May 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Every year the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) sponsors an amazing event that brings the field of Naturopathic Medicine to the attention of our nation’s congressional leaders. The Federal Legislative Initiative, or “DC FLI,” takes place in early May involving several days of training and preparation before sending forth over 150 naturopathic physicians and naturopathic medical students ready to lobby for changes in healthcare that will increase access to naturopathic sevices for more Americans. During this year’s Lobby Day on May 3rd, I had the privilege of visiting the offices of Senator Cardin and Congressman Sarbanes from Maryland as well as Senators McCaskill and Bond and Congressman Clay from my home state of Missouri.

Our specific requests included:

  • Adding naturopathic physicians to federal loan reimbursement programs that support primary care physicians working in rural and under-served communities.
  • Incorporating a more specific definition of “integrative healthcare practitioner” into future Healthcare Reform Bill revisions.
  • Protecting the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) as it is written to ensure safe access to quality nutritional supplements.

Thankfully, our profession’s core philosophy of encouraging individuals to take a more active role in their own health was well-received by the legislative aids we met with on the Hill. One day we hope that naturopathic medicine can help meet the growing need for more primary care physicians in our country’s challenged healthcare system. Until then, we will keep bringing ideas and recommendations for shifting the “healthcare conversation” back to health and healing to the offices and ears of those who can implement change.

How can you participate in this change? Visit the AANP website and sign up for the Action E-List to receive alerts when you can e-mail your congressmen and congresswomen.

Let your voice be heard!

Entry filed under: Community Updates, spring.

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