this week, Bastyr University will be represented on the board by its president, Dr. Thomas Shepherd.

“We’re very proud to be aligned in this effort with Bastyr University,” said Balbert. “With its world-class faculty, unparalleled CAM curriculum and highly respected research programs, Bastyr is at the very cutting edge of American healthcare, for now and for future generations.”

Bastyr University is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the study of natural healing and is the leading university for natural health sciences in the United States. Bastyr encompasses a multi-disciplinary and rigorous curriculum, a world-renowned research institute and the largest natural health clinic in the state of Washington.

“We also believe having Tom Shepherd representing Bastyr on our board will be a great asset,” said Balbert. “He has a remarkable career record of bringing organizations to record levels of performance and success, as well as a deep personal commitment to complementary medicine.”

Dr. Thomas Shepherd, DHA, FACHE, was named president of Bastyr University in July, 2000, after 28 years of experience in health care administration and management, having served in a consulting or administrative capacity for more than 50 hospitals nationwide.

“We are pleased to support the DSEA and their critical mission of providing accurate and objective scientific information about nutritional supplements to consumers,” said Dr. Shepherd. “Twenty-five years ago, complementary and alternative medicine was a new idea for conventional practitioners. Today, mainstream medicine is acknowledging the need for the new paradigm Bastyr University was founded to address. Consumer education is a vital part of our mutual mission.”

The DSEA’s mission is to educate consumers, media and policymakers on the benefits of dietary supplements for optimizing health and prevention of disease, with a focus on their safety, efficacy and regulation. The not-for-profit industry coalition’s membership includes nutritional and dietary supplement suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and publishers.

DSEA creates public awareness of the benefits of nutritional supplements through its education arm, the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau (DSIB). The organization’s publicity efforts reach millions of consumers through positive coverage on TV news programs and in newspaper and magazine articles. The DSEA has also created a Web site,, which provides scientifically accurate, up-to-date information about nutritional supplements to consumers and the press.

“Since the DSEA was established, companies representing the most significant aspects of our industry have contributed a total of more than one million dollars to fund our consumer education campaign, an effort we all believe is critical to our industry’s future,” said Mr. Balbert. “The involvement of the nation’s foremost educational institution specializing in natural health and alternative medicine is a true milestone.”

DSEA board members include Elliott Balbert, president and CEO, Natrol, Inc.; Jon Benninger, group publisher, Virgo Publishing; Randy Dennin, vice president, global business development, Capsugel; Michael McGuffin, president, American Herbal Products Association; Fredrik M. Linder, president, New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Media Inc.; David Seckman, executive director and CEO, National Nutritional Foods Association; and Donna Herringer, president, Canadian Health Food Association.

For information about joining the DSEA, contact Deb Knowles at (941) 349-9044 or e-mail her at [email protected].


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