Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Doing the DC FLI

By Susan DeLaney, ND, RN

Susan DeLaney, ND, and Trevor Holly Cates, ND, feed body and mind at the
2010 DC FLI reception on Capitol Hill.
Washington in the spring is a lovely place to visit, especially when you get to do it with a mini-convention of naturopaths and naturopathic students from around the country. The first weekend in May each year, we gather at the Capitol to learn from each other, about the basics of politics in Washington and what we can do to move our message of naturopathic health care forward. This year's event is planned for April 30 - May 2!

Each year I go I learn something new, meet new people, and reconnect with old friends. For two days, we are listening to valuable speakers, sharing ideas, and practicing how to talk to legislators about our issues. The third day, we put into practice what we have learned. Traveling in groups, we visit our respective state Senate and House members in their offices. Locating their offices in the maze of the Capitol Buildings is a bit like a scavenger hunt. Most of the discussions are with their health-care staffers, who do listen and convey the information to the representative. Meeting face-to-face in their offices with legislators and staffers provides us an opportunity to have in-depth discussions about who we are and what we do.

At first I was not sure that what we did mattered until one staffer recalled that she remembered our visit from last year! It is truly the presence of so many doctors visiting Washington that makes such a difference. Before our first annual fly-in event, no one really knew who we were. Now they know faces and stories that connect them to naturopathic medicine.

And then there is the famous, late afternoon naturopathic reception where we have earned our reputation in D.C. as the best place to hang out with healthy food and wine. Smoked salmon, fresh fruits, nuts and a fabulous kale salad have really made us the toast of the Hill! They come early and stay late to enjoy the delicious food, and socialize with their constituent NDs and naturopathic students.

When the work is all done in the evening, we walk the city, enjoy fabulous meals with friends, stand before majestic monuments that are so beautifully illuminated every evening, and find ourselves filled with awe that we have the freedom to be there. We have the freedom to do this work, and by letting our voices be heard in the halls of Washington, we help grow naturopathic medicine.

Wishing you can all be there with me this year! Registration is FREE for all members, and closes April 15!  Click here for more information and to register today!

No comments:

Post a Comment