31 December 2022

Happy New Year's Eve!

Today marks the end of my second full year as the Executive Director of the WANP. I continue to be incredibly honored and humbled to represent and serve this profession in this capacity, and I am proud to highlight just a few things we've accomplished in 2022. Overall, I would say this has been a year of both growth and stabilization. We've certainly learned a lot as we've progressed through the past year, and we are thrilled to share some new programming for 2023 based on feedback from our members.

Looking back on 2022…
January brought significant change to the WANP office with the promotion of Alex Crenshaw to the new nearly full time position of Operations Coordinator, allowing her to further grow and support the work of the Association. We settled in to monthly continuing education offerings to provide our community with ample CE options (all of which are available for "on-demand" purchase and viewing at wanp.org) and regular Pints & Politics events to keep our community informed about our legislative efforts. We continued our work to advance a bill aiming to achieve additional prescriptive authority, to modernize our scope around minor office procedures and physical medicine, and to ensure our doctors have legal authority to sign physician-level documents. For the first time ever, we also introduced bill language requiring private insurers to pay naturopathic physicians the same as our conventionally trained physician colleagues (aka pay parity).

In March, the short 2022 legislative session drew to a close. While we did not achieve our desired outcome, we continued to make progress in educating key legislators about our efforts and becoming increasingly comfortable with our amazing new lobbyist. This was also the month that we introduced a 4-part series on Healing Physician Burn Out that spanned the entire year and which was and is available for free to WANP members.

We were extremely excited to open our 2022 Member Survey in April to help us better understand the composition and needs of our current membership.

In May, we joined together with our colleagues around North America to celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week through social media posts, videos, and other communications.

Throughout June, we received quite a bit of interest in our Board of Directors positions, leading to a highly engaged Board Election in June and July.

Late July found us representing the WANP as the "host state association" for the AANP Convention in Spokane, WA, and we were thrilled to see so many of our members, corporate partners, and friends during our time in eastern Washington.

In August, we got social! We partnered with WANP Corporate Partner Integrative Therapeutics to help congratulate recent Bastyr graduates on completing the NPLEX and to educate them on the value of the state associations. Then we hosted our first major in-person event since 2019: our 2022 Member Party was a beautiful and fun event at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland, WA.

In September, we welcomed our new Board of Directors, we got our Board President Kelsey Klausmeyer married, and we finalized all of the details of our CONNECT 2022 annual conference.

October drew one of the most engaged crowds ever to our CONNECT 2022 virtual continuing education conference and we were delighted to host an unforgettable evening of awards, dancing, and community at our 2022 Gala.

We held our annual Board Retreat in November, during which the Board approved our 2023 Organizational Calendar and our 2023 Budget. We also sent out our first Bylaws Revisions since 2009 to our membership and were pleased to receive nearly unanimous approval of these changes from those members who voted.

Throughout November and December, we also released all of the results of this year's Member Survey to our members and began planning ways to implement some requested programming.

December has had us deep in the throes of planning our CONNECT 2023 conference - which will occur during the spring this year rather than the fall. We are also gearing up for the 2023 Legislative Session and are hopeful for some success this year with the legislature returning at least partially to an in-person format.

Moving forward into 2023…
Based on feedback from our members, we are extremely excited to bring some new offerings to our community in 2023.

First, we are focused on passing our legislation recognizing naturopathic physicians as the primary care providers that we are trained to be. We will continue our work on expanding our prescriptive authority, allowing us to sign physician documents, modernizing our language around minor office procedures, demanding higher reimbursement for our doctors, and protecting access to reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare in Washington. Keep an eye out for our legislative calls to action and Pints & Politics events in these coming months.

In March, we will host our first Coffee CONNECTions event, intended to bring our community together for some networking, case studies, and socialization.

We hope to bring our community together again in April by organizing a contingent of our members to volunteer for the Seattle-King County Clinic, returning to Seattle Center for the first time since 2019.

By popular request, our CONNECT 2023 continuing education conference will take place May 4-7, 2023, rather than in the fall. We will continue to offer the same virtual conference experience you've come to know and love, but we will also be offering some content IN PERSON at Bastyr University. This year, you can choose to attend only virtually, only in person, or you can opt for the full 4-day conference experience! (Discounted tickets go on sale TOMORROW!)

In June, we're teaming up with Bastyr University to help educate our doctors on how to welcome students into your clinic in a way that meets your and their needs in a brand new Preceptor Panel virtual event.

The summer will involve another Board Election - this year including the position of President of the WANP, as Dr. Klausmeyer completes his 6th and final year in the role.

We'll welcome our members to beautiful Alki Beach in West Seattle for our 2023 Annual Member Party on August 26 as the culmination of a month-long membership drive.

In October, we are so excited to bring together subject matter experts in business management, building/growing a successful practice, billing and coding, and so much more in our first ever Practice Management 1-day Seminar.

After that, we'll be looking ahead to 2024 and all the exciting things to come.

We have a lot to be proud of looking back on the past year, but we also recognize that there is still work to be done to help our doctors gain the recognition and respect they deserve. We want you to know that we’re here, working for you.
We are so grateful for you, our members, and we send warm wishes of peace, good health, love, success, rest, and joy in 2023.
With gratitude,
s/ Angela Ross, ND
Executive Director - WANP