Senate Resolution 221, which recognized that naturopathic medicine is “safe, effective, and affordable,” passed just one short month ago. In that time, our members posted on our web site information about 66 events they were hosting in 26 states and at all five U.S. naturopathic medical schools. We know that many other events took place that were never listed on our web site. There were open houses, lecture series, charity raffles, food tastings, and fun runs.
...the Delaware Governor issued a proclamation recognizing Naturopathic Medicine Week urging Delawareans to recognize the important, positive role naturopathic medicine can play in prevention & wellness in our lives...
In addition, members wrote blogs introducing the public to naturopathic medicine. They placed newspaper articles and participated in numerous television and radio interviews. Even the Governor of Delaware issued a proclamation recognizing Naturopathic Medicine Week urging Delawareans “to recognize the important, positive role naturopathic medicine can play in prevention and wellness in our lives,” and Delaware’s not even a licensed state!
Through the generosity of several corporate sponsors – Nature-Throid, Emerson Ecologics, and Nutrex Hawaii – AANP was able to provide financial support to events in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington.
Nevertheless, quantifying the impact of Naturopathic Medicine Week isn’t easy, although AANP will do its best to do just that. We’re surveying members who hosted events to learn how many people they reached, whether they gained any new patients, and what resources AANP can provide next year to make their events even more successful.
Naturopathic Medicine Week provided great evidence of what a community can do when it is passionate and unified. It’s that kind of unity that will be essential in order for us to continue to make significant inroads on the policy front. By the way, we’re seeing that unity in states that are: working toward licensure (note Pennsylvania, where HB 612 was just approved by the House); striving to expand scope of practice (note Vermont, where NDs have just gained full prescribing rights); and advocating for full implementation of the non-discrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act, which prevents insurers from excluding naturopathic physicians from participating in health insurance (note Hawaii, where the state’s leading health plan just announced it will fully comply with the provision).
Let’s savor Naturopathic Medicine Week 2013. At the same time, it’s not too soon to begin thinking about how you’ll celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014. That’s right, mark your calendar for Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014 – October 6-12. I can’t wait to celebrate the successes we’ll achieve between now and then.