President's Message by Setareh Tais, ND
Dear CNDA family,
It is my great pleasure to greet you as the president of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association. I was so happy to see many of our doctors at the recent Merging Medicine XVI conference in Berkeley last month. In reviewing the conference surveys, I was thrilled to read the positive feedback about the impressive organization of our executive director, Larry Cook, the high quality presentations and expert speakers, and the gorgeous venue at the Claremont Spa and Resort. What touched me the most was that the most common reason doctors chose to attend our conference, aside from receiving some of the highest quality naturopathic continuing education in the country, was to support the CNDA. In addition, we raised $22,803 in donations. I sincerely thank you all for your support and generosity, which is much needed during the critical months ahead.
In December 2014, we will be introducing legislation to ensure that the naturopathic scope of practice in California parallels our training in primary care medicine. This will be no easy feat and we are anticipating opposition from several groups. Our Legislative Committee, chaired by Jennifer Bahr with the leadership support of Angela Agrios, Minna Yoon and Simon Barker, is tirelessly strategizing and attending regular meetings with stakeholders and congressional representatives. Our Lobby Day last month was the most successful yet: over 60 doctors and students attended 68 meetings with legislators' offices! There is still much work ahead to successfully pass this bill, though, and there's so much our California doctors can do to support our grassroots campaign. We still need more doctors attending in-district meetings. If you've never attended a meeting, have no fear: our legislative team, with the help of our coordinator, Lauren Fuhry, has created a thorough training manual for attending in-district meetings. We've put together a brief introductory webinar and handouts that cover talking points, studies on naturopathic medicine and frequently asked questions. Please contact Lauren as soon as possible to learn more about meeting with your representatives. You can also visit the CNDA advocacy page to learn more about supporting the CNDA's legislative efforts.
Affordable Care Act
In addition to our upcoming scope bill, the CNDA is also collaborating with the AANP to implement the non-discrimination clause (Section 2706) of the Affordable Care Act. Our new Insurance Sub-Committee, chaired by newly elected board member Dhurga Reddy, is working to build a new insurance page on the CNDA website that will include status updates and clear instructions for patients to file complaints for denied insurance claims. Her team is also meeting with insurers to provide education about the benefits of including naturopathic doctors as in-network providers.
All of our legislative work takes hundreds of hours from our volunteer doctors and staff, and is also quite expensive. We would not be able to move forward without the revenue generated by our conferences and webinars. Our Professional Development Committee, chaired by Debi Walker and myself, is dedicated to providing high quality, relevant and original naturopathic and integrative medicine presentations. We have recently conducted a survey inquiring about what kind of conferences and webinars you'd like to see. So far this year, we've had over 240 doctors from across the country complete our survey. We hear you and thanks to all the doctors who shared their feedback and interests with us: this year the CNDA will continue to provide high quality, original presentations that are easily accessible via a live webinar option. If you are in need of continuing education credits, please also see our self-study shopping cart for a wide range of our past excellent presentations. Based on popular demand for advanced topics in bio-identical hormones and endocrinology, our next pharmacy webinar – optimizing hormones in men on May 13th – will be presented by California's leading compounding pharmacist, Peter Koshland (Pharm.D). I am looking forward to it so that I can provide more options to my male patients!
In addition to our widely attended conferences and webinars, I am so happy to see that our membership numbers have continued to rise. In fact, with 70% of California licensed naturopathic doctors being members of the CNDA, we have one of the highest membership rates of any naturopathic state association. Our Membership Committee, chaired by Lily Au, continues to create wonderfully enticing membership benefits. Since all California licensed doctors received their naturopathic education out of state, it is critical that new California doctors familiarize themself with our unique scope of practice and how naturopathic businesses are run in California. To that end, the membership committee recently created both a mentorship program for new California doctors and also a 51-page step-by-step Practice Guide for setting up a practice in California, which includes numerous business templates. For a list of all of our membership benefits and a link to sign up as a member, please visit www.calnd.org.
With our incredible committees run by passionate volunteer doctors plowing ahead, the CNDA is now re-focusing our attention on creating two new committees. Stay tuned for updates on our newly formed Fundraising Committee and the rebuilding of our Public Affairs Committee, which will be dedicated to educating the public through RealizeHealth.org, our consumer education website. Our goals are to increase the practice success of naturopathic doctors and improve patient access to high quality holistic, prevention-based, wellness-oriented primary health care.
I want to express my gratitude for the leadership of our immediate Past President, Angela Agrios, as well as the hardworking doctors that serve on the board and our many committees who have helped pave the way for the success of naturopathic doctors in California. And while I am confident in our team, we need everyone to get involved! Now is the time to become a member or renew your membership, make a donation to support the naturopathic cause, sign up for a committee, attend one of our upcoming webinars or self-study programs and join our grassroots campaign by signing up for an in-district meeting. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am so looking forward to the years ahead serving the naturopathic profession in California. Won't you join me?