Monday, November 26, 2012

Staying in the Country

By Jaclyn Chasse, ND
2013 AANP Board Member

We’ve just come off of a busy time. I live in NH, a swing state, so we had been inundated with political ads, mostly negative ads slinging mud at the other side.  I was looking forward to the negativity ending, but it seems that since President Obama’s re-election, there is still a palpable tension among Americans. There is frustration, disappointment, and anger among Romney supporters. Meanwhile, there is a large proportion of Democrats who are filled with relief, gratitude, and excitement at what’s in store in America’s near future. I don’t want to get too much into politics, but I bring this up because I also hear one question which I greatly appreciate—the quiet voice asking, “We are where we are. Now, how are we going to move forward?”

I think this question represents our times, and it is one of the great challenges of being alive, being in relationship. In the naturopathic community, we actively embrace the commonalities between us—our love of patient relationship, our respect for the whole person, for individualized medicine, and our undying curiosity in figuring out the human body. However, we also are challenged by our different perspectives. Should we try to integrate more into the current medical model or should pharmaceuticals or hydrotherapy dominate a patient’s treatment plan?

I am so excited to join the AANP Board of Directors, and come to it with that quiet voice asking, “How are we going to move forward?” I was so pleased to attend my first AANP board meeting and see that question resonate with the members of the board. I can share with you that although there are differing opinions among board members, communication happens in a respectful, thoughtful, and productive way. The way I wish it could happen on a larger, national level within our legislative houses. Dissenting opinions, delivered respectfully.  I feel so grateful to be a part of such a thoughtful group. I also feel grateful that the future of the AANP is in their hands. I am confident that the diversity of members’ ideas and ideals will be represented there, and that the Board will continue to move the association in a direction that meets the needs of the members it serves.

Since the election, I’ve seen Facebook posts of acquaintances’ saying, “Forget it, I’m leaving the country.” That’s not what we need. If you have not been wholly satisfied with the work of the AANP, you shouldn’t “leave the country” either. We need your voice and for you to provide feedback through the member survey, and to connect with a board member to share your ideas, share your solutions, and share your time to make the organization and our profession better. In joining the Board, I am choosing to have an open-door policy. Please share your thoughts and most importantly, your ideas, to make this the best organization it can be.

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