NMI Founders

John Benedict Lust Jr (b.1943) is the son of John Benedict Lust, ND and grand nephew of founder Benedict Lust, MD, ND.

John studied psychology at ASU then went on to study Naturopathic medicine at NCNM in the early 1980’s. He has great respect for the Naturopathic Medical profession and it’s history.

In addition to his Naturopathic family history, John’s interests and expertise range from history, environmental science, land use, water issues to absolutely anything mechanical. He is an environmental consultant in Connecticut.

Jared L. Zeff, ND, LAc., VNMI is a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine and a licensed acupuncturist. In addition to functioning as Medical Director at the Salmon Creek Naturopathic Clinic in Vancouver, Washington, Dr. Zeff taught at National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, where he was Dean from 1988 – 1993, and holds a professorship in naturopathic medicine. Dr. Zeff is a graduate of the University of California, NCNM, and the Emperor’s College of Traditional Oriental Medicine. He, along with Pamela Snider, is the author of the modern definition of naturopathic medicine, and the Therapeutic Order concept. He currently sits on the board of the Naturopathic Medicine Institute.

Letitia Dick-Kronenberg, ND, VNMI earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Eastern Washington University where she graduated Magna Cum Lauda in 1985.  She earned her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine in 1990 from National College of Naturopathic Medicine.  She then completed a 3-year residency with her late father, Dr. Harold Dick.  After his passing she continued his classical Naturopathic clinic in Spokane WA, now over 60 years old.  Dr. Letitia has been in practice 31 years, is past adjunct faculty at Bastyr University (22years as an instructor), a co-founder of the Carroll Institute of Natural Healing, a contributor and co-lead editor of the Nature Cure Section of the Foundations textbook project, and an international speaker / medical educator. She serves as the President of the Naturopathic Medicine Institute.

Thomas Kruzel, ND, VNMI is a naturopathic physician who is in private practice at the Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is the former Vice President of Clinical Affairs and the Chief Medical Officer at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Phoenix, Arizona. He received a BA in Biology from the California State University at Northridge, and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine.

He has been an Associate Professor of Medicine at National College of Naturopathic Medicine where he has taught Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Urology. He is the author of the Homeopathic Emergency Guide A Quick Reference Handbook to Effective Homeopathic Care published by North Atlantic Books and the Natural Medicine Pediatric Home Health Advisor, and has published numerous articles in The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine as well as other publications. He is also the past president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was selected as Physician of the Year by the AANP in 2000 and Physician of the Year by the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association in 2003.

Harry F. Swope, MBA, ND, DHANP, CCH, VNMI earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with distinction, from The University of Virginia and, after serving as an officer in the US Navy, also earned a Masters of Business Administration from the highly regarded Darden School of The University of Virginia. He earned his doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine in 1989 from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (now NUNM). He was one of the initial group to receive their Naturopathic Doctor’s license in California where he participated in the licensing effort for over 10 years, serving for a time as a member of the board of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association.

Dr. Swope was certified in classical homeopathy by the Board of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians. With Durr Elmore, DC, ND, DHANP, he was a founder of the Council for Homeopathic Certification and served as its president for many years. He is a past Vice President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. He is a past Vice President of the National Center for Homeopathy and a recipient of the Henry N. Williams Professional Service Award from the National Center for Homeopathy.

At the request of the AANP Board of Directors, he lead a multi-year effort that led to the adoption of the Naturopathic Physicians Oath by the AANP House of Delegates in 1992.

Prior to entering the health-care field, Dr. Swope had an extensive career in corporate finance and computer systems that included being Director of Corporate Systems Development in two “Fortune 500” companies.

Aviva D. Wertkin, ND, VNMI earned her doctorate degree at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2007 and completed a two year residency through National College of Natural Medicine.

Prior to medical school, Dr. Wertkin performed clinical research at both the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Dr. Wertkin practiced as a Natural Family Medicine specialist in CT under the mentorship of Dr. James Sensenig until 2014 when she opened her own Naturopathic Primary Care practice in Brattleboro, VT. Her passion is identifying the underlying causes of disease and utilizing natural therapies to assist people in restoring their health. She has been voted the Best Physician in the greater Brattleboro area for the past 3 years.

In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Wertkin is one of the founders and is an advisory council member of the NMI. She is a frequent guest on the weekly call series, The Vital Conversation. She has been an adjunct faculty for the University of Bridgeport and has been on the health board for the local United Way foundation. She is a regular guest on WVEW 107.7 FM Brattleboro community radio and has appeared on several episodes of Healing Outside the Box, a Public Television series.

James Sensenig, ND, VNMI (1948-2019) practiced naturopathic medicine for nearly forty years and is well-known for helping thousands of people regain their health. A 1978 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Sensenig was a former Academic Dean and Vice President for Education and Services at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, the founding Dean of the College of Naturopathic Medicine at the University of Bridgeport, the founding President of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the former Chairman of the AANP Government Affairs Committee, and the founding President of the Natural Medicine Institute. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine and a former Adjunct Associate Professor of Naturopathic Medicine at Southwest College where he taught the history and philosophy of naturopathic medicine for two decades. In addition, he served as a consultant to or a representative to a number of natural products companies, medical insurance companies, and government agencies.

An avid champion of and articulate spokesperson for classical naturopathic medicine, Dr. Sensenig received a Honorary Doctor of Naturopathic Philosophy degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. He received numerous awards for his dedication to teaching the principles of naturopathic medicine, including the Beacon Award from the naturopathic medical students’ Gathering and the Dr. Kenneth Harmon Award from the Northwest Naturopathic Physicians Conference.