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Dr. James Kurtz Named 2015 UWS Alumnus of the Year and Dr. Philip Snell Honored for Integrative Health Care Work

University of Western States (UWS) recently held its 2015 Homecoming and NW Symposium. The event culminated in a celebratory homecoming dinner on October 17, where two alumni were honored for their distinction and service.

James Kurtz, DC, DACRB, DACBSP, was selected as the 2015 “UWS Alumnus of the Year.” Dr. Kurtz works as the team chiropractic physician for the Seattle Seahawks football team. He has also worked as the co-team chiropractic physician for the Seattle Sounders, the PGA TOUR and for the 2007 and 2008 Paralympic teams. Dr. Kurtz owns NW Sports Rehab with locations in Seattle and Federal Way. This award was designed to highlight the exceptional work of UWS graduates. Nominees were submitted by their peers and chosen by a selection committee.

“I am truly honored to even be considered for this award. Thank you to UWS for helping to give me a vision of what I could do and for giving me the foundation to build an incredible career upon,” Dr. Kurtz said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think my career could be this rewarding. I have been on the sidelines for two Super Bowls and I have been able to share that with my incredible wife Dr. Ming Ming Su-Brown whom I met while in school at UWS. It's been a very rewarding career and there is still more to accomplish.”

Phillip Snell, DC, was given the 2015 Award for Excellence in Integrative Health Care from the Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine at UWS. The purpose of the award is to honor an integrated health care professional who promotes healthy behaviors and positive lifestyle changes as a path to optimal health.

“This distinction from the university is an honor. I have spent a large part of my career working to increase awareness regarding the importance of making every day healthy lifestyle decisions,” Dr. Snell said. “To be honored by my alma mater for this work is truly gratifying.”

Dr. Snell works at the Hawthorne Wellness Center, an interdisciplinary wellness center. He also created the websites and as tools for patients to become active participants in their own care.

“Both of these individuals are great examples of UWS alumni that are elevating the field of chiropractic health care,” Dr. Joseph Brimhall, UWS president said. “They are also excellent ambassadors making a difference in their communities. We are proud of their work and honored to recognize them for their service to humanity.”

About University of Western States
University of Western States provides a science-driven curriculum that delivers a solid foundation and competitive edge in preparing students for clinical practice. UWS is a regionally accredited, independent non-profit institution dedicated to improving the health of society through its educational programs, research and clinical services. Founded in 1904, the university offers a doctor of chiropractic degree program; master’s degrees in exercise and sports science with three new concentrations, human nutrition and functional medicine and diagnostic imaging; a massage therapy certificate program; a master of science and doctorate degree in sport and performance psychology; approved continuing education programs for licensed health care professionals; and we provide clinic services in five locations through Health Centers of UWS. UWS is a founding member of the Oregon Collaborative for Integrative Medicine, an organization that aims to advance integrative health care through education, research, patient care and advocacy. To learn more about University of Western States and its academic programs, go to

About Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine
The Northwest Center for Lifestyle and Functional Medicine was launched in 2015 as a center of excellence highlighting ways to reduce lifestyle-related health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The center’s vision is to promote healthy behaviors and positive lifestyle changes in order to achieve optimal quality of life for the members of our community through service, education and research. The center believes in integrated, conservative, patient-centered approaches to address lifestyle-related health conditions. To learn more about the center visit

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