Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Towards a Greater AANP

As you have been hearing, there has been a flurry of new energy and activity going on at the AANP in the last few months. The recently formed Public Education and Media Outreach (PEMO) Committee is made of board members and general members who all have the goal of improving internal relationships within our profession, reinvigorating and increasing the AANP membership, and propelling the naturopathic profession into the public eye.

The PEMO Committee has been meeting regularly with great intention and strong goals to strengthen and unite our naturopathic community, reaching out to state leaders to foster communication and gain important feedback about how the AANP can better serve you. Our goal is that these efforts will create a ripple effect of outreach. We are encouraging everyone to start discussions among ND colleagues in your state, old classmates from naturopathic school, and general supporters of the profession. We are grateful for your membership in our national association and welcome all input as we work towards a better AANP.

We know that there is still much more to do! The PEMO Committee is paying attention to the branding conversations happening on Nat Chat and in other forums and conversations. We agree that increased awareness of naturopathic doctors across the country is the ultimate goal that will allow our doctors to see more patients and our profession to grow in number. We were equally inspired by the presentation given at last year’s AANP Convention by Dr. Rick Kirschner and encourage all members to watch, or re-watch, his lecture. Please do not wait to give yourself a brand such as “natural medicine expert” (coined by Dr. Oz when he referred to Pina LoGuidice, ND), or “America’s natural medicine doctors” per naturopathic doctor Dennis Godby’s advice. Add it to your business card, website, elevator speech, and state association website. Let us know what messaging is working and we look forward to coming together with renewed conversation and relationships to move our individual and collective agendas forward for our beloved profession.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 AANP Convention in Bellevue where we will be thrilled to introduce our new CEO, Jud Richland. As always, the convention will be a fantastic learning experience, community building event, and a hotbed of new ideas and energy about our future; you don’t want to miss it!

With gratitude and appreciation,

Drs. Carrie Runde and Holly Lucille
Co-Chairs Public Education and Media Outreach

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yin, Yang and the AANP

By Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, LAc
AANP Past President

It is the nature of the universe to see periods of expansion and contraction. There is a time for expending energy and growth and a time for rest, reflection and recharge. We see this in the cycles all around us. An athlete must rest before and after a strenuous event. When replanted, a plant with vigorous growth will pause as it sets its new roots, preparing for the next growth spurt. In eastern philosophies this is conceptualized under the theory of Yin and Yang, and the energy from this interaction of complementary opposites drives the dynamics of our world and lives.
So it is with the AANP.
Almost a year ago our association was handed a challenge and opportunity with the resignation of our long time Executive Director, Karen Howard. Her vision, hard work and leadership moved the AANP forward through a period of vigorous growth and development. During this time we grew from a relatively small association to one with headquarters in Washington, DC, visibility on a national stage, and a solid financial base. She was the right person at the right time and we will always be thankful for the role she played in the evolution of the AANP.
As the AANP leadership and Board accepted the challenges of change, we used it as a time for deep reflection regarding the future of the AANP. We asked ourselves many questions like, "What are the challenges that lie ahead for the AANP? What political and societal forces will shape our inclusion in  health care systems and in peoples lives? How do we address internal divisions and struggles typical of any growing profession? How can we look ahead and make conscious choices to maximize our potential to change the health care system in the US? What kind of leadership do we need to face these challenges as we move forward?"
Here we are, 11 months later and getting ready for our 27th AANP Convention. We have a new CEO, Jud Richland, whose past experience and vision for our profession could not have fit our hopes and expectations any better. We have an active Board whose members are engaged in strategies for, among other things, developing our public education and media affairs messaging, working on a national level for inclusion in the Affordable Care Act  and other programs, promoting state licensing and improved relations with our state affiliate associations, and setting a vision for the growth of naturopathic medicine. We have a revitalized House of Delegates examining the issues that face us as an association and a profession. And we have naturopathic doctors across the US, working with their patients to improve their health, educating those in their local communities, and advocating for licensure or improvements in their state laws in order to better serve their patients. 
I have served on the AANP Board for 4 1/2 years, two of those as President, and have witnessed the Yin and Yang of the AANP.  I believe we are on the cusp of great and positive change, and after a time of "setting our roots" we are prepared for vigorous growth and expansion. Great things lie ahead and we are ready to embrace the future.
Be a part of that change. Join the AANP and your state association. Come to the AANP convention and meet our new CEO, Jud Richland. Let your Board members know what your dreams, goals and expectations are for the naturopathic profession. Vote and make your voice be heard. Tell us what we are doing right and where you'd like to see things improve. Ask questions. Learn a few new things you can use in your practice your first day back in the office. Reinvigorate and renew ties with your friends and colleagues. 
We are the naturopathic profession and are strongest when we come together for common purpose. Be there with us as we take our next steps forward.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Board Approves Scientific Affairs Committee

By Michelle Simon, ND, PhD
Scientific Affairs Committee Chair

In January, the AANP Board of Directors approved the creation of a Scientific Affairs Committee. This committee is advisory to the AANP Board. We have seven members, Ather Ali, ND, MPH, Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH, Peter D’Adamo, ND, Bill Walter, ND, Heather Zwickey, PhD, Michael Cronin, ND, and me, Michelle Simon, ND, PhD as chair.

Our mission is to support the naturopathic profession by facilitating access to and education about current research on naturopathic medicine and to expand the available body of naturopathic medicine research. We have three areas of focus:

  1. Science and Policy - The interface of these disciplines is necessary to support licensing, scope expansion, and insurance and government program inclusion. To support policy we need to help policy makers understand the available research, facilitate its presentation in an accessible location, and update this regularly.

  2. Education and Training - We aim to increase the research literacy of our profession for both our existing graduates as well as current students. This may also include increasing the infrastructure or training for ND researchers and contributing to the educational opportunities at the AANP annual conference.

  3. Research Facilitation - The science itself: its techniques and objectives. The SAC aims to provide input into determining what types of research, and on what topics, might be good priorities. For example using data mining techniques or bioinformatics, whole practice research, and cost effectiveness research. We might also provide input into what studies or surveys would assist patients or potential patients in their decision-making about naturopathic healthcare. One goal might be to utilize research in order to help differentiate our profession from other healthcare professions.
In May, we provided a one page white paper focused on the cost effectiveness research of our medicine which was presented at the DC Federal Legislative Lobby Day. Watch for more to come from our Scientific Affairs Committee.

Celebrate our New Beginning, Meet and Greet Jud

By Michael Cronin, ND
AANP President

The end of July, beginning of August, is the most exciting time of year. Our Board, volunteers and staff are hard at work making sure all of the “t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted” as we draw closer to the Annual Convention.
Every time we come together, I am reminded of the great things we can accomplish when we work together. I look forward to conquering our next goals. Let’s make Lorilee Schoenbeck’s chant, “50 in 15,” into a reality and bring all citizens’ awareness to what naturopathic medicine is! Every American should know that physicians and patients can work together to facilitate the integration of health and healing. Patients should know that they do not have to settle for only their symptoms being treated. There are doctors who will target the root causes of disease so that a full and healthy life can be lived.
One of the main goals at this year’s Conference, in addition to connecting face-to-face, is to gather your feedback on how we can strengthen the AANP to achieve our goals. Additionally, we will celebrate the beginning of a new era with Jud Richland, our new chief executive officer. We would like as many of you as possible to be able to attend. With this in mind, we are extending the early bird registration for the AANP Conference through Friday, July 20, 2012.
I can barely contain my excitement to introduce Jud Richland to you. Here is what he has said so far about our community after only a few days in office, “You have chosen to commit to a profession that is truly transformational. To honor your commitment, your professional association must also commit to being transformational. Thus, for AANP the greatest danger is not that our goals are too lofty and we miss them, but that they are too low and we reach them. The association has a thoughtful and impactful blueprint for action.”
Come and celebrate with us at the AANP conference! Learn about our “thoughtful and impactful blueprint.” Find out how you can be part of the "action." Share in the enthusiasm of the AANP team and become a volunteer for a project that fires your passion.
We have an excellent CE Program and there will be lots of social and fun things to take part in like our opening and exhibit hall receptions, the “all schools” dance, and more. While in Seattle area, I would also recommend you take some time to visit the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. A new study affirms our commitment to patient centeredness. The Puget Sound Health Alliance found the Center at the top of their lists for patient experience with communication, getting timely appointments, care and information, and helpful, courteous office staff. Congratulations to the Bastyr team!
It is time to renew old friendships and to help AANP get off to a fresh start.  Meet us in Bellevue and be part of the discussion on how our community can come together to achieve success. Help us expand the influence and impact of naturopathic physicians. 

See you in August!