March 2015 Edition

Feature Article
OANP Launches "Lessons Learned" Newsletter Section
Laura Culberson Farr | Executive Director, OANP

In this edition of The Advocate we are revealing our new Lessons Learned Section! 

In the Lessons Learned section, we invite all of you to share with us experiences you have had in practice, in your business, in navigating contracts and relationships, and just generally any pearl of wisdom you have achieved over the years that you would like to share with your colleagues or those just starting out in their own practices. Pearls can either be anonymous or include your contact info for more information. If you have a pearl to share, please send it to:

Negotiating Your First Business Contract (Anonymous)

The longer I am in practice, the more I have learned. I wish I knew then (right after graduation) what I know now. I write this in hopes that others will benefit from my mistakes.

During my residency, I began searching for my next step. Do I continue in my residency? Do I start off on my own? Do I work within a functioning clinic where I would presumably have less start up stress/financial costs? There are so many options for us as new graduates, which is a blessing and a curse. I have never owned a business. Where to start?

I started looking into the ads at all of the schools and making calls, and decided to begin by working in an established clinic. After meeting several doctors, I found a clinic that seemed perfect! The owner said all of the right things. I was very excited.

Here is what I did wrong and here were the red or yellow flags.

In the throws of negotiations and the stress of being a new graduate, I either overlooked the warning signs, or chose to ignore them, or tried to justify them. In retrospect they seem so obvious:

1. The clinic was always closed and empty when I met with the doctor/owner. I would visit on weekends due to full-time work during the work week, and now realize it was more convenient for MY schedule, but absolutely prevented me from seeing the clinic "in action” and talking to other providers.

2. I was told the other doctors were excited to have me there and refer to me, but they mysteriously were never able to be there to meet me when I visited.

3. The contract was extensive, overkill, and confusing. I even have a relative who is an attorney and had said he would be happy to review a contract. But I felt bad bothering him, so didn’t get the review. I was taken into a back room with just the doctor/owner and I, and was asked to read and sign the contract on the spot, then he walked us over to an office nearby to have the contract notorized. He was obviously used to this process.

Needless to say, it didn't end well. I luckily never started my business there. I received an anonymous call warning me to not work with him. Then several ridiculous things happened which led to me suing him in small claims court and getting out of the contract. It was a very sour start to having a clinic or working with other doctors - or just trusting in general.

How I would do things differently:

1. Always insist to shadow a clinic that you may consider joining. Look at the schedule, is it busy? Does the staff respect the doctors and the patients. In the clinic I did join eventually, I did this and it was very helpful.

2. Depending on the financial arrangement, you may ask to see a profit loss statement.

3. If you are making a %, how will you track how you are being paid?

4. If you are going to pay straight rent, how will it escalate over time? What will it include? Front desk support? Checking benefits? Billing? Calling in prescriptions? Brainstorm what details you need to review.

5. When you are preceptoring, ask to spend time behind the front desk. How is the clinic running its business? Figure out the flow of the offices. How do they handle billing, collections, patient recalls, etc. You’ll learn your own style, how you like things to operate, and most importantly what are YOUR red flags that show when things are NOT working as you like.

6. Find out who has worked there before you and call them. Did it end on a bad note? You can glean a lot from these calls. Look at clinic reviews online. Try to take another doctor in the practice out to coffee and talk to them. Google search the owner. Do they have any legal issues in their past? Does anything come up?

7. NEVER, NEVER work without a contract. NEVER, NEVER sign one without an attorney reviewing it. It really doesn't cost that much. Ask around for a contract attorney.

These tips may seem obvious, but if someone is telling you "all the right things,” believe me when I tell you that you just simply may not make good decisions based on what seems "so obvious."

News From the Executive Director
Laura Culberson Farr l Executive Director, OANP

  You’ve seen our three staff faces for years and it’s with sadness for us, but happiness for her, that we’re announcing that Mary Closson, OANP’s Director of Membership and Development, has accepted a position as the P2i (which stands for Preconception to Infancy) Program Manager for The Forum, and will be leaving the OANP effective March 27th.

Mary has been a dynamic part of OANP’s team since 2012, bringing members and corporate partners a high-touch personalized service that helped fuel OANP’s growth.

She represented the OANP at member meetings and community events with grace and professionalism, helped to expand and deepen OANP’s partnerships, and launched OANP’s personal coaching program as our first initiative to help doctors be as successful as possible in their practices.

Our goal is to hire someone by the end of March, who will never be able to replace Mary, but who can bring new skills and new energy to the OANP and will keep those lines of communication open with you, our members, our partners, and our community.

Please forward the job announcement found here to any colleagues you know who might be interested in joining the OANP team and bringing the profession of Naturopathic Medicine to all Oregonians!

Applications are due March 18th.

Community News

Brook Schales, ND, LMP l Physician Member Coordinator, OANP

Natural Doctors International (NDI) is offering a 10-day Global Health Course for natural medicine students and providers! In the course you will see 100-200 patients in the oldest naturopathic clinic working internationally on the beautiful island of Ometepe in Nicaragua. Spend 28-32 hours directly shadowing an ND, LAc, and/or Psychologist, and gain clinical experience in how to apply natural medicine in a very resource-poor developing world setting. Students receive up to 40 preceptor hours and doctors receive up to 60 CEUs.

The 2015 Brigade Dates are:  March 27th-April 5th, April 25th – May 4th, July 11th-20th, and August 29th-September 7th. NCNM students may also receive 5 hours of credit if they enroll through the NCNM elective!

Space is limited. For more information, please

Apply today!

Mary Closson l Director of Membership & Development, OANP

Early Bird Rate of $195 Extended to Wednesday, April 1st.

The P2i conference is designed for all medical professionals including naturopathic physicians, nurse practitioners, medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy.  Physicians attending the conference are invited to a hosted reception and dinner on Friday, April 10th. This will be a great opportunity for doctors to meet the outstanding faculty who are flying in from around the country to be presenters at this conference.

For more information, please contact:
John DeHoney, Executive Director


Register Now!

Brook Schales, ND, LMP l Physician Member Coordinator, OANP
On behalf of several OANP members, we are thrilled to announce the formation of the Naturopathic Psychospiritual Collaborative, a newly founded non-profit organization dedicated to bringing psychospiritual awareness to the practice of naturopathic medicine and the process of healing.

On March 21, 2015, from 10AM-12:30PM, they will be holding their first event: "Principles and Practices of Psychotherapeutics in a Naturopathic Medical Practice" at Opening to Life 407 NE 12th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232. Please join for a dynamic discussion on the core principles of naturopathic medicine and how they can be incorporated into a psychospiritual practice.

For more information:
Call: Raymond Diaz, N.D. - (503)231-0424
Email: HilaryFarberowStuart, N.D. -

Member News

Mary Closson l Director of Membership & Development, OANP
To those familiar with Clatsop County, the economic news is not good. State health experts consider it impoverished with more than 45% of children on free or reduced lunch programs. But these conditions haven’t proved to be daunting for Dr. Kathleen Flewelling and her office manager, Wendy Stafford. With an awareness that more than one-third of their patients were on the Oregon Health Plan, the two women decided a year ago that it was time to become a Patient Centered Primary Care Home.

Read Full Article

Community Supporter News

Angie Daschel l Marketing Manager, Labrix Clinical Services

Labrix Clinical Services was founded 10 years ago by Erin Lommen ND and Jay Mead, MD with the goal of raising the bar on the quality and efficiency of salivary hormone testing. Labrix’ efficient business culture is guided by the themes of quality service and good, honest work, which translates to the best laboratory experience for you and your patients. Many practitioners partner with Labrix and take advantage of many benefits included with their testing account, and see a significant increase in efficiency as a result.  

You know that scheduling your patient for the follow-up appointment in good time is key to keeping your patient engaged in their health.  Labrix fast results turnaround time means you can schedule next appointments with the assurance that test results will be ready on time. Simply calculate the date your patient needs to collect her sample, add 5 business days for shipping and testing and you can set that next appointment shortly after.  

Time is of the essence in a busy practice.  When you get your test reports back, sometimes you want input from one of the Labrix staff physicians. Well, help is a phone call away; Labrix will usually have a staff physician available immediately and at the most within a couple of hours. There’s no need to schedule an appointment for follow up support.  

Many patients have questions, often more questions than you have time for. Labrix partners with you to bring patient education resources and webinars so you don’t have to create your own material.  Help with sample collection questions is important.  Your patients will appreciate the easy-to-follow instructions and small, color-coded tubes as well as individual Hormone and Neurotransmitter kits, the NeuroHormone kit, which combines both neurotransmitter and hormone testing into one take-home box, an efficient collection device for your patients.  

Along with excellent customer service and account representatives, Labrix has many ways to increase efficiency through targeted marketing designed for you to easily utilize in your practice. Email to learn how you can increase efficiency in your business with simple tools or to brainstorm ideas.   

Angie Daschel 
(877) 656-9596

Mary Closson l Director of Membership & Development, OANP

Hevert’s Five-Year Pledge of $495,000 Supports Residencies, Homeopathic Curriculum and Clinics

Hevert Pharmaceuticals, one of the world's leading manufacturers of homeopathic medicines, recently announced a five-year partnership with the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM). Hevert has pledged its support of NCNM with a gift of $495,000 that will help provide funding for groundbreaking new college programs through August 2018. This donation will support several initiatives developed jointly by Hevert and NCNM, including The Hevert Naturopathic Residency program, The Hevert Homeopathic Symposium, the development of an accredited Master of Science in Homeopathy Degree, The Hevert Starter Medicinary Program, and The Hevert Collection. The donation also includes an in-kind gift of Hevert products to NCNM's community clinics, valued at $120,000.

Hevert is dedicated to naturopathy and the development of high-quality natural medicines. Founded in Germany in 1956 by pharmacist Emil Hevert and his wife Dorothea, Hevert is an independent, family-owned company run today by Mathias and Marcus Hevert, its third-generation co-Managing Directors.

The partnership includes the following programs and initiatives:

The Hevert Naturopathic Residency: The Hevert Naturopathic Residency is the first of its kind in the United States focused solely on homeopathy. This program will greatly strengthen naturopathic residency opportunities for hundreds of naturopathic graduates across America.

Sponsorship of the Development of a Regionally Accredited Master of Science Degree in Homeopathy: Hevert is dedicated to supporting the professional development of classical and complex homeopathic professionals.

The Hevert Starter Medicinary Program: This opportunity helps NCNM graduates serve their patients in clinical practice by equipping them with natural medicine products and remedies from the first day they begin to practice medicine.

Support for the Medically Underserved in NCNM's Community Clinics: Lending a Healthy Hand: Since 1995, NCNM has delivered preventive healthcare and disease treatment to more than 500,000 patients in need without regard to ability to pay. Hevert is proud to support NCNM’s community programs with its products.

The Hevert Collection: This groundbreaking project brings to light the best of NCNM’s extensive collection of 50 years worth of journals published by renowned homeopathic pioneer, Benedict Lust.

For more information contact:
Elizabeth Spannuth, Office Manager
, Hevert Pharmaceuticals
(541) 344-4980

Legislative News
Laura Culberson Farr l Executive Director, OANP
The legislature certainly kicked off with fireworks, with Governor Kitzhaber resigning in the first few weeks of session and a bill introduced by Senator Steiner-Hayward to eliminate the religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccines. Neither of these things were foreseen just 6 short weeks ago when the session started!

Here’s where we are today, with a glimpse at some of the issues OANP is addressing on your behalf.

· HB 2468 – Defines network adequacy for insurance carriers. OANP’s Legislative Chair Jeff Clark, ND worked with the Oregon Insurance Division throughout all of 2014 on this concept. The bill would codify the ACA’s non-discrimination law into state statute, giving state regulators a little bit more ability to enforce the law.

· HB 3301 – Requires insurers to give NDs the choice of being categorized as PCP or Specialist – this bill has been introduced at OANP’s request to address the additional barriers faced by patients who see NDs for primary care face with insurance companies who universally categorize NDs as "specialists.” The bill would also add the term "primary care” to the statutes regulating NDs.

· Various bills relating to loan repayment incentive programs – OANP is tracking a variety of bills that would renew or change rural and under-served to see if there is an opportunity to get NDs included in these programs. Funding for these incentive programs may be in jeopardy for all providers due to budget shortfalls.

· SB 442 – Removes religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccines. OANP issued a letter to the Senate Health Care Committee with our concerns about the bill.  Parent and religious rights advocates began organizing in earnest to oppose the bill. As of this writing, the bill has been withdrawn by Senator Steiner Hayward, but rumors abound that she will still try to limit which kinds of providers can write for non-medical exemptions. OANP will not support any effort that would limit your scope of practice in any way.

· And a long list of other bills that OANP lobbyists are monitoring.

OANP’s lobbyists and volunteer leaders are doing a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes in Salem and with government regulators to balance "acute” issues that impact your practice like vaccines with "long-range” issues that impact the entire profession, like removing insurance barriers for NDs to achieve insurance parity and to practice as primary care physicians.

If you ever have any questions about how OANP balances these two priorities, please don’t hesitate to call us at 503-262-8586 or email

Questions? We're here to serve you!
Give us a call at 503-262-8586 or send us an email at

Continuing Education
& Community Events

Preconception to Infancy (P2i)
Date: April 11
Location: Portland, OR

Integrative Cardiology: Clinical, Laboratory and Treatment Protocols
Date: April 18
Location: Portland, OR

Menopause Management:  Advancing your Expertise; Hormone Boot Camp; Hormone Research Update
Date: April 24-26
Location: Portland, OR

April MedTalk ND Lecture
Date: April 28
Location: Portland, OR

Career Center

Membership & Development Manager
Location: Portland, OR

Equipment for Sale
Location: Portland, OR

ND Position at Integrative Practice
Location: SW Portland, OR

Clinic Space Available & Possible ND Associate Position
Location: Eugene, OR

Two Room Suite Available
Location: Portland, OR

Practice Space Available
Location: SW Portland, OR

Acupuncturist Position Available

Location: Lake Oswego, OR

Clinic Space Available in NW Portland
Location: Portland, OR


Laura Blevins

Kelly Head

Samantha B. Johnson

Laura Lewman

Lucy-Kate Reeve

Thom M. Rogers

Kayla Thamert

Jazper E. Torres

Please visit our website at for more information about becoming a member of the OANP.



Laura Culberson Farr
Executive Director

Brook Schales, ND, LMP
Physician Member Services Coordinator

Mary Closson
Director of Membership & Development

2015 Board Members

Carrie Baldwin-Sayre - President
Sheryl Estlund - Past President
Wendy Abraham - Vice President
Kaley Bourgeois, Secretary
Rebecca Principe - Treasurer
Jeff Clark - At-Large
Martin Milner - At-Large
Wendy Vannoy - At-Large
Jennifer Karon-Flores - At-Large
Clair Hamilton Araujo - Student Rep