November 2011: A Fond Farewell

By Gene McGill, Director of State Government Relations

For the past nine years Karen E. Howard has served the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians as their Executive Director. And from the moment she began Karen used her expertise guiding and directing the AANP. Even with the announcement of her retirement from the AANP in August Karen has maintained the highest level of integrity working with the board and staff to insure a smooth transition.  Her dedication was obvious right through to this past weekend where she hosted the State Affiliates meeting in Connecticut, a two day mini summit for state presidents and executive directors to offer direction, advice and motivation for moving legislation and regulations forward in 2012.  Karen has been a hands on, fully immersed leader who never gave less then her best to the AANP. Words can not express our gratitude to you Karen.
During her tenure Karen has taken the AANP from a fledging organization on the verge of extinction to a vibrant organization on sound financial footing. Through Karen’s work, the AANP is recognized at the highest levels of federal government. Karen has made the AANP an important voice in the Coalition for Patients’ Rights, and has represented the AANP with a seat on the Board of the prestigious National Foundation of Women Legislators. Through the DC FLI (Federal Legislative Initiative), Karen has taught hundreds of naturopathic doctors the skills necessary to discuss legislative issues concerning licensure, reimbursement and scope of practice. Through her guidance, doctors in several more states and the District of Columbia were given the legal right to practice medicine.  
The AANP will continue to move in a positive direction. The search is on for a new Executive Director. We trust in our Board to make the right decision for a new executive director. But now is not the time for that, now is the time to say THANK YOU Karen Howard!