It has been a busy, but productive year here at the OANP! Our board, staff and committees have been working hard to move forward our strategic planning efforts at all levels. We've put energy and time in legislatively, have worked hard to raise our profile through public relations, have been proactive in increasing our membership numbers, and are looking at new ways to reach out and support NDs around the state.
Here is a roundup of what we've accomplished in 2018:
We successfully transitioned in our new executive director, Beth Martin, who has done a great job of continuing to move our legislative and strategic goals forward. We also transitioned in our new communications and technology coordinator, Cherish Simmons, who has done an excellent job with communications for our association (as well as photography!).
We've had successes in the world of loan repayment, and NDs now qualify for the Oregon Health Care Provider Incentive Loan Repayment Program! This program was established to help support underserved communities in their recruitment and retention of high quality providers who serve patients regardless of their source of coverage (Medicaid, Medicare, private etc.) or ability to pay. In exchange for service at a qualifying practice site, participants receive funds to repay qualifying educational loan debt. The first ND was awarded the loan repayment this year!
We've worked hard on increasing our numbers as part of our overall strategic plan, and I'm please to say that we now have 405 paying members, up from 366 in 2017. We also have 150 student members, up from 124 in 2017, for a grand total of 555 active OANP members! That is an increase of over 13%, for those that love numbers. We also added a new membership type, to make sure that we were supporting NDs that are in residency programs, and those that qualify receive a discounted membership dues amount of only $50 for the duration of their residency!
The OANP is now working on creating new partnerships, and have partnered with the Institute for Natural Medicine, who's mission is to educate the public on the unique benefits of naturopathic medicine, to connect potential patients with licensed NDs, and to support comparative clinical studies and research. If you have a naturopathic practice, support the INM!
We also have some good news when it comes to Medicare. Medicare/Regence Advantage Plans will now be covering Oregon NDs as supplemental providers! Regence has added acupuncturists, chiropractors, and naturopathic physicians to their provider network. Providers that currently participate in one or more of the Regence networks will now be included in the Medicare Advantage networks effective January 1, 2019.
And lastly, as I'm sure many of you are aware, we have been making big strides at the legislature when it comes to our issues around pay parity. We attended September legislative days, and have been meeting with legislators all over the state to build relationships and gather bipartisan support for our pay parity bill. Our bill has been drafted, and is in the review process at the legislative council in Salem. We will be testifying at the December legislative days, and our bill will be voted on at the 2019 session. We are very excited about the position reception that our bill has gotten with the legislators that we've been working with.
Thank you! To everyone who joined or renewed their membership with the association, and who donated throughout the year, we appreciate each and every one of you! Your support and engagement is what keeps us moving forward as a profession, and we cannot thank you enough!