From the Executive Director: WANP Goes Digital!

Welcome to the first issue of “Vital News for Washington NDs” — now the official ‘e-newsletter’ of the WANP. It has taken us a couple of years to make the transition, but I’m very pleased to finally be communicating with you in a digital format. With apologies to those of you — who for various reasons — preferred a printed newsletter, there are a lot of benefits from going digital in our communications. And even if you can’t read this quite as easily in the bathroom, I hope you’ll agree that this is the time for the WANP to step into the mainstream of communications technologies.

Some of the benefits that come from leaving paper behind include:

  • Just that, leaving paper behind – and more trees standing. Going digital means going green and better reflects our naturopathic philosophy. This lightens our footprint substantially.
  • More efficiency. Now that we have a template and a design and the support to produce a good looking, readable newsletter, it also will take less of my time and less WANP resources to produce.
  • More flexibility. We are no longer tied to a 16-page format and the restraints that come with hard copy publishing. Issues can adapt to our content and our needs. For you, the reader, this flexibility means being able to have ongoing access to the newsletter through our archives – and an ability to search for that article that you’ve heard about, but didn’t read on the first pass.
  • More access. Want to contact an author, explore a sponsor or advertisers site, or follow up on a related bit of research? Digital publishing means live links. You’re just a click away from expanded horizons. Just click on an ad or a logo or an author’s link and you’re there.
  • More professionalism, more speed, a better look – COLOR pictures! (Ain’t technology amazing. Okay, I may be gushing a bit, but I’ve been publishing a black and white printed version of the newsletter for a number of years and I’m still impressed by what these changes bring.)

Overall, our hope is that by changing the format, we won’t just be offering a more current, or flashier, or technical newsletter for its own sake, but we’ll actually communicate better with you – and our colleagues. Washington leads the nation in many aspects of naturopathic medicine and we are often looked to by up and coming states as an example. I believe this new newsletter will help establish a new standard for our profession as well. Of course that remains to be seen, but that is our goal and we hope you’ll give us feedback and participate with us to help make it a reality.

“We are no longer tied to a 16-page format and the restraints that come with hard copy publishing. …  this flexibility means being able to have ongoing access to the newsletter through our archives – and an ability to search for (and refer to) that article that you’ve heard about, but didn’t read on the first pass.”

The timing of this new format coincides with other significant changes in the WANP as well. Dr. Mona Fahoum is now president of our association and she brings a longstanding commitment to increasing public awareness of naturopathic medicine (and ultimately to increasing patient loads for all of our doctors.) In addition to her role as president, Dr. Fahoum continues to chair our Public Relations committee and has been very instrumental in getting us over the digital threshold to this new publication. Watch for additional related changes in the near future as our PR committee develops new website options for both the public (with an emphasis on helping people learn about and find NDs), and an improved membership site as well.

Another synchronous change with this new newsletter is that we have more interest from our members in submitting material for publication. This is very heartening and suggests our professional community is alive and well and collegial communications has great potential. As a result, we have decided to publish Vital News on a quarterly basis, twice as often as the old Bulletin. So, if you’ve got an article, report, book review, opinion or classified ad you’d like to share, your opportunities for publication just doubled. Publication will follow the seasons with issues in January, April, July and October. Questions or submissions can be sent to us here. (Look at that! You can just click right there while reading this and send your article for the next issue!)

In this issue, you’ll find an interesting variety of information and perspectives. From our membership: Dr. Davis Lamson shares some original research on a number of immune stimulation strategies. Dr. Que Areste shares her experience with Buteyko breathing techniques and Dr. Bill Caradonna offers his clinical perspective on the use of injection therapy with homeopathic solutions.

Mr. John Peick of the WANP corporate sponsor firm, the Peick Law Group, has contributed an article on billing procedures and the importance of understanding the impact of time spent in an office visit on the selection of the appropriate CPT Evaluation and Management codes.

This issue also includes an ‘In Memorium’ section to honor the passing of several individuals who have been very important to our profession. Two long-standing WANP members – Dr. Jenefer Huntoon and Dr. Ken Harmon – are eulogized by WANP past president, Dr. Dan Labriola. In addition, Dr. Richard Kitaeff offers a thoughtful tribute to Dr. Michael Schirmer, a medical colleague and pioneer in the field of balneotherapy.

WANP board member Dr. Setareh Tais offers her response to recent critical commentary from allopathic associations about naturopathic medicine. Going forward, if you have an opinion on an article that we publish, or a commentary on something you read in the press, please consider sharing it with your colleagues via Vital News. We welcome your perspectives and opinions and invite you to submit them to ‘Letters to the Editor’ via our contact page.

For this first issue, we have actually limited the content a bit — beta testing, working the bugs out and all that – and we weren’t able to include all the material that we received. However, many thanks to all those who submitted articles and reports for consideration. Our capacity will increase with future issues and hopefully, you too will consider making a submission. Deadline for our Spring issue is March 1st. This is a new tool, for all of us, and it can be a tool to improve our connections and community and to nurture the increased vitality that only results from collective communication and collaboration.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Robert May, ND
Executive Director

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