Latest Announcement

From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Medical Students, Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition Students, Staff and Faculty,

Two diseases, one acute the other chronic, make this Summer Quarter like no other. A global pandemic and a gut-check on the history, legacy and devastation of racism in America challenge us to do better – as individuals, a school of medicine & health sciences, and as a nation.

Though beset with concern, anger and grief, we have a mission to fulfill – to train the next generation of healers and leaders, to help patients and discover cures.


First do no harm + Achieve Excellence

School of Naturopathic Medicine
The Summer Quarter that begins next Monday will begin with:

1. Didactic classes taught online
2. In-person labs delayed until it is determined safe to return to campus 
3. Patient care and clinic rotations predominantly via telemedicine
4. Student in-person patient care is optional, and with limited capacity

Please log in to MySCNM’s COVID-19 FAQ page to review three key documents – Summer 2020 Campus Plan, COVID Exposure Procedure, and Summer 2020 Clinical Expectations Rapid Reference Sheet. Dr. Jessica Mitchell led a team of staff and faculty who compiled these guidelines and best practices from the State and County Departments of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and personal communication with Public Health officials. These documents will doubtlessly evolve and improve as we continue to learn more about preventing and treating COVID-19.

School of Nutrition
If you have a need to be on campus, please log in to MySCNM’s COVID-19 FAQ page to review key documents – Summer 2020 Campus Plan and COVID Exposure Procedure. A team of staff and faculty compiled these guidelines and best practices from the State and County Departments of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and personal communication with Public Health officials. These documents will doubtlessly evolve and improve as we continue to learn more about preventing and treating COVID-19.


Treat the whole person + Do the right thing

At the June 22nd Board of Trustees (Zoom) meeting, the conversations and experiences shared by 36 attendees (half were guests) united and cemented our determination and commitment to move beyond the sentiment of diversity, equity and inclusion and into the space of action, education and lasting change. This was the most memorable Board of Trustees meetings in my 23-year tenure at SCNM. 

Board of Trustee Emeritus, Dr. Rufus Glasper and Trustee Dr. Duane Roen led a discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion after all Board Members and attendees watched a compelling keynote to the natural products industry by Ijeoma Oluo, author of the best-selling book So You Want to Talk About Race.

Inspiring outcomes of the meeting included a permanent Board Agenda item on Diversity, Board support for increasing diversity in the composition of SCNM’s Board, staff and faculty. The Board helped initiate a campus-wide collaboration with ASU's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and the CSRD Director, Dr. Lois Brown.

Treat the whole person + We are resilient

I can’t predict the exact path moving forward, but I’m positive it won’t be a straight line. The ongoing and daily twists and turns make evidence-based decision-making and open communication more important than ever. I invite your insights and input in navigating this historic period safely, effectively and with love and compassion. During the next two months we will hold regular Town Halls open to the SCNM Community – students, staff and faculty. We will share the latest updates, seek your feedback and suggestions, and answer questions. Together we will not just fulfill SCNM’s mission, we will strive to achieve the highest ideals of health with its many expressions and determinants.

Yours in health,
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD


The information from the CDC and AZDHS regarding COVID-19 is always being updated.  The needs of the campus population may also change. Therefore, all decisions made are subject to change.
This FAQs section was last updated July 27, 2020.




Q: Are there any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SCNM? 
A: Yes. There have been confirmed cases within our community.   SCNM has identified, notified, and tested those individuals who frequently encountered the infected individuals in the preceding three days prior to the onset of symptoms. Additionally, Maricopa County Health Department will conduct appropriate Contact Tracing. 

Q: What steps have been taken to monitor the health of those still on campus?
A: We have instituted a daily wellness screen for everyone who is required to be on campus that is mandatory when you first arrive. Additionally, everyone on campus is required to wear masks and maintain physical distancing guidelines.

Q: Is the Campus closing? 
A: We are limiting all access at this time (with the exception of patients). Campus services are only being offered remotely. Students who require assistance or appointments should make video/phone counseling or advising appointments with the appropriate individuals.

Q: Are campus buildings open? 
A: All college buildings, with exception of the Medical Center and the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine are closed to the public. Only employees with advanced permission from their supervisor will be permitted inside depending on need. Employees needing to be on campus must inform Facilities in advance. The Medicinary is open for curbside pick-up or shipped orders only. The Library is available on a limited basis with appointment in advance. Please see See Library Access and Printing below.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about COVID-19 at SCNM? 
A: Questions about SCNM’s response to COVID-19 should be sent to Dr. Stephanie Seitz (s.seitz@scnm.edu). Employees should direct employment questions to the Director of Human Resources and students should direct student service questions to the Dean of Students.

Q: What services will still be available on campus for students who come to campus? 
A: All Student Services and Business Services are now only being offered remotely. See "Facilities, Student Services & Business Services Hours" Library services will be by appointment only and Printing Scanning and Faxing will be limited. “See Library Access and Printing”



Q: May I use the resources in the Library? 
A: The Library is accessible by appointment only between 9:30am and 3:30pm weekdays, for 15 minutes up to 3 hours. Also, there will be a 10 person limit in the Library simultaneously at any given time, spread out in the key areas of the Library. No more than 2 students are allowed in a large study room. Only one in the smaller rooms. Study rooms outside the library are not available for use at this time. Students, Faculty and Staff may now set up appointment times directly through the Library: library@scnm.edu

Q: How do I check out a book? 
A: You do not need to make an appointment to only check out a book, just if you plan on staying in the library. Please find the book you are looking for in the Library Catalog and send that information to reserve it to the Library Help Desk. They will hold it for only 1 day before it is returned to circulation.

Q: How do I return a book? 
A: No need to enter any buildings or get a health check screening. Simply drop it off in the brown Library Book Drop Box outside the east side of the Academic Building.

Q: How do I print, scan or copy? 
A: Please use the printer in the Library. No appointment is necessary to only print. However, if you plan on staying longer than a few minutes, please make an appointment with the Library staff for Library access: library@scnm.edu 

Q: May I use the Study rooms or other open areas of the campus? 
A: Due to health concerns during this pandemic, and to ensure sanitized facilities, students only have access to the Library at this time. Study areas are not accessible currently.

Q: What if I have other concerns or needs not identified? 
A: Please contact the Library: library@scnm.edu for assistance.

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IT Support 
Monday - Friday - 8:00AM - 5:00PM 

Monday - Friday - 8:00AM - 5:00PM 

Academic Department 
Monday - Friday - 8:00AM - 5:00PM

Dean of Students 
Monday - Friday - 8:30AM - 5:30PM
Available via phone, Skype, or Zoom.

Advising and Engagement 
Monday – Friday – 8:00AM 4:30PM 
Phone Appointments are encouraged 

Learning Specialist 
Monday – Friday – 8:30AM - 4:30PM 
Additional appointments are available after posted hours by request. Please contact the Learning Specialist for arrangements. 

Career Services 
Monday – Friday – 9:00AM – 4:00PM 
Appointments Only 

Financial Aid Office 
Monday - Friday - 8:30AM - 5:30PM 
Available via phone, Skype, or Zoom. 

Business Office 
Wednesday - 8:00 AM - 10:00AM
Friday - 8:00 AM - 10:00AM

Human Resources 
Monday – Friday – 8:00AM – 5:00PM 
Online, email, and phone 
All new-hire on-boarding via Zoom. We are working remotely with full access to email and critical files. We have our desk phones forwarded to our cellphones. We will be on-site as needed with no specific hours or days. 

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Q: Are the clinics open? 
A: SCNM Medical Center and Neil Riordan Center are open by appointment only. Call 480-970-0000 to schedule an appointment. Telemedicine appointments are the primary appointments available.  The Medicinary is open for curbside pick-up or shipped orders only. 

Q: Are any restrictions being placed on patients? 
A: Medical Center and Neil Riordan Center patients must call and complete an assessment questionnaire with the front desk prior to entry. All patients and visitors must wear a mask to be seen on campus.(Please note that children under 2 do not need to wear a mask) Any Medical Center patients who are showing symptoms of illness will have a televisit for evaluation. If it’s indicated that they need to be seen at the Medical Center they must enter the "Sick" side of the Medical Center (east door, closest to parking garage). Well patients and immune compromised patients are to enter from the "Well" side of the Medical Center (normal entrance).To decrease risks, we are limiting the amount of non-essential visitors inside our clinics. A caregiver is permitted to accompany but otherwise, we are asking for all visits to be patients only. The Medicinary is open for curbside pick-up or shipped orders only.

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Q: What is the impact on ND classes and ND clinic rotations? 
A: Summer ND 2020 Quarter didactic classes will be taught online. Classroom laboratory sessions will be addressed on a situational basis and will return once it is is safe to have classes on campus

ND student clinical rotations will have a limited on-campus component for in-person patient appointments.
o All students will be required to participate in telemedicine patient visits.
o In-person visits will be available to students who volunteer.

Q: As an ND student, what if I don’t have the technological support or equipment at home to participate in alternative modes of learning?
A: Information Technology Services will provide a way for members of the SCNM community to request support. The SCNM Library is open for students who do not have reliable internet access at home. Please also see these options for obtaining free internet.  

Q: How will labs and performances required for credit be completed?
A: The V.P. of Academics and the Dean of Naturopathic Medicine will work with faculty on how to best deliver the curriculum. Students in labs will be notified by the faculty member on methods for completing lab requirements in the future. Each lab is being individually assessed and will be outlined by faculty in the course syllabus . Please wait to send course specific questions until after updated syllabi are posted.

Q: What library resources are available for students?  
A:The SCNM Library is open and available for students. See "Facilities, Student Services & Business Services Hours"

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Q: Is ND New Student Orientation still scheduled to occur?
A: The Fall 2020 ND New Student Orientation will be held online. Incoming ND students will be notified by the Admissions Office on details. 

Q: Do I need to show up physically to campus before classes start?
A: No, you do not need to come to campus. Your SCNM Admissions team and the Dean of Student’s Office will ensure you have everything you need to be ready for the start of your program  

** Title IV: Financial Aid and Government Assistance

Q: Will my student financial aid disbursement be interrupted?
A: No, financial aid disbursements will continue as planned for the Summer quarter and be available on Friday July 10th upon enrollment verification.

Q: Can I come to campus and pick up my check in person? 
A: No, students on financial aid will receive disbursement checks via mail.

Q: I’d rather not come to campus, can I sign up for Direct Deposit to receive my financial aid check?
A: Yes, please contact BusinessServices@scnm.edu for information on signing up for direct deposit with SCNM.

** International Students

Q: Can new F or M nonimmigrant (I20) students outside the United States obtain a visa to study in the United States if their program of study will be fully online for the fall 2020 session?
A: Whether an individual is eligible to receive an F or M visa is a decision that must be made by the U.S. Department of State and is not made by SEVP. Consistent with the SEVP Broadcast Message dated March 9, 2020, DSOs should not issue a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” for a student in new or Initial status who is outside of the United States and plans to take classes at an SEVP-certified educational institution fully online. As a result, new or initial nonimmigrant students who intend to pursue a full course of study that will be conducted completely online will likely not be able to obtain an F-1 or M-1 visa to study in the United States. If a nonimmigrant student was enrolled in a course of study in the United States on March 9, 2020, but subsequently left the country, that student likely remains eligible for a visa since the March 2020 guidance permitted a full online course of study from inside the United States or from abroad. The March 2020 guidance applies to nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and otherwise complying with the terms of their nonimmigrant status.

Q: Can new nonimmigrant students apply for a visa to enter the United States for a hybrid program of study with online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)?
A: Whether an individual is eligible to apply for an F or M visa is a decision that must be made by the U.S. Department of State and is not made by SEVP. However, per the March 2020 guidance, nonimmigrant students seeking to enroll in a program of study that includes in-person and online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G), are able to maintain F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant status if pursuing such programs during the fall 2020 school term. Nonimmigrant students in New or Initial status after March 9 will not be able to enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student for the fall term to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online.

Q: Can nonimmigrant (I20) students continue to remain in the United States if they are engaged in a fully online program of study?
A: Per the March 2020 guidance, yes, nonimmigrant students may remain in the United States to engage in full course of study online if they have not otherwise violated the terms of their nonimmigrant status since March 9, 2020. This includes students who have remained in the U.S. in active status and are starting a new program of study that is 100 percent online. These individuals do not need a new visa to continue their programs of study. Students engaged in 100 percent online coursework will be able to maintain their nonimmigrant status and not be subject to initiation of removal proceedings based on their online studies. If a student violates other U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially be subject to removal.

Q: Can nonimmigrant (I20) students remain in the United States if their school switches from traditional in-person or hybrid instruction to fully online instruction?
A: Nonimmigrant students pursuing studies in the United States for the fall 2020 school term may remain in the United States even if their educational institution switches to a hybrid program or to fully online instruction. The students will maintain their nonimmigrant status in this scenario and would not be subject to initiation of removal proceedings based on their online studies. If a student violates U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially be subject to removal.

Q: Can nonimmigrant (I20) students remain in the United States in a hybrid program of study with online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)?
A: Nonimmigrant students may remain in the United States in a hybrid program of study, which consists of both in-person and online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G). Students will not face enforcement action or loss of their nonimmigrant status based on engaging in hybrid programs. If a student violates U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially be subject to removal.

Q: Will continuing nonimmigrant (I20) students be able to return to the United States if they are continuing their studies outside of the country as a result of COVID-19?
A: Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, nonimmigrant students should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, DHS and CDC websites both provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States.

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Q: How can I work from home from a tech standpoint? 
A: Most SCNM employees have been assigned SCNM laptops.  These laptops are configured to allow you to work from anywhere – you only need an Internet Connection.  You can access Outlook (email, calendar, etc.) using the Outlook client on your computer or over the web at http://365.scnm.edu.  Faculty members can access Canvas (where applicable) at http://canvas.scnm.edu 
Your office phone voicemail can be forwarded to your SCNM email account – please contact the IT Department to facilitate this. This alerts you to new voicemails via your email account – you can listen to the email attachment and call the person back. Using a free app called Google Voice, you can forward your calls to a local (480 area code) number that runs as an app on your IOS or Android phone. When you make calls using this app, your real mobile number is hidden in the recipient Caller ID – it is replaced with the Google Voice number. Contact the IT Department for assistance.

Q: Since students will not be returning to campus for several weeks, do I still have to come to work? 
A: All employees should continue to report to work from their remote location. Only employees deemed necessary for campus operations will in on campus. Any employee wishing to visit the campus for any reason must receive prior approval from their manager. Upon approval, you must inform Facilities in advance to let them know where you will be on campus and the length of your expected stay.

Q: What considerations are being made for staff who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19? 
A: If you cannot perform your work duties from home, your manager and human resources will work with you to evaluate your situation and explore potential solutions.

Q: Will there be reductions in workforce or pay? 
A: Staff will continue to work their scheduled hours and receive regular base pay. Opportunities for overtime work may be impacted. Any changes to your schedule will be communicated by your manager.

Q: Will my benefits be affected? 
A: There will be no changes to college benefit plans.

Q: What if I become ill with COVID-19 and my sick time accrual is already depleted or becomes depleted during my time off? 
A: Employees who have depleted their sick leave balances will have the ability to take additional sick time as needed without penalty. For other health-related absences, employees should follow regular procedures for using their sick time and requesting a leave of absence.

Q: What if I exhibit symptoms or suspect I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19? 
A: Refer to the COVID Exposure Procedure on my.scnm.edu. 

Q: When can I return to work following a positive COVID-19 test?
A: Persons who have COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:

  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
  • Negative results of an FDA Emergency Use Authorized COVID-19 molecular assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected ≥24 hours apart (total of two negative specimens)

Added Cigna Resource
During times like these, many may experience worry that can become overwhelming. Cigna is providing resources free of charge for all customers, clients, and communities to help manage high stress and anxiety. We’ve opened a 24-hour toll-free help line (1.866.912.1687) to connect people directly with qualified clinicians who can provide support and guidance. More information is available on Cigna.com/newsroom


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Q: How is the college planning for a potential outbreak of COVID-19? 
A: The college’s response to COVID-19 is being led by the SCNM COVID Response Team.  The Team has outlined a COVID Exposure Procedure which documents the steps each community member is expected to take if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID. 

Q: What should I do if I think I have COVID-19? 
A: Please refer to the COVID Exposure Procedure on my.scnm.edu if you have been on campus.  If you have not been on campus, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from an area affected by COVID-19, please follow the guidance below. Do not go in person to any medical provider without first speaking to medical staff over the phone for advice. If you are a student, after seeking medical attention, please notify the Dean of Students office immediately: dos@scnm.edu.

Q: What should students, faculty and staff do to minimize the risk of transmitting the disease on campus? 
A: The college strongly recommends following CDC prevention guidelines, including: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.  
  • Wear a mask while in public or around others. 
  • Practice physical distancing of 6 feet. 
  • Avoid large groups of people. 
  • Stay home when you are sick.  
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 

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TRAVEL(Updated July 27, 2020, 9:29AM MST)

For all students and employees that have traveled since March 1st, 2020 and who plan to travel in the foreseeable future: 

  • Employees and students who are coming back from high-risk areas are required to self-monitor. If you become symptomatic, you are required to self-isolate and should contact your health care provider.   
  • Please direct staff concerns to Human Resources  
  • Please direct student concerns to the Dean of Students  
  • Please direct faculty concerns to the Interim Dean of Naturopathic Medicine  

As case numbers and situations change, please monitor and use the CDC Travel Recommendations by Country and state by state travel restrictions. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html 

SCNM Now Prohibiting College-Funded Domestic Travel 

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the U.S., cases of COVID-19 have been reported in many states and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. The CDC has noted that crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19, if there are other travelers with COVID-19. With this in mind, the college is now prohibiting all college-funded travel within the U.S. and internationally.   

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All events on any SCNM campus or in any SCNM building that are not directly related to the educational or research mission of the college are canceled in order to limit the community spread of COVID-19. Before attending a previously scheduled event on the SCNM campus or in a SCNM building, please check with the event organizer or look for an update online.   
Q: Will Spring ND Graduation be held?
A: The Spring graduation ceremony will not be held in the traditional in-person format on June 20, 2020. Graduating students will participate in a virtual ceremony on August 22.

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Archived Announcements

From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Medical Students,

I am writing to share with you Executive Council’s decision regarding Spring quarter final examinations and the plan for the Summer quarter. Several students reached out to me to express their thoughts as this quarter concludes not only in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but two weeks after the killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer sparking nation-wide protests against decades of police violence against Black/African Americans. These events have triggered emotions and pain. I recognize that this degree of uncertainty and tragedy has increased mental and emotional stress for many students.

Taking these factors into consideration, the College is committed to meeting individual student needs through existing channels and procedures. We made this decision after carefully considering all available options.

Spring Quarter Final Examinations
• Final examinations for Spring quarter 2020 will continue as scheduled.
• All exams will be offered at the days and times currently posted.
• All exams will still be online. If you have internet challenges, please reach out to the Dean of Students to arrange to take your exam in the SCNM library or in one of the study pods in the CC. Note – we will only allow one student per pod.
• Please take advantage of your Learning Specialist, your Manager of Advising & Engagement, and reach out if you need additional support.
• If the stress compounded by the pandemic and the recent killings of Black/African Americans affects your ability to sit for final exams at their scheduled times, please reach out to your course instructor and the Dean of Students for assistance.

Summer Quarter Update
• All didactic courses will be taught online.
• Selected laboratory courses will be offered in a hybrid format with live sessions on campus beginning August 17th (Monday of week 7). Please plan to be on campus for your scheduled live interaction lab courses.
• ND student clinical rotations will have a limited on-campus component for in-person patient appointments.
o All students will be required to participate in telemedicine patient visits.
o In-person visits will be available to students who volunteer.

Please appreciate that SCNM may have to modify the in-person laboratory course plan due to the fluid and unpredictable nature of the pandemic. We will remain in communication as the Summer quarter progresses.

I honor your commitment to becoming naturopathic physicians, and I thank you for your understanding and resourcefulness.

Yours in health,

Paul Mittman, ND, EdD


Dear SCNM Community,

Like other businesses, schools and communities in Arizona SCNM now has its first COVID-19 case. In accordance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Federal guidelines, their name and department will remain confidential. We wish the individual, who is home recuperating, a speedy and uncomplicated recovery. SCNM has identified, notified, and tested those individuals who frequently encountered the infected individual in the preceding three days prior to the onset of symptoms. Additionally, Maricopa County Health Department will conduct appropriate Contact Tracing.Dear SCNM Community,

Executive Council recently met with Dr. Bob England, former Director of Public Health for Maricopa County and Pima County to further clarify the Maricopa County, AZ Department of Health Services and the CDC guidelines for businesses with an employee who tests positive for COVID-19. The takeaways from our conversation are worth sharing and repeating even if you have seen this information before:

• Identification of close contacts should trace back 2-3 days from the onset of the patient’s symptoms. “Close contact” is being defined as spending more than 15 minutes, within 6 feet, without protective equipment.
• Wearing masks substantially decreases exposure risk to both you and others.
• Healthcare workers who come in contact with a COVID-19 positive individual are not required to automatically quarantine – however they should carefully monitor themselves for symptoms.
• The COVID-19 incubation period averages 5-6 days. Co-workers and other close contacts are eligible to be tested, but should also self-monitor for any symptoms associated with the virus.
• Those who have been in close contact should get the PCR test (the throat or nasal swab), not the antibody test (blood), however the PCR test is most reliable only once symptoms are present This means that you may get a “false negative” prior to being symptomatic.
• The virus spreads via droplets exhaled by coughing, sneezing, singing, and even talking. If within 6 feet of an infectious individual without a mask, it is estimated that it would take around 15 minutes of talking.
• In the event of an employee testing positive, the Maricopa County Public Health Department (https://www.maricopa.gov/5504/Businesses) advises co-workers who have not had close contact (see bullets above) to continue to work unless they become symptomatic.
• The County Public Health Department is referring those who have been in close contact with an infected individual who had symptoms to: recommendations for close contacts, specifically recommending that they monitor themselves for fever and symptoms daily for 14 days after the last time they were exposed to the ill employee while symptomatic. If fever or symptoms develop, they need to stay home from work until 72 hours after fever and symptoms resolve. Exposed individuals who do not have symptoms are allowed to continue working.
• The Maricopa County Public Health Department advises businesses with an employee who tests COVID-19 positive to remain open and follow routine cleaning procedures (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fdisinfecting-building-facility.html)
• Individuals with health conditions should telecommute when possible

SCNM requires that all employees and students be screened daily upon arrival on campus in the Medical Center. While on campus, all employees and students must maintain social distancing (minimum 6 feet), wear a mask at all times, and frequently wash/disinfect hands.

Protect your own health and respect the health of others by following these safety measures. The SCNM COVID-19 Task Force meets twice weekly to share the latest recommendations and best practices. If you have concerns or questions please feel free to email the appropriate department: for students this is the Dean of Students, Kenneth Donnelly; for staff this is the Director of Human Resources, Cynthia Garbe.

Thank you for your help in keeping SCNM a safe place to learn, teach, work and heal.

Yours in health,

Paul Mittman, ND, EdD

Dear SCNM Medical Students, 

I am writing to share Campus reopening plans for the Summer Quarter. Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine students should plan to spend some of their time on Campus. 

Campus reopening must fulfill SCNM’s educational mission and protect the health of students, staff, faculty and patients. This is particularly important given the likelihood of increased Arizona COVID-19 cases. This requires 1) limiting the number of people on campus to maintain adequate social distancing; 2) maintaining sufficient personal protective equipment supplies; and 3) additional cleaning and sanitizing. To meet these objectives the planned Summer 2020 schedule is a hybrid model. Here is an overview:  

- Didactic courses will be taught online  
- Selected laboratory sections will be held on campus  
- ND student clinical rotations will have a limited on-campus component for in-person patient appointments  
- Lab and didactic sections of courses have been separated.  This allows greater flexibility for students in case of absences, and to quickly adapt in case of changes in public health policy.

More details regarding lab sections and clinic rotations are forthcoming. This model and schedule may change should there be a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

We can all be proud of SCNM’s faculty and staff, whose efforts and accomplishments over the past two months were extraordinary. With little notice, faculty and the Department of Academic Affairs moved 96 Naturopathic Medicine courses, 33 labs and 57 clinical clerkships to a virtual format, and transitioned patient care and clinical education to telemedicine. Kudos!!!

SCNM’s Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine students have been equally amazing. The online format required students to adapt to a new learning model amid the pandemic, layering more stress atop the expected rigors of medical school. I am confident you will draw upon this flexibility and resilience throughout your careers to solve patients’ health problems, and to stay current in a rapidly evolving healthcare system.  

The College’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic has deeper roots – in the development of the online Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition. Investing in, and incorporating instructional design, technology upgrades, and best practices in online pedagogy including an online Course Development Training Series significantly benefitted the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program’s online pivot. Similarly, the recent implementation of a new EMR system – eClinical Works – transformed the Medical Center’s telemedicine capabilities via a patient portal and mobile access.

Although no one anticipated this new Summer Quarter format a few months ago, SCNM stands poised to achieve excellence, even in the face of this pandemic. SCNM’s Learning Specialist, CARE team, Dean of Students, and Federal Work Study course moderators are developing innovative ways to support student learning in this new environment. Thank you to the Departments of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs for leading this initiative. Stay tuned for additional details in the coming days.

Yours in health,

Paul Mittman, ND, EdD

From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Medical Students, Faculty and Staff,

Over the weekend I learned that a dear friend and longtime SCNM supporter is in ICU fighting for his life. I pray every day for him and the nearly 2 million people stricken by COVID-19. Just as important, I pray that our personal, organizational, and national sacrifice efforts succeed in taming this pandemic. Thankfully, social distancing and other public health measures are slowing the rate of infection.

In order to protect the health of the SCNM Community, the entire spring quarter will be held online – all classes will continue to use Canvas, Zoom and other technologies; patient care and clinic rotations will continue via telemedicine and essential in-person care on private shifts. Classroom laboratory sessions will be addressed on an individual basis – some will be online; others may be rescheduled to the summer quarter. The expected return-to-campus date will be Monday, July 6, for the start of the summer quarter. More details to follow.

Additionally, in an abundance of caution, the Spring graduation ceremony will not be held in the traditional in-person format on June 20, 2020. SCNM will present 2 options for our graduating ND students. Graduates may attend a special SCNM graduation ceremony online this summer and/or attend the in-person graduation ceremony in December 2020. Graduating students will receive additional details soon. 

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of faculty, staff and of students, SCNM is successfully responding to this unprecedented public health crisis and fulfilling its mission. As a school of medicine and health sciences, SCNM is helping fight this pandemic by practicing social distancing, caring for the sick and keeping others well, conducting research on the novel Coronavirus, and training a new generation of naturopathic physicians and nutritionists.

Today begins the second of the spring quarter’s 11 weeks. Together we will continue to deploy our considerable skills, creativity, and resilience with open communication to succeed in navigating these uncharted waters. Thank you for each of your contributions in this extraordinary time.

Yours in health,

Paul Mittman, ND, EdD

From the Office of the President

With break week beginning today, I’ve focused this email on your personal well-being. Please use this week to rest and restore your health reserves.

What a sharp contrast between the hectic pandemic news cycles and the eerie experience of empty streets, closed businesses and cancelled events! It offers us the gift of slowing our lives, thoughts and activities to strengthen our determinants of health – healthy and simple food, quality sleep, movement, the experience and appreciation of nature.

To me, the most important of the determinants of health, is connecting with the people we cherish in as personal a way possible. Rather than relying solely on social media to track their whereabouts and well-being, we have more time to call or video chat with family and friends to say hello, ask how they are doing, wish them well. Say, “I love you.” These three words unleash the healing power of nature – the Vis Medicatrix Naturae.

The number of cases in Arizona is still growing, with a peak still a few weeks away. If you need anything, please reach out. Dean Donnelly, Racquel Welch-Perez, Jill Drowne are available. They will either address your questions or direct you to the best resource – whether for academics, healthcare, or mental health.

Please note that the campus is open during the break, with limited access, for students who need to use the internet, a computer, or library resources. However, we do ask that you get a quick health screening in the Medical Center before you access any buildings, you practice social distancing, and only come to campus if absolutely required.

Someday, years or decades from now, someone will ask what you were doing during the great 2020 pandemic. You will reply, “I was in medical school, beginning my career as a naturopathic physician to help others heal.” Thank you for choosing to become a naturopathic physician, and for beginning your career at SCNM.


Yours in health,

Paul Mittman, ND, EdD

From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Medical Students,

I am writing to share with you my decision regarding final examinations. Please read this entire email for a full understanding.

The upcoming scheduled final examinations for Winter 2020 are optional. Please note some courses will still be requiring a final exam. These include courses where the large majority of the points are based on the final exam score AND courses with currently open final exams or activities where some students have already completed the exam/activity. 

What does this mean to each of you?

  • If you are satisfied with the grade you currently have in the course, without the final exam calculated in, you do not need to take the final exam.
  • If you are not satisfied with your current grade you can take the final to try to raise your grade.
  • If you take the final, you accept the outcome of that decision. Meaning, if it brings your course grade up, fine. If your course grade goes down, it does not revert to your original (pre-final exam) grade
  • If you do not plan on sitting for your final exam, please do not open the exam.  If you are unable to attend your exam date and time for an excused reason but still wish to sit for the final exam, please communicate with your course instructor. If you open the exam in Canvas, you have opted in and are then committed to completing the final.  Do not open the exam if you are opting out.
  • All exams will be offered at the days and times currently posted.
  • All exams will still be online. If you have internet issues, please take your exam in the SCNM library or in one of the study pods in the CC. Note – we will only allow one student per pod.
  • Your course instructor will announce via Canvas or email when all (pre-final) course assignments and exams have been graded as well as any additional specifics related to your course.
  • Please remember you have resources in your Learning Specialist and Academic Advisor and reach out if you need support.

This decision isn’t perfect, but I believe in my heart and mind that it is in everyone’s best interest. We tried to be as inclusive as possible although clearly there is no one solution that will fit all. The option for students satisfied with their current grades to opt out of finals, provides more breathing room to recover from the mental and physical exertions of the past 11 weeks and build up reserves and resilience for the Spring Quarter which will begin on Monday, April 6th.

As future naturopathic physicians in training you know that good health includes one’s ability to respond to changing environments and maintain balance – in other words, homeostasis. Likewise, a medical school must make the best decisions to adjust to changing dynamics and balance the need for academic assessment, rigor and consistency with the equally important need to preserve the physical and mental health of our students, and faculty and staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted societies globally, with new revelations and data necessitating decisions to be refined and recalibrated daily. I understand and I’m sorry that this degree of uncertainty has increased stress for many students. That is why I am making this decision to bring the Winter Quarter to a close in such an unprecedented manner. I honor your commitment to becoming naturopathic physicians, and I thank you for your understanding and resourcefulness.

Yours in health,
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD

From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Community,

I am writing to share two important and timely announcements:

  1. Final Examinations for the Winter Quarter will be offered online from Tuesday, March 24 to Friday, March 27th. Faculty have done a heroic job converting their exams to the Canvas learning management system. However, some critical technology pieces are not in place (they will be functional next Monday). I appreciate your understanding and your ability to adapt to this schedule change. We will do everything possible to have a final exam schedule reflecting next week’s exam times posted to MySCNM tomorrow.

  2. Starting tomorrow and for the next two weeks, students hereby can opt in or opt out of clinic rotations. We made this decision with input from the University of Arizona School of Medicine, the American Association of Medical Colleges, and from other Naturopathic Medical Schools. Over the next week SCNM’s COVID-19 Response Team will explore options for the Spring Quarter, which begins on April 6th. We have multiple responsibilities to 1) protect our students, staff, faculty and patients, 2) engage in social distancing to help flatten the COVID-19 curve, reducing peak incidence, and 3) ensure that SCNM medical students fulfill their clinical training requirements for graduation.

For Week 11 (March 18-20): Students opting out of attending shift in person will be required to attend virtually via telephone to earn clinic hours. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide patient contacts for virtual clinical education. Students opting out will need to contact their attending physicians. The attending physicians may contact Dr. Bain for managing virtual clinical education. If faculty do not feel they have enough student attendance to care for their current patient load, they will need to contact Debbie Ickes to reschedule patients and contact Dr. Bain to possibly provide additional student or resident support. We are currently determining how to handle students who opt out of break weeks.

Clinical Faculty and staff at the Medical Center, Neil Riordan Center, and Community Clinics, have implemented precautions following CDC and ADHS guidelines for healthcare practitioners and healthcare facilities. As a further precaution, only SCNM physicians will care for patients who present with symptoms indicating acute infection. These and other steps notwithstanding, any student who feels safer opting out of a clinic rotation can do so during the break weeks and the remainder of this week. Meanwhile, SCNM’s IT Department is working to operationalize the patient portal in eClinicalWorks, which will open more opportunities for telemedicine visits.

Our physicians, students and staff play a vital role in the health of thousands of patients receiving care at the Tempe Campus Centers, and at SCNM Community Clinics. Please be patient as we seek the best way in this challenging time to balance our mission to provide quality healthcare with the imperative to protect the health and wellbeing of the SCNM Community. Thank you.

Yours in health,

Paul Mittman, ND, EdD


From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Community,

Please note the following four updates:

1) This evening, SCNM’s COVID-19 Task Force met and unanimously agreed to move all final examinations online. No exams will be offered Monday, March 16 or Tuesday, March 17. New exam times will be posted by end of the day Tuesday, March 17 to Canvas and will also be emailed to you. Previously scheduled online exams March 18 and beyond will retain their exam period and due dates.

Faculty members have already been preparing to teach Spring Quarter classes online - which we are preparing to do. In addition, they worked over the last several days to put their Winter Quarter final examinations online. Given the magnitude of converting all the examinations, we are extending the Final exam period to two weeks (through Friday March 27). I realize that for some this will be an inconvenience. However, these are extraordinary times that require each of us to rise up to our highest selves, which will include personal accommodations and sacrifice.

2) Patient care and clinical rotations will continue as scheduled, with the extra precautions implemented over the past two weeks (and more to come). If you are a student and consider yourself in a high-risk group for complications due to COVID-19, please reach out to Dean Donnelly. Faculty and staff please contact Dr. Mitchell or your supervisor (respectively).

3) The College will be as flexible as possible to accommodate potential disruptions in people’s schedules due to school and daycare closures. Please alert the appropriate individual if you are affected - Dean Donnelly for students, Dr. Mitchell for Faculty, and the supervisor for staff. Staff and Faculty are expected to work.  This could be on site, or if necessary, via telecommuting.  Please speak with your supervisor to make the appropriate arrangements to accommodate your circumstances. 

4) Quarter 8 Students: Classes will not take place this week. The content will be delivered at a later date, possibly incorporated into a subsequent class. The exact details remain to be determined. Your final exams will not cover material scheduled for week 11.

We are implementing these measures for the safety of the SCNM Community, and to help halt the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing thereby decreasing the opportunity for person-to-person transmission.

Thank you for your understanding, and for your commitment to the health and well-being of people throughout the world.


Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences

From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Community, 

Your health and safety are SCNM’s highest priorities. During the Coronavirus pandemic, we are taking extra precautions to ensure the health and safety of our community and the public at large. To that end, we are following the guidance of the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS).

At this point, classes, patient care and work are continuing on the SCNM campus, and at its Community Clinics. The number of confirmed and suspected presumptive cases in Arizona still only total 9. This situation is fluid with new cases diagnosed, states of emergency declared and event cancellations and moves to online-only instruction daily. 

Planning is underway to prepare to pivot quickly as circumstances in Arizona warrant. In addition to governmental agencies, SCNM is monitoring actions at other institutions and adopting best practices to meet our academic, patient care and workforce needs. Please help by reading the following:


To keep our faculty, staff, students, patients, and their families healthy, we ask anyone planning to be on SCNM’s campus and feels sick to remain at home. As always, we encourage our staff and faculty to lead by example and practice hygienic sneezing and coughing etiquette and good hand washing.

Students have been reminded to to stay home if they are sick. Accommodations will be made for missed coursework and absences due to illness.


In addition to cleaning campus buildings six days a week, the Facilities Department designated two roaming staffers to disinfect, and keep common areas clean. Both clinics on campus continue to follow CDC and AZDHS sanitation protocols. We have increased the amount of hand sanitization stations in all student common areas and clinics, as well as, increase overall quantities of available disinfecting wipes.

At this time, SCNM clinics are unable to test for coronavirus. Signage has been placed on entryways to the Medicinary, SCNM Medical Center, and Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine informing customers and patients who show signs of fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and/or sore throat to call the front desk before entering the building.


To limit the transmission of any virus or illnesses, we are asking any food served  “buffet style” or is communal either be swapped with individually packaged options or removed. As a general safety rule, food brought to serve a group should be prepared by someone with a Food Handler’s Certificate.


As we near break week, we know many people have travel plans. SCNM does not set requirements for personal travel, but we are strongly urging people not to travel to areas with active community transmission of COVID-19 and/or Level 1, 2 and 3 countries.


Any SCNM community member who travels to highly affected areas will be required to self-quarantine and not return to campus until the potential incubation period has passed. If symptoms occur, individuals should seek medical attention.


We are taking the appropriate precautions for all SCNM events to ensure the safety of attendees. Research Night (March 13, 2020) is postponed, as is Discovery Day (April 18, 2020). The AANP cancelled DC FLI.

The information from the CDC and AZDHS regarding COVID-19 is always being updated.  The needs of the campus population may also change. Therefore, all decisions made are subject to change.


We are taking these steps in an effort to “Do the Right Thing” for the SCNM community. As information is rapidly developing, SCNM COVID-19 webpage is the primary source of official news and will be updated regularly with SCNM’s current steps, recommendations, and communication for our community, along with tips and precautions you can take to stay healthy. Additional details pertaining to students/academics, faculty/staff, or clinics/patients will be communicated directly with those individual groups.

Please continue to practice prevention methods to help avoid the spread of respiratory diseases including good hand washing and proper coughing & sneezing etiquette. We will continue to be solution-oriented and do what is best, not only for the SCNM community but as global citizens.


Yours in Health,

Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
President & CEO
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences

From the Office of the President

Dear SCNM Community,

The emergence of over 90,000 cases of COVID-19 - an illness caused by the 2019 Coronavirus, is a global concern. At SCNM, the safety of our students, staff, faculty and patients is paramount. The College is closely monitoring updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Arizona Department of Health Services (DHS).

With no vaccine or specific medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19, the CDC and DHS emphasize the importance of hygiene and common sense measures to prevent transmission of this infectious virus. Please refer to the CDC for more details and advice:


The CDC recommends the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. (Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.)
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.


In addition to these CDC recommendations, I’ve substituted elbow bumps in place of handshakes. 

The Arizona Department of Health Sciences is hosting a series of public health webinars this week on COVID-19.

  • The webinar for colleges and universities will take place this Friday, March 6th from 10-11AM. An SCNM Administrator will attend.
  • The session for healthcare providers will air Friday, March 6th from noon-1PM – an SCNM Clinical Faculty member will attend.
  • The session for healthcare facilities will take place Friday, March 6th from 2-3PM – an SCNM Clinical Administrator will attend.

It is still flu season, so adhere to the same preventive measures. If you should become ill, whatever the cause,employees should notify their supervisor and students should notify your instructors and the Office of the Dean of Students. I urge everyone to be calm yet vigilant, friendly yet a bit less demonstrative, and follow naturopathic tenets and the determinants of health – healthy diet, restful and stress-reducing sleep and moderate exercise.

Let’s navigate this challenge together. Stay tuned for new developments.

Yours in health,


Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences

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From the SCNM Medical Center 

February 13, 2020

Dear SCNM Community:

The 2019-nCoV is a novel coronavirus similar to the 2002-03 SARS coronavirus.  Coronavirus infections most commonly result in febrile lower respiratory illness and is treated through supportive care.  The first reported case was identified in Wuhan, China and has affected several countries including the United States.  There is currently one confirmed of travel-related 2019-nCoV infection in Arizona. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has already taken a number of steps to decrease the risk of transmission occurring within the U.S.


There are actions that people can take currently to stay healthy:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.


Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • 2019-nCoV is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you have respiratory symptoms or Influenza like illness you should stay out of school or work for 7 days or at least 24 hours after symptoms resolve.


Common symptoms of 2019-nCoV have been reported has mild to severe respiratory symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia in severe cases

If you would like additional information you may go on line at either the Arizona Department of Health Services at www.azdhs.gov or the CDC at www.cdc.gov.


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