It is fall and we are right on schedule with our calendar and planning process. The annual planning for the 2013 work plan and budget has us at the stage of surveying our members in preparation for updating and editing the work plan at our next Board meeting. The Board planning process also includes reviewing and refining the AANP strategic objectives and Ends statements. Through this discussion our CEO, Jud Richland, will identify AANP’s priorities and put together a draft work plan and budget. The Board will work through the details of his draft and approve the final work plan and budget in December 2012.
The naturopathic profession continues to grow macroscopically with an increase in the number practicing NDs, rising student enrollment, and more patients visiting naturopathic physicians. This past weekend the ND program at National University of Health Sciences in Illinois became the 8th fully accredited program in North America. Congratulations NUHS! Bastyr California began its San Diego program in September. An ND program in Puerto Rico is seeking candidacy for accreditation to become the 9th accredited program. We also see progress in California with an expansion of the naturopathic physician’s scope of practice which now includes IV therapy.
Gaining licensure in more states is our most urgent need. The largest impediment to our growth is that only 4 states (Minnesota, Idaho, Kansas and North Dakota) have been licensed since California in 2003. Our opposition is more organized. The closer a bill gets to passage the more back room lobbying occurs to hold bills. Our state legislative efforts must be better prepared, have excellent lobbyists, have stronger media coverage and have more positive testimony and lobbying from patients wanting naturopathic care.
We recognize the important contribution that testimony from conventional physicians familiar and supportive of naturopathic medicine and doctors has to counter the claims of our opposition. Our legislative efforts need relevant evidence and scientific data demonstrating our history of safety and effectiveness.Our 2013 plan will improve AANP’s support in all these areas so that the tools needed to grow our profession are available for our membership to leverage.