December 2011: 2011 Snapshot

By Gene McGill, Director of State Government Relations

Out with the old, in with the new!
Not so fast. For the past two years Dr. Carl Hangee-Bauer has served as the President of the Board of Directors for the AANP. Under his direction the board has moved forward with an increased emphasis on government affairs, both federal and state. 
In the federal area, the AANP has recently offered insight and guidance to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on dietary supplements and to Health and Human Services (HHS) on the development of Accountable Care Organizations. 
Dr. Hangee-Bauer made the most significant changes in the state legislative arena. His focus on the importance of state licensure and on increasing the scope of practice in licensed states drove the work plan of the board for the past two years. To that end, the AANP board authorized a new position of Director of State Government Affairs in 2010. This position is specifically responsible for state efforts to increase licensure and scope of practice, managing the state licensing alliance, providing on-site consulting support and supporting collaboration among licensed and unlicensed state associations. The push for greater presence in state legislatures is paying off. Some one hundred fifty pieces of legislation were introduced impacting naturopathic medicine throughout the United States in the past legislative session. The AANP monitored all licensure and regulatory bills on a daily basis, provided testimony to state legislative committees and conducted face-to-face meetings with lawmakers from fourteen states.  
The AANP continues to increase its visibility at major conferences such as National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) which is a forum for the exchange of ideas to be pursued by state legislators. Another high profile organization where the AANP is active is the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) – a seventy-year-old organization of woman legislators. The AANP has earned a position on the NFWL board and will continue to raise awareness among legislators of the importance of licensure for naturopathic doctors. These types of external relationships are critical to our overall success. 
As the AANP moves forward into 2012, Dr. Michael Cronin will take the reins as the new President of the Board of Directors. Rest assured that our direction remains constant. The board of directors approved the 2012 budget at their most recent meeting. Both the government affairs portion of the work plan and budget remain vital to the focus of the board. 
The AANP is more visible than ever, from state houses to congress. The board and staff will continue to work with state associations to move scope and licensure efforts forward. Please take a moment to thank Dr. Hangee-Bauer for his fine work as your President for the past two years and to welcome Dr. Cronin to his new position as he works to push the AANP to even greater heights.