Dr. Antoine Al-Achi attended pharmacy school in Syria in the 1970s, and — like most schools in Europe — was way ahead of the curve when it came to learning about botanicals and holistic health.
“It was ingrained in my brain, so to speak,” says Al-Achi, who went on to earn his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from Northeastern University. “I was 18 or 19 years old when I learned all these techniques, and they have stayed with me. I truly believe as the pharmaceutical field advances, students today need to know more in this field. They’ve sat in a lecture here or there, but that’s not enough for a practitioner to really help his or her patient in this area.”
Al-Achi, the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and Campbell Adult & Online Education are partnering to advance this growing field by offering an online Botanical and Holistic Health Graduate Certificate — a 12-credit hour program that will equip post-professionals with the skills and knowledge to positively impact patients’ well-being through integrative/holistic health.
Campbell hopes to launch the program as early as this year and is currently accepting students.
Students in the program will learn more about botanical and herbal preparations, discover herbal remedies being used as alternative solutions to treat and prevent diseases and learn about the therapeutic effect and dosage forms of the most commonly available herbs and natural products. The program will also provide an overview of Eastern philosophies, and “complementary modalities” such as meditation, music therapy, energy work and chiropractic care will be discussed.
“It’s a great program for professionals who want to learn more about botanicals and dietary supplements available, as well as those modalities such as meditation, yoga, traditional Chinese medicines and even prayer,” Al-Achi said. “There have been thousands of studies and books on these topics. Many studies show that those who pray regularly are in better health overall. We’re going to explore this.”
Dr. Michael L. Adams, dean of the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, said the increased appreciation for alternative therapies, self-care and holistic health creates an opportunity for professionals to improve the wellness of their community.
“A working knowledge of natural products and complementary modalities provides helpful alternatives that will allow one to improve their overall well-being,” Adams said.
Dr. Beth Rubin, dean of Adult & Online Education, said the program builds on the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences’ expertise and offers a science-based approach to understanding botanical solutions to health programs and other aspects of holistic health.
“AOE’s excellence in online pedagogy positions us to design and deliver a top-notch online program that is interactive and student-centered,” Rubin said, “and one that is flexible enough to meet the needs of working professionals.”