Obituary: Anna MacIntosh, PhD, ND.
Dr. MacIntosh was a 1989 NCNM graduate, the first dean of NCNM's research department, and one of the first naturopathic physicians appointed to serve on the advisory committee to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the federal government's lead agency for scientific research on complementary and alternative medicine.
Dr. MacIntosh was unique among her peers--and perhaps in the history of NCNM: a full-time naturopathic candidate who also served on the NCNM faculty while completing her studies. Dr. MacIntosh's passion for teaching is well remembered by many of her former students. In 1987, she was honored as "NCNM Teacher of the Year."
Dr. MacIntosh received two bachelor degrees (in electrical engineering and physiology) in 1978, as well as a PhD (in physiology) from the University of California at Irvine in 1982, where she had been a graduate research assistant. She was a postdoctoral research fellow, doing atherosclerosis research in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University from 1982 to 1984.
According to the fall 1987 issue of NCNM's newsletter, Update, after completing her postdoctorate studies, Dr. MacIntosh wanted to continue her interest in research but wasn't drawn to conventional medicine. Instead, she discovered NCNM, which, she said, "taught everything I ever wanted to learn." She enrolled in 1983.
Learning that Dr. MacIntosh planned to seek a part-time teaching position while enrolled at NCNM, her admissions counselor suggested that she apply there. The college was recruiting for two faculty positions in physiology and biochemistry--both her areas of expertise. She carried a nearly full-time course load every term until her graduation.
After graduation, Dr. MacIntosh accepted an appointment as NCNM's dean of research, a calling to which she was ideally suited. Her focus on whole-practice CAM research was one of the first of its kind. She established collaborative relationships with medical institutions, including Kaiser Permanente and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Some of her clinical research projects with OHSU continue to this day. Dr. MacIntosh also published, researched, and reviewed research for publications in the areas of exercise physiology, nutrition, and health optimization, among other topics. Dr. MacIntosh served as research dean until 2001 and continued doing research at her home in Beavercreek, Oregon, in her final years. In addition to teaching and research, Dr. MacIntosh also had a private practice in Lake Oswego and was named the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians' "Physician of the Year" in 1999.
Dr. MacIntosh was predeceased by her parents, Donald Richard Hooker and Georgina MacIntosh Hooker, and her life partner, Dr. Kathleen (Kay) Germain. She is survived by her sister, Donna Woodsum, of California; four nephews; and many friends, colleagues, and former students. For anyone who is interested, the family has asked that memorial donations be contributed to the Anna MacIntosh Research Fund.
NCNM is setting up a special Web link for the wider community to participate in its tribute to Dr. MacIntosh. Those who wish may send their thoughts, memories, and condolences to firstname.lastname@example.org.