Public Education and Media Outreach
9/17/2013
Jaclyn Chasse, ND, PEMA Committee Chair
Our power is in our patients
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
by: Jaclyn Chasse, ND, PEMA Committee Chair

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It’s a very exciting time for the Public Education and Media Affairs (PEMA) Committee, with Naturopathic Medicine Week only a few short weeks away.  In case you weren’t aware, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution to declare October 7-13th Naturopathic Medicine Week.  This resolution came out of the enthusiastic efforts of the doctors and students who attended the 2013 DC FLI and made this ask of their Senators, followed by the excellent work of Mike Jawer and Jud Richland.
...think of how many patients express, "I wish I'd found this sooner" or "I had no idea this kind of medicine was out there!" Naturopathic Medicine Week offers the opportunity to overcome this barrier of knowledge and spread the word...

Our power is in our patients.  Most of us have experienced a large percentage of our practice growth from word-of-mouth marketing.  You’re able to help people, and they share their story with their friends and family to encourage them to also use your services.  For many patients, this referral may be the first time they’ve heard of a Naturopathic Doctor.  This is our biggest weakness, and our biggest opportunity.  I can’t think of how many patients express, “I wish I’d found this sooner” or “I had no idea this kind of medicine was out there!”  Naturopathic Medicine Week offers the opportunity to overcome this barrier of knowledge and spread the word about what NDs offer to their patients.

The PEMA committee hopes that each of you grasp the opportunity that this week provides to promote your practice within your community.   Federal recognition of this awareness week gives you more leverage when you reach out to your newspapers, radio stations, and tv stations because it makes a story more relevant when they can tie it into this federal event.  At a minimum, I hope that you offer an event through your practice to bring awareness to the community about Naturopathic Medicine.

As you solidify your plans for the week, please touch base with the AANP to share the details of your event.  We’ll help you promote it, and also keep track of your great ideas to build a database of possibilities for next year.  I can’t wait to see what great ideas NDs put together!

The PEMA committee has many other things in process, such as development of a new, patient-facing website in conjunction with the Institute for Natural Medicine as well as developing media trainings to help each ND feel more comfortable putting themselves out there in the most effective ways.  Please stay tuned for developments in these areas!
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