On July 17, 2011, Dennis Godby, ND, of Sacramento, California, with his two sons and his nephew, will begin The Run across the USA to increase awareness of naturopathic medicine. The Run will start in San Francisco, and 123 days and 3,250 miles later, will arrive in Bridgeport, Connecticut (to the University of Bridgeport, the only east coast naturopathic medical school). The Run will expose thousands of Americans to naturopathic medicine and raise awareness of natural medicine options for creating a healthier America. Dr. Godby believes that The Run, through participation of NDs across the country and through grassroots efforts, can dramatically increase national naturopathic awareness.
I had lunch with Dr. Godby a few weeks ago and we talked about what motivated him 16 months ago to plan this run and to set out on this arduous journey. Dennis recalled how he came to naturopathic medicine relatively late in life compared to other students; he graduated from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2004 at 48 years old (he turns 55 during his run). Though he has practiced for only 6 years, Dr. Godby related how many “miracles” he’s seen using naturopathic medicine to help his patients in addressing their health problems and improving their health and vitality. Seeing so many of his patients’ improved health has only increased his passion to deliver the message to all of America that naturopathic medicine exists and may help them meet their health goals.
His run is an example of how one person can act to make a real change in his profession and in the health of this country, as well as a tremendous opportunity for the naturopathic profession to raise its visibility. Along the course of his run, Dr. Godby and his team will pass through both licensed and unlicensed states, 30 cities of over 100,000 people, past 25+ naturopathic clinics and ≈300 naturopathic doctors. All told, over 65 million people live in cities and towns along his route.
Of course, Dr. Godby is not planning this alone. NDs Rebecca Asmar, Holly Lucille, and Jaime Schehr are also on The Run leadership team, along with many others. Organizers are already planning local events, connecting with local media outlets and planning the public relations arm of this event. Over 260 events and press conferences are in the works. This will not only raise the public’s general awareness of our profession, but also serve as an invaluable opportunity for NDs along the route and those in states seeking licensure to gain significant local media exposure for their practices and legislative goals.
Dr. Godby is out there running and networking with NDs across the country for our profession and to improve the health of all Americans. I urge you to support him, The Run, and our profession. Get involved where you can to further these goals. There are many ways you can participate:
- Go to The Run website and endorse The Run.
- Make a financial contribution. A penny a mile for each of the four runners for 3,250 miles is $130 to help pay for motor home, food, insurance, marketing, running shoes, etc.
- If The Run is passing through your area, or even if it is not, get involved on the local level planning media and PR events, sponsoring a segment of The Run, and linking your practice to this event. Wisconsin NDs are driving down to Illinois to host an event.
- Come to the April 16th FUNraiser Dinner in Sacramento for an evening of celebration and fun!
- Be the support person on the motor home with the running team.