By Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO
Vice President, Quality and Education, Emerson Ecologics
Photo by Dare*2*Dream via flickr, used under the Creative Commons License.
This is my last message as President of the AANP. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my ramblings with you in this venue over the past two years. As my last one, I am taking some liberty and exceeding my word limit just a bit. I have a lot of gratitude to share. As I sit here reflecting upon my time as President, I feel good. We have done a lot! Despite the turmoil of the past many months in our economy, our globe citizenry, and our national health, the AANP has thrived. Naturopathic medicine is more visible in proposed Federal legislation, we have a multi-series documentary on naturopathic medicine and an intricate PR campaign about to launch around it, we have a stellar on-line journal, we have more and deeper alliances with other professional and trade associations. The AANP is actively advancing its mission, has added new members, and has expanded its corporate support. The AANP has matured into a governance model which facilitates visionary leadership. So, as my tenure as President of the AANP draws to a close, I am filled with gratitude and optimism. Let me dwell on these for a moment…
I am grateful for many, many things. I am grateful for the incredible integrity and intelligence of my fellow Board members. The AANP Board has thoughtfully and gracefully transformed itself into a Governance Board. This model has allowed the visioning and leadership activities of the Board to blossom. I am also grateful for the exceptional dedication, passion and talent of the AANP staff and consultants. We are extremely fortunate to have such a capable staff implementing the work of this Association. I am deeply appreciative of all that I have learned from the staff and for their friendship over these past years. I am grateful to every member of the AANP. These doctors understand the criticality of supporting the national association of naturopathic physicians in order to both solidify and grow naturopathic medicine. I am also grateful to those companies who are our corporate sponsors. They understand the integral role that naturopathic physicians have in optimal healthcare and are investing in our future. Finally, I am grateful for the patients that have sought care from naturopathic physicians. Not always an easy thing to do, these individuals have stepped out and sought a different kind of healthcare. Their willingness to experience the benefits of naturopathic medicine is the bedrock of our profession and our continued success is absolutely dependent upon our patients.
My optimism emerges from the confidence that I have in people who comprise the AANP and in the future landscape of healthcare. There is a place in healthcare for naturopathic physicians, and while this place has always existed, more and more people outside of our profession now recognize this place and want it to be larger and more visible. I can think of nothing more exciting than knowing that soon, in my lifetime, many more people throughout this country will enjoy access to naturopathic doctors.
I want to thank you for allowing me to serve at the President of the AANP. I carry the honor of this service deeply. I hope that I contributed to the profession’s well-being and made it easier in some way for each member to be more proud about the AANP and about our profession. Everything I have done is the result of the work of the entire board. I want to thank Dr. Vanessa Esteves, Dr. Chad Aschtgen, and Dr. Steve Bailey for their service as Directors on AANP Board. Their terms have come to a close and these individuals have enriched the Board with their perspectives and have donated extraordinary amounts of their time to this profession, often at the expense of time with their loved ones and other professional endeavors. I also want to extend my deepest gratitude to the current board members, who, as immediate past-President, I will have the pleasure of continuing to learn from and work with. Drs. Michelle Clark, Bill Benda, Tabitha Parker, Sara Thyr, and Michael Cronin. Leaving the role as President is easier with such a fabulous next President in the waiting. I welcome Dr. Carl Hangee-Bauer as our next AANP President. I cannot imagine anyone I would rather hand the baton to. He brings his immense talent, huge passion and great integrity to this role. Dr. Carl, at 12:01 EST January 1st, 2010, it’s all yours! I bow to all with immense respect and love in my heart.
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