Association Spotlight: Lighting the Path to Success
TIA TRIVISONNO, ND, LAC
When the wind of change blows, some people build walls and others build windmills. (Chinese Proverb)
The New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians (NYANP) is deeply committed to the mission: healthy New Yorkers, licensed naturopathic physicians. The organization embraces a vision of advancing access to naturopathic medicine in New York as well as increasing awareness of the medicine locally on a state level, throughout the country, and across the globe.
We at the NYANP believe that better outcomes for the individual, and for society as a whole, stem from a mindset of gratitude, a desire to provide service, cooperative teamwork, and respectful relationships. With this intention in mind, our leadership has set goals to foster the growth of the organization professionally as we aim to shift the medical paradigm and cultivate better healthcare for our patients, our families, and ourselves.
In times of crisis, we are called to action. The moments that provide the greatest challenge in our lives also offer the most potential for opportunity when leadership steps forward to shed light on what is necessary to effect change and promote healing within ourselves and for the world at large.
In keeping with the principle docere, or doctor as teacher, we as naturopathic physicians have signed up to serve, to educate, and to empower patients to lead healthier lives. As the nation’s leading experts in the prevention of chronic disease, there is an urgent need for our medicine to be fully integrated into an innovative and more cooperative system of care for future generations. Collectively, the NYANP has risen to meet these challenging times by increasing its efforts to keep our community informed, working to expand our presence in the mainstream, and establishing more collaborative partnerships within our industry. We have taken several action steps to provide better service to our members in an effort to show our deepest gratitude for their support.
A Different Fall Conference
For many years, the NYANP has held its annual conference in the fall. Each year in October, we look forward to gathering in person in New York City to share knowledge, learn from experts in the field, and catch up with colleagues and friends from across the country. The year 2020 has been one of great tragedy and painful transformation that has affected each of us in a powerful and unforgettable way. It has given us pause to reflect on what matters most and to visualize how to set our intention for a healthier world. In this climate of confusion and instability, where even the near future feels unknown and out of reach, we must stay grounded and honor the naturopathic principle to first do no harm.
In the spirit of service and in recognition of the physical, emotional, and socioeconomic stress we currently face as a community, NYANP board members recently voted unanimously to host this year’s conference completely free of charge and open to all. It will be held virtually to alleviate any travel concerns and to prioritize the safety of our attendees, volunteers, and brilliant panel of experts. We will be streaming the conference the day of the event and providing recordings for all who register. Thanks to the technical expertise of NYANP Secretary, Dr Rick Brinkman, we are able to transition seamlessly from an in-person conference to a virtual one without having to consider postponing the event.
A Dedicated Team
The NYANP is truly grateful for all of the volunteer efforts of a team of dedicated and creative people with big hearts and bright minds. Advisory board member, Evan Zang, has been instrumental in guiding our growth and encouraging our team to think in terms of a greater horizon for naturopathic medicine and a new level of inspired vision of success for our organization. The NYANP continues to evolve as a working board with committees designated to focus on the primary goals of membership, legislation, fundraising, and education. It represents a strong lineage of mentorship and collective guidance.
Good leaders know when it time to lead and when it is time to follow. In the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, we looked to the guidance of our leadership on a national level from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), lead by President Dr Robert Kachko. Our executive director, Nicole Nenninger, focused her efforts on compiling resources and sharing information from the AANP as well as articles and guidelines from our colleagues in order to provide up-to-date information for our membership that would be readily available and easily accessible through our website and social media. Nicole continues to create innovative ways to grow our organization while maintaining the highest level of professionalism and integrity.
In an effort to aid the recovery of a healthier New York, the NYANP created a committee designated to the collation of clinical research and review of clinical care outcomes for patients diagnosed with, exposed to, or recovering from COVID-19. With the help of Dr Lindsay Baum in Portland, Oregon, the NYANP was able put out a press release announcing this event; it was picked up by more than 250 media contacts around from around the world. The committee meets to discuss relevant topics and international data relating to the pandemic, and strives to provide support and resources to help NDs better serve their patients as the country phases through reopening. The recovery of a healthier New York is dependent upon the emergence of a new medical paradigm that provides regulation and fully recognizes the necessary resource of naturopathic doctors who offer solutions and individualized guidance for healthy living.
Ongoing Licensure Efforts
The licensure effort in the State of New York has been ongoing for several decades and has encountered many obstacles along the way. The NYANP is grateful for the wisdom and expertise that has been passed down through the years from passionate doctors like Dr Doni Wilson, who spearheaded this effort years ago.
Past-Presidents Dr Sean Heerey and Dr Peter Bongiorno have also stayed the course of this effort and continue to provide the board with a sense of political history and creative strategies to move forward in pursuit of our goal of licensure. In more recent years, our legislative team, led by the exceptionally dedicated Dr Amy Cole, has been working closely with Ryan Horstmyer from the lobby firm Shenker Russo & Clark LLP. The firm’s dedication to our cause, including their level of appreciation to detail, integrity, and professionalism, has continued to impress our organization and renew a sense of optimism that licensure in New York is only a matter of time. It is a testament to the high caliber of excellence that was set by the late Cindy Shenker, whose passion and commitment for service was exceptional and continues to shine on. Ryan Horstmyer has gone above and beyond the call of duty, creating a free webinar for NYANP members outlining the guidelines for the phases of reopening from quarantine.
As President of the NYANP, I am honored to be part of a group of committed visionaries and exceptional doctors. I feel that the future is bright for naturopathic medicine in New York. Throughout this challenging time, our community has stepped up and continued to work from a place of solution-oriented thinking to creatively produce platforms to share ideas and resources, not only regarding health and safety, but also the transitioning to telehealth and different business models. It has been a pleasure to work with NYANP sponsor, Nana Jokura, who has served our community by offering 2 free master classes aimed at inspiring a mindset of healthy success for our doctors to serve more people from a place of greater freedom.
The NYANP is honored to serve our membership and looks forward to our continued growth as a professional organization. Special thanks to our leader-level members – NYANP Treasurer Dr Jillian Finker, Dr Chun-Ming Lin, Dr Steve Nenninger, and Dr Mychael Seubert – for their continuous support and generosity.
Dear colleagues, I hope you will join us for our free conference on October 17th.
Dr Tia Trivisonno
“The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion, the tunnel is.” ~Unknown