American College of Healthcare Sciences Appoints Tracey Abell as College President

Portland, OR—July 1, 2021—The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) has announced that Tracey Abell, BS, MS, has been appointed ACHS President. Abell joined the ACHS team in 2002 and was formerly the Chief Operating Officer. During her tenure at ACHS, Abell was promoted to leadership positions across the institution including Dean of Admissions, Dean of Student Services, and Associate Education Director before becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2015. Abell has been an integral member of the institution’s leadership team and worked in collaboration with Founding President Dorene Petersen, VP of Institutional Strategy & Global Impact Kate Harmon, and the institution’s leadership team, staff, and faculty to deliver positive student outcomes and create a global community of wellness professionals.

I am honored to be entrusted to carry on Dorene’s trailblazing legacy in integrative health and wellness education, and I am inspired every day by our students’ commitment, resilience, and the change they are making in the world. It is a privilege to be able to serve our inspiring community of learners in this new role, and I am excited to also work with our experienced leadership team to advance opportunities and outcomes for our students and graduates,” shares Abell. 

Abell holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Leadership in Higher Education.  Like many ACHS students, Abell experienced being an adult learner and understands the challenges post-traditional students can face pursuing higher education while balancing work and life’s obligations. Abell is committed to expanding the institution’s accessible and inclusive programming to help ACHS’s diverse students achieve their education goals. 

Abell has been integral in establishing the ACHS Foundation, a non-profit foundation whose purpose is to expand awareness and access to integrative health education and global sustainability practices. Since 2004, Abell has coordinated the institution’s study abroad programs in partnership with Founding President Dorene Petersen to support the institution’s experiential learning programs on wellness and sustainable essential oil and botanical production in Provence, Greece, Indonesia, and India. Abell’s diverse experience across the institution and also her experience serving as a business standards and Title IV compliance evaluator for the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) have provided Abell with insights that will contribute to on-going innovations and advancement of ACHS’s programs and services. 

ACHS VP of Institutional Strategy & Global Impact Kate Harmon shares, “I am excited to work alongside Tracey Abell to continue the legacy built by our Founder Dorene Petersen. Tracey is an exceptional mission-driven leader that puts our students and graduates first while still having the grit it takes to blaze new trails and bring important initiatives to the frontlines of online education and integrative health. She is highly respected by us all at ACHS, and we are lucky to have her in this new role as President.”

As Founding President, Petersen will continue to engage in ACHS’s service programs including the work of the ACHS Foundation and contributing research and updates to the institution’s textbooks of which Petersen is the primary author. 

Tracey Abell has demonstrated a deep commitment to the mission and vision of American College of Healthcare Sciences during her 19-year tenure at the institution,” shared ACHS Founding President Dorene Petersen. “In her new role, Abell will work with the institution’s experienced leadership team and committed staff and faculty to continue the institution’s mission and vision and advance its integrative health and wellness education programs.

Based in Portland, Oregon, the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) specializes in online integrative health and wellness online education. Founded in New Zealand in 1978, ACHS opened its doors in the United States in 1989. ACHS was the first state-licensed college in the U.S. offering distance learning programs in complementary alternative medicine and has grown to encompass nearly 30 programs that emphasize sustainability and promote access to integrative health information for personal and community wellness. 

With accreditation by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and authorization from the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, ACHS demonstrates a commitment to quality and accessibility in higher education. ACHS students earn industry-recognized credentials and have access to a wide range of funding support, including tuition assistance and financial aid programs for those who qualify. 

For questions about this press release, please contact Gillian Turner at or call (800) 487-8839.



American College of Healthcare Sciences ( has been training, credentialing, advancing, and legitimizing the holistic health industry globally since 1978. ACHS specializes in accredited online integrative health and wellness education and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, diplomas, certificates, and professional continuing education courses in integrative health. ACHS makes holistic health and wellness education accessible to a diverse community, including healthcare professionals, military students, stay-at-home parents, and lifelong learners. Specializations include aromatherapy, herbal medicine, holistic nutrition, health education, and wellness coaching. Our graduates have been leading the wellness revolution with our sustainable values combined with cutting-edge, science-based holistic health education that gives graduates a firm foundation to launch or enhance their wellness careers. At ACHS we help corporations create specialized wellness strategies such as micro-credentialing packages. ACHS has been devoted to excellence in education, sustainability, and ethical business practices for nearly 45 years. Through its achievements that include becoming a Certified B Corporation®, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Certification, Green American Gold Certified Business status, and Top 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon rankings (#8 for 2021), ACHS demonstrates a positive impact on the local and global communities it serves. ACHS is also a Certified B Corporation and has a proven track record of holding suppliers to the highest standards in sustainability for ACHS students and customers. Contact 503-244-0726 or visit for more information.