Earlier this year, IFM announced we would be awarding an annual scholarship in memory of longtime Institute for Functional Medicine team member Debbie Sanstad to cover the cost of all coursework in IFM’s Certification Program (IFMCP). Debbie dedicated 12 years of her life to helping build IFM and expand the role of functional medicine in health care. IFM committed to awarding this scholarship annually to an individual who is starting out on their path to IFM certification in order to provide an enduring impact in Debbie’s name and help support our mission of the widespread adoption of functional medicine.
IFM received over 40 submissions, and applications were reviewed based on each applicant’s passion for functional medicine and IFM, alignment with IFM’s values, and a large reach to bring functional medicine to their communities for long-term impact. As part of AIC 2021 and IFM’s 30th anniversary celebrations, IFM was pleased to announce on Thursday, June 3, that the first two recipients of the Debbie Sanstad IFMCP Scholarship are Remy Paille, RN, MSN, and Victor Maredi, BSc, MBChB.
Remy is a primary care nurse practitioner in Santa Cruz, CA, who experienced a traumatic, life-altering injury that led her to look beyond the traditional biomedical paradigm for healing and taught her about the body’s amazing capacity to heal itself. As a nurse practitioner, Remy cares for a diverse panel of patients, including teens with mental health challenges, trans and non-binary patients in need of LGBQTIA-informed health resources, and elderly patients facing social isolation. “Having the opportunity to become IFM certified will allow me to bring functional medicine to a great variety of people…who are quite often begging for solutions beyond pills and surgery,” she said. “In this sense, this scholarship is for the essential workers, the under and unemployed, the students, the single parents and their children, as much as it is for me.” Congratulations, Remy!
Victor is a physician based in South Africa who has been in private practice for the past 15 years. He developed a deep interest in functional medicine after losing his mother to Alzheimer’s disease. Two years ago, he opened the only functional medicine clinic in a province of 5.8 million people. After attending Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practitce (AFMCP) in 2020, Victor says the experience “Deepened my passion [for] functional medicine. As our practice was creating more awareness, I came to realize IFMCP certification was crucial to add more value to our clients, the clinic, and my fellow medical professionals.” Congratulations, Victor!
The window to submit applications for the 2022 Debbie Sanstad IFMCP Scholarship will open early next year. During AIC 2021, IFM also announced the creation of the Functional Medicine for All Scholarship, which will allow up to 12 recipients to attend the upcoming AFMCP Fall 2021 cohort.