12 August 2022

Our regulatory board has been hard at work advancing several rule-making efforts over the last several months. Below is my effort to briefly summarize some of the key decisions made at the regular Board meeting on 8/12/2022.

Colon Hydrotherapist Certification
The Board was required by the Washington State Legislature to complete the development of a Colon Hydrotherapist Certification no later than July 1, 2022. The Board successfully met that requirement and adopted rules that officially went into effect on that date. As of July 1, colon hydrotherapists can become certified under this Board and the DOH and the Department has approved 4 certifications as of today and has received an additional 5 applications. The Board is currently working on a contract with the national colon hydrotherapist association to administer a Washington-specific examination as part of the certification process.

Nonsurgical Cosmetic Procedures
This rule-making has been in progress for quite some time - in part due to significant opposition from the conventional medical community and in part due to legislative action that has required the Board to prioritize other rule-making efforts. At this point, the Board is working on compiling feedback, research, and prior efforts to regroup and try to move this forward again.

Continuing Education
This rule-making effort has not advanced due to difficulty in scheduling a meeting of all of the subcommittee members. As Dr. Dean Neary prepares for his term to end, Dr. Krystal Richardson and public member Brooke Fotheringham expressed interest in joining this committee alongside Board Chair Dr. Chad Aschtgen.

Dry Needling Guideline Update
The Board has been working on updating a Guideline they issued in 2012 on the topic of "dry needling." Approval of the updated guideline was deferred until Luke Eaton, the representative from the Attorney General's Office (AGO) on the Board, has a chance to review and make some edits.

COVID Impacts/Updates
The Board briefly discussed the end of Proclamation 20-32 at the end of October 2022. Naturopathic physicians in Washington have always been required to complete all of the continuing education spelled out in the current WAC for our profession. This proclamation only affected the need to attest to the CE and it appears that naturopathic physicians were not even covered in this proclamation.

Board Elections
The Board voted unanimously to maintain Dr. Chad Aschtgen as Chair. Dr. Krystal Richardson will replace Dr. Amira Ahdut as Vice Chair, given that Drs. Ahdut and Aschtgen will roll off the Board at the same time in August 2023.

2023 Board Meetings
The Board voted to approve the following regular meeting dates for 2023:

  • February 10
  • May 12
  • August 11
  • November 17

(Note that all of these meetings are reflected on the WANP's Events Calendar in our effort to keep our community informed about the activities of our regulatory board.)

Boucher IV Training
The Board considered and approved a request to include IV training provided by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) - Boucher Campus in Vancouver, BC, Canada, (AANMC-accredited naturopathic medical program) as meeting the requirement of Washington State licensure.

Reproductive Health
As promised, we here at the WANP submitted a formal request to the Board that included several parts:

  1. We are seeking an interpretation from the Board on whether in-clinic (aka "surgical") abortion is within current scope of naturopathic physicians in Washington.
  2. We are seeking an interpretation from the Board on whether vasectomy care is within current scope of naturopathic physicians in Washington.
  3. We are seeking a petition by the Board to request that the FDA includes naturopathic physicians as authorized prescribers of mifepristone, in line with Washington State law.
  4. We are requesting that the Board be prepared to update guidelines on telemedicine to protect our doctors providing abortion care and/or gender-affirming healthcare under upcoming "Safe Haven" laws.

The Board agreed to work on each of these requests.

Current Licensees
There are currently 1,611 licensed naturopathic physicians in Washington State.

~Angela Ross, ND - WANP Executive Director