Monday, July 19, 2010

Thoughts Ahead of the 2010 Convention and Elections

By Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP President
The days of summer are filled as we approach our annual convention and elect our newest AANP leaders.

As I write this, the AANP convention in Portland is only 3 weeks away! All over the country and especially in Washington, D.C., preparations are underway to make this one of our best gatherings to date. As I’m sure you all know, this year we mark our 25th anniversary as an organization and we plan to celebrate in a big way as we look back at the accomplishments the AANP has made and, more importantly, look to the future and imagine what we can accomplish in the next 25 years.

In the days before the convention opens, leaders from the naturopathic profession will gather in Portland to focus on business and planning. The AANP Board has a two-day meeting planned including a one-day board retreat to focus on how to increase our effectiveness as a team. The House of Delegates will meet and consider a variety of topics including ethics and standards of care. The Naturopathic Coordinating Council, a summit of leaders from across our profession, will come together at NCNM to develop a strategic vision for the viability, sustainability, and success of the naturopathic medical profession in the context of global health and wellbeing. These are but a few of the meetings held in advance of the big event.

On Wednesday, August 11th, the fun begins as our tribe comes together for four days of education, reconnection, and celebration. The quality of the continuing education sessions is outstanding, with many of our favorite speakers and teachers presenting, including Dr. Steve Austin, Dr. Jared Zeff, Dr. Joe Pizzorno, Dr. Michael Traub, Dr. Lise Alschuler, Dr. Dickson Thom, and a host of others who are very popular with our convention attendees. Personally I’m really looking forward to Drs. Schor and Bloom’s session on gelotology and hope my busy schedule allows me to attend as many sessions as possible.

As great as our sessions are, the reconnections we make each year (seeing old friends and making new ones) and the alumni events and receptions are what reinvigorate and inspire me the most. We are a relatively small profession, which makes it possible to know many of our peers on a very personal level. The friendship and intimacy we have as a group is very special and becomes especially evident when we come together.

There will also be more time for fun with a family picnic planned for Friday afternoon and, of course, our gala awards banquet and dance on Saturday night. We have quite an evening planned, where we will honor our leaders and pioneers as well as look forward to the potential this profession has in improving the health of our patients, the nation, and the world. This is an event not to be missed! As the Beatles would say, “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.” I hope to see you all there.

On July 24th, our voting opens for our next President-Elect as well as new board members. The AANP is a member-driven organization. We elect our leaders to represent our interests, and the officers and board members of the AANP consider this with every discussion and decision we make. We are here to serve you and to meet your needs as best we can, and your input into the elections process and your vote are crucially important in choosing our leaders and the direction the AANP takes.

I am very impressed by our list of candidates this year. All have demonstrated leadership and a desire to serve. We have two of our finest running for President-Elect: Dr. Tim Birdsall and Dr. Michael Cronin. Both have extensive leadership experience, are committed to the profession and the AANP, and have a clear vision as to how to move this profession forward. Please take the time to read the candidates statements and the responses to the weekly “Meet the Candidates” emails you’ve been receiving so you can choose who best fits your vision for the AANP.

And most importantly, VOTE. The voting is easy, will be online this year, and will close August 6th. Make your voice be heard!

I look forward to seeing you all in Portland at what promises to be a memorable event!

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