Health E-Insights: Are you enjoying your new position of president at Bastyr?
Dr. Powell: Coming to Bastyr has been an amazing experience. It’s such a treat to drive into a forest every morning to begin my day. The biggest surprise is the depth of the passion that people have for our mission and how many people, both inside and outside the institution, are excited to partner with Bastyr in our new initiatives.
Health E-Insights: What is one Bastyr business goal you hope to accomplish before the close of 2016?
Dr. Powell: The most important goal for me, businesswise, is to roll out a series of marketing campaigns that can raise awareness for the institution and the many health professions we serve.
Health E-Insights: What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of your organization?
Dr. Powell: The most important decisions always involve people. For me, making sure that people are empowered in their positions and excited about moving forward is the most important thing I do. Like most institutions in their first 50 years of life, Bastyr is constantly trying to find its place and the balance between growth and tradition. We are extremely fortunate to have had the successes and passions of our founders and previous leaders. Making sure that the right people are in the right positions, and ensuring that they have the attitude and resources to achieve, is the key to our success.
Health E-Insights: What’s one important message you want the industry to know about Bastyr?
Dr. Powell: I’d want people in the industry to know how excited we are about partnering to advance the research on the natural healing arts. Our success as an institution is intertwined with that of our graduates. They will be the ambassadors and healthcare consumers of the future, and we want to collaborate to build a healthier world.
Health E-Insights: In what direction do you see the supplement industry moving?
Dr. Powell: I expect that the industry will continue to grow exponentially. The public continues to grow in their comfort with traditional and natural forms of healing, and the options that the nutraceutical industry provides will be critical to future health.
Health E-Insights: What career advice do you offer Bastyr students?
Dr. Powell: As someone who started my own professional life in social empowerment, I found that constantly seeking out learning opportunities and always saying yes gave me the perspective I needed to be effective. It took me a while to learn what I could and couldn’t do well as a therapist, and that growth honestly coincided with my personal growth and financial success. I think that some people feel that they were born healers and that education or practice is only refining their skills. I took a very different approach. Even after I had been in practice and out of school for years, I still felt as if I had the opportunity to really stretch and grow every day. Constantly learning, and really being self-critical of my skills, helped me and ultimately helped my clients and students.
Health E-Insights: Who has had the biggest influence on your life?
Dr. Powell: That’s always been a tough question for me to answer. I had some amazing mentors as a student and later as an administrator, but the biggest influencers on my life were the clients I saw as a social worker in Compton and as a therapist at a treatment center in St. Louis. To be able to sit with people who were struggling with their circumstances or their own demons, and to watch them evolve and grow in the space of our time together. Those are the people who changed how I see myself and my role in the world.
Health E-Insights: If a stranger handed you $100,000, how would you spend it?
Dr. Powell: I would donate it to Bastyr.
Sheldon Baker is a partner in the Baker Dillon Group and has created numerous nutraceutical marketing communications and public relations campaigns for many well-known companies and brands. For Health E-Insights interview consideration and campaign development, contact him at Sheldon@BakerDillon.com.