I can hardly believe it has been just over 12 months since I took the role of president. In some ways it seems as if I just ran for office, while in others it seems much longer. Certainly, I have some more grey as a result!
Your AANP is as strong as ever. Our financial condition is strong. We ended 2014 in the black; and, just weeks ago, the board approved a thoughtful budget that provides strong support for our programs. Our staffing remains efficient and effective, and our Board of Directors, House of Delegates, and Committees are composed of great volunteers dedicated to helping you.
We saw a staffing transition in 2014. Despite departure of two good office staff, then separation of our chief executive, we still have a team that is highly-skilled, dedicated, and loyal to you, our patients, and our causes. Our team: Ronda (Members Services,) Mandisa (Director of Marketing and Membership,) and Mike (Director of Govt. Affairs,) has been effective in moving projects forward despite the transitions. And, I’m pleased to report that as of this week, we now have a highly-skilled Interim Executive Director, Dennis, who will be managing our capable staff through May while a comprehensive Executive Director search is underway. Please welcome Dennis, and thank our staff when you interface with them. They are working hard for all of us.
In the past 12 months, we’ve seen great success on the community-building front. We held a highly successful convention- with strong CE as well as fantastic parties at the Arizona Biltmore. We held an incredible legislative training and lobby day in Washington, DC, our DC FLI- where over 130 congressional offices were visited. We brought together an unprecedented number of experts to AANP committees to provide advice, technical expertise, and invaluable intellectual capital toward identifying and supporting the best campaigns and projects. And, we did all this without raising taxes!
In the past 12 months, we’ve seen multiple successes on an advocacy front. We saw the regulation of Maryland. We saw modernization of the ND scope in several states, and legislation introduced in multiple others. We secured reaffirmation of Naturopathic Medicine Week by the US Senate and we led an effective campaign in support of section 2706- the anti-discrimination clause of the Affordable Care Act - which requires ND services to be paid by insurance. During the past 12 months, we initiated a Medicare inclusion effort, as well as a VA inclusion effort - both designed to provide more opportunities for our doctors and graduates and help those that who desperately need us, access us. We spoke up to the FDA on planned regulation that could interfere with availability of IV nutrition, and we put forth comments on the importance of funding ND residencies in proposed residency funding reforms. Of course, we provided expert testimony, and letters of support to states needing legislative assistance, while holding monthly state alliance webinars, and our in-person state alliance meetings.
I could go on, but it is time for me to get back to clinic, the work that allows me to volunteer.
Thank you for your commitment to naturopathic medicine, your support of my administration and your support for all of us at AANP. You can be proud of what your professional association is doing. Please know that if it was not for our staff, volunteers, and your membership dollars none of the work would be possible. Please join/ renew your membership, or renew at a higher level. Please join your state association as well. Encourage others to do the same, so we can be more effective collectively. I’m confident we will have an even stronger and even more-effective naturopathic profession in 2015. Together, we’ll keep up the good work!
Kasra Pournadeali, ND, AANP President