28 November 2023

We are so proud to see WANP member Andrew Simon, ND, BCB, featured by the Washington State Department of Health's Power of Providers (POP) Initiative! Dr. Simon serves as WANP's liaison to the POP Advisory Group, and he has advanced the naturopathic physician voice in this group - and particularly with discussions about how to approach long COVID. Here's what POP leadership had to say about Dr. Simon and what Dr. Simon had to say about building trust with patients:

"Our provider spotlight this month features Andrew Simon, ND, BCB. Dr. Simon is a naturopathic physician and adjunct professor at Bastyr University in Seattle, where he supervises student clinicians at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. He runs a small clinical office and is a valued member of POP’s Advisory Group. As a POP Advisor, Dr. Simon volunteered his time to collaborate with the Department of Health (DOH) and UW Medicine to develop a clinical training and education proposal to address Long COVID treatment gaps in Washington. Dr. Simon shares some powerful strategies for building trust and a sense of safety with patients:"

Important strategies to promote vaccination are listening to someone's health history, really following what their concerns are, talking through things, making sure there is time and space to let the vaccine do its work, and tracking any side effects. Screening for risk factors helps us promote vaccines in a way that removes fear and bias.  It feels safe for our patients when we take time and implement a thorough process of understanding their health history.

My patients trust me to understand how vaccines work and the science behind them. I talk closely with them and explain that I prefer a controlled approach to exposing the immune system. The components of the vaccine are preferable to an infection that carries more risk and does more harm. The pandemic has progressed; we've learned; and that's a good thing.

We can take the time and effort to really listen and help bridge a connection. Getting to know my patients, and building rapport with them, helps to reduce their fear and concerns about safety. When we feel knowledgeable and informed and are in a calmer less fear-based setting, we can make smarter decisions about our health. One thing that I would suggest to other providers is really addressing fear and discussing how important it is for them to be healthy so they can go to work, or their children can go to school. We need to support each other by having clear, calm conversations.

Excellent work representing our profession, Dr. Simon! Keep it up!