With all the changes in health care, it is an exciting time for our profession. Officially being in my role as President since January, it has been a busy few weeks, and it is moving as rapidly. We always have exciting projects underway at AANP, and now is no different. Aside from a clinic and family life, I have spent the other third of my time preparing my administration, populating committees, and setting personal priorities for my planned three years of service.
Based on your suggestions, one of my goals is to enhance the quality of our educational offering, and raise the bar on naturopathic post-graduate education overall. As an example, our work on the 2014 Annual Conference is in full swing. It promises to be our best offering yet. To that end we have planned tracks in Primary Care, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Nature Cure, Research, Oncology, and Practice Management. There is sure to be something of value for everyone.
The bar has been raised on the content and evaluation process for our annual conference presentations. For the first time, we have defined criteria which require the majority of every course to be clinically useful, and we’ve enlisted 20 expert reviewers, who will not only review proposals, but also approve final content ensuring every offering is first-rate. Add all this to our favorite venue, the Arizona Biltmore, and you’d better block your schedule now for Aug 6–9!
Another of my priorities is to “get things done!” To that end, we have several strategic committees, populated by thought leaders which guide the board on where to assign priorities. This way the elected leadership is informed of how to best foresee and respond to opportunities.
...I am continually amazed at how our group continues to develop as a sophisticated and effective team despite having busy lives outside of our volunteer work...
Our State and Federal Affairs Committee, which I co-chair with Laura Farr, provides strategic guidance on how to further our agenda of inclusion of naturopathic doctors in federal and state law, regulations, and programs. Our Public Education and Media Affairs Committee, led by Jaclyn Chasse, identifies strategies on how to best promote NDs and our practices, while improving public perceptions and awareness of naturopathic medicine. The Scientific Affairs Committee, with Michelle Simon as Chair, supports research that furthers the public policy goals of the AANP. Mike Cronin and Tabatha Parker are Co-Chairs of the Global Health Committee which is dedicated to promoting the ability of NDs to practice in other countries. The Professional Affairs Committee, with Simon Barker and Mike Cronin as Co-Chairs, is purposed to enhance communications with members and help doctors on the ground have successful practices. If you have unique skills, or have served at the state level in one or more of these arenas, and wish to be part of the team guiding the leaders of our profession, I invite you to contact me directly.
Although I have served on the AANP Board of Directors for five years, I am continually amazed at how our group continues to develop as a sophisticated and effective team despite having busy lives outside of our volunteer work. I am even more amazed at the level of dedication from our AANP Staff that is committed to serving all of us daily. I am thankful for having this opportunity to work with these folks, and although the level of personal sacrifice to business and family can sometimes be tremendous, it is also a great gift- knowing that we have and are continuing to make a difference for our doctors, patients, and communities that need us.
Despite my commitment and that of our Board of Directors and AANP Staff, our success ultimately depends on your participation
1. I invite you to become (or renew) your AANP membership and encourage every colleague, and vendor to do the same. In fact, I make it a prerequisite that a vendor be an AANP member before I purchase from them.
2. Contribute regularly to one of the AANP Priorities, State Licensing, Federal Advocacy, Public Education and Media Affairs, and Scientific Affairs, by clicking here. If each of us contributed an extra $100 per year to state licensing, this would produce a sizeable fund that AANP could target to states needing it the most. Imagine what we could accomplish legislatively, if we were better-funded.
3. Regularly thank AANP Staff and your colleagues who have served on the AANP Board. These are the ones who make a difference for all of us.
4. Consider running for a board position or serving on a committee—nominations for 2015 are coming soon. It really is a gift to be entrusted by our profession to lead us into future success. Consider rewarding yourself with this opportunity.
Yes, it is an exciting time of growth for our association and profession. We have been fortunate to realize a great many successes recently- state licensing and recognition by the United States Congress to name a few. Won’t you join us on the path toward further success by taking some of the steps I outlined above? As I ask myself every day, I challenge you to ask yourself as well, “How has my profession gifted me?” After answering, reciprocate by taking action now and further the positive changes for our medicine and our future!