Three words come to mind as I think back on this memorable event – excitement, activity, and progress. My goal with this column is never to write a fluff piece. But, honestly, those are the words that come to mind with our annual conference. So if it sounds like a fluff piece, then, so be it.
Here are some of the images that stick in my mind…
For me, the two most spine-tingling moments of the week came when Dr. Denise Clark, President of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors, and Colorado state Rep. Joann Ginal stepped forward to accept their awards as Physician of the Year and Legislator of the Year, respectively. The crowd rose for each awardee. The feeling of satisfaction and appreciation that comes with achieving a long-held goal after more than twenty years of tireless work was palpable. Dr. Clark led a spectacular team of CoAND members in overcoming long odds to make Colorado the 17th
state to enact licensure. Victory could not have been achieved without Dr. Clark’s passion and personal sacrifices. Rep. Ginal was the bill’s lead sponsor and was the passionate and tireless advocate in the legislature who made victory possible.
Naturopathic Physicians: Natural Medicine. Real Solutions.
And there you have AANP’s new tagline. AANP President Mike Cronin had the opening session crowd roaring as he demonstrated his gift for poetry:
There’s been a health revolution
In our institution
A tagline reconstitution
Natural Medicine. Real Solutions.
Yes, much more to come on this.
Jumpstarting the Institute for Natural Medicine
The conference also served as the occasion to announce the re-launch of the INM. As a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization, the INM will lead fundraising efforts that aim to transform health care in America by making naturopathic medicine principles the foundation for the practice of medicine. Attendees at our celebratory gala pledged $30,000 to support the INM! The INM will fund initiatives that support public education, access to licensed NDs, and research. And not only will the INM support AANP, but it is positioned to support other naturopathic medicine organizations and initiatives that advance the profession.
2nd Annual Stakeholder and State Leadership Summit
people volunteered a full day of their time to help shape a strong future for naturopathic medicine. Participants came to Keystone a day early to talk about such important issues as state licensure, insurance coverage, and collaboration across the many organizations and stakeholders in naturopathic medicine. No CE or other tangible reward was offered to participants, only the opportunity to contribute to shaping the future of the profession. The group included students, long-time leaders in the profession, state leaders, specialty organization leaders, and others. In the months to come, you’ll hear much more about these important discussions.
What else caused a buzz in Keystone? Well-attended herb walks and bike rides in the beautiful Rocky Mountain setting; a packed exhibit hall bubbling with excitement about so many wonderful products; and canoe and paddleboat races that had alums wildly cheering for their school to come out on top.
Keystone was an event like none that I’ve ever experienced. As people headed home from Keystone, optimism about the future of naturopathic medicine was pervasive. At the AANP national office, we are working hard every day to translate that optimism into real progress for the profession. I’m glad to say there’s no fluff whatsoever in what we’re doing and planning, together.