Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hitting the Ground Running

By Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP President

Running Guy
Photo by aarmono via Flickr, used under the Creative Commons' License.

Greetings and Happy New Year/ New Decade! After the trials, tribulations and struggles of the first decade of the new millenium, I think we are all looking forward to 2010 and the coming years with optimism that better things lie ahead.

This is my first message to you as incoming President of the AANP. As I write this, we have already hit the ground running in 2010 as we prepare for the first Board meeting of the year taking place January 16-17th in San Francisco. Last month Dr. Lise Alschuler thanked our exiting Board members Dr. Chad Aschtgen, Dr. Vanessa Esteves, and Dr. Steven Bailey for their service to the AANP and to the profession. I echo her comments and add that they will be missed and their contributions are greatly appreciated.

For all of us, I want to thank Dr. Alschuler for her service as AANP President over the past two-years. Her steady hand, grasp of the complexities of the issues facing the AANP, inspiring words and ability to see the big picture and guide this organization are unsurpassed. Believe me, she's a very tough act to follow and is a role model for me as I begin my term. Thank you so much, Lise!
This is a time of turnover on the Board with newly elected members coming onboard for their 2-year terms. I want to take a few moments to welcome and introduce our new members.

Dr. Helen Healy joins the Board in her dual position as Chairperson of the House of Delegates. She is a long time leader in the naturopathic profession and her pioneering work in Minnesota led to the recognition of NDs in that state. I might add that Helen and I served together on the first Board of the AANP in 1986, both of us the new kids in the room in awe of Dr. Sensenig and the other leaders of the AANP. It will be great to work with her again.

Last year, the House of Delegates passed a bylaws change adding a representative from the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) to the AANP Board of Directors. Dr. Guru Sandesh Khalsa, Dean of the naturopathic program at Bridgeport University, joins the board in this capacity.

Dr. Corey Resnick, a past Treasurer of the AANP, rejoins the board as our newly elected Treasurer, bringing his past AANP experience as well as his proven business savvy to this position.

Dr. Michael Reece, past president of the Pennsylvania Association of Naturopathic Physicians, brings his years of experience and leadership to the AANP Board. Besides his impeccable naturopathic credentials, you may know Michael for his skills on the drums at our convention dances.

Dr. Trevor Holly Cates is also joining the board in 2010. Dr. Cates is the first woman in California to receive a license as a Naturopathic Doctor and was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine Advisory Council.

We round out our list of new members with Dr. Kasra Pournadeali. He is a past president of the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and an appointed board member for the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA)-accredited Foundation for Care Management.

All told, the AANP Board consists of 13 members. As you can see, almost half of the board consists of new members, joining myself and Dr. Alschuler, Dr. Michael Cronin, Dr. Tabatha Parker, Dr. Sara Thyr, Dr. Bill Benda and Dr, Michelle Clark. All of these Board members bring a great deal of experience and leadership to the AANP and will help this organization meet its goals now and in the future.

In the coming months, one of my goals is to keep you informed of the work the AANP is doing and and the issues we are facing, both as an organization and as a profession. 2010 promises to be an exciting and challenging year. As most of you know, the AANP is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and we are already planning for the convention in Portland in August. This is a convention not to be missed as we look back on the first 25 years of the AANP and forward to the future.

Externally, as health care reform takes shape in Washington, we will be watching as well as educating legislators and staff so naturopathic medicine is represented and more people will have access to naturopathic care. President Obama promised change and we are going to get it; the challenge is guiding this change to improve the health of all Americans. Naturopathic medicine is an important piece of true health care reform, and our board and staff are working diligently on this issue.

Lastly, I want to remind you that the AANP is a member-driven organization. The membership elects its leaders to represent them and our common interests. From the perspective of the Board, you are our bosses. Everything we do we do in the interest of furthering our common goals, helping NDs be more successful and advancing the naturopathic profession. One of the basic goals of the AANP is best expressed in what we call our "Global End Statement: "People will experience optimal health and wellness through the principles and practices of naturopathic medicine, and actions towards this End will not exceed the operating budget of the Association."

Give us your feedback. Tell us your goals and dreams. Let us know what we're doing right and where we could improve. Make sure your voice is heard.

Till next month,

Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP President

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