Plan Now to celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week
The second annual Naturopathic Medicine Week will be held this October 6-12. It’s a terrific opportunity to celebrate the profession and spread awareness of the benefits of naturopathic medicine to prospective patients, legislators, the media, and the public!
Last year’s Naturopathic Medicine Week was extremely successful – the first such occasion ever celebrated by NDs in the US and the first time that Congress has officially acknowledged naturopathic medicine as “safe, affordable, and effective.” AANP members held at least 66 events (just the ones we know of), reaching thousands of patients and new patients. The activities included open houses, wellness walks, educational talks, free consults, information tables, food tastings, and charity raffles. Proclamations were issued from the governors of Arizona and Delaware and the mayor of the county of Hawaii (the 50th state). In the media, NDs were interviewed in print and on the air, guest columns and letters to the editor were placed, tweets were sent, and blogs were posted.
You can hold an event yourself – be creative! Starter resources are on AANP’s Naturopathic Medicine Week page. Consider reaching out to business partners to lend support and to student volunteers. The success can be huge, and limited only by your imagination.
In short, go for it! You’ll have a great time planning your event and you’ll be helping to make more consumers aware of the benefits of natural medicine. Have questions or want to suggest additional ideas? Contact Mike Jawer of the AANP staff.
Celebrating the Healing Power of Nature
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Appropriations Committee, has introduced S. Res. 420 to establish October 6-12 as the next Naturopathic Medicine Week. She's joined by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Senator Angus King (I-ME). In the House, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) has introduced an identical measure, H. Res. 508, which has both Republican and Democrat cosponsors.
The very first Naturopathic Medicine Week, last October, spurred NDs to hold at least 66 events across the country, reaching more than 5000 people – including many prospective patients. The education, consciousness raising, media attention, and fun that came out of the Week will be expanded upon in 2014.
Naturopathic Medicine Week provides an opportunity for passionate and unified groups to positively impact the health of their communities. It’s that kind of unity that will be essential in order for us to continue to make significant inroads on the policy front. In 2014, that unity resulted in Maryland becoming licensed, NDs expanding their scope of practice in Connecticut, and states advocating nationwide 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.
Go ahead and plan an activity now to celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014! October 6-12 will be a special time for our profession. Below is a list of event ideas and promotional resources you can use.