Select Standing Committee on Health Submission

The BCNA submitted a report to the BC Select Standing Committee on Health in December 2014, in response to their request for comment on improving the quality and sustainability of health in BC.  The full report can be downloaded here:  BCNA to SSC on Health December 2014.  The Executive Summary is as follows:

Executive Summary

This submission outlines the collective views of British Columbia’s naturopathic doctors on the sustainability of health care. It focuses on the four key areas of inquiry, as outlined by the Select Standing Committee on Health, including:

  • Long-term solutions that address the recruitment and retention of health care professionals in rural British Columbia
  • A cost-effective system of primary and community care built around interdisciplinary teams
  • Best practices for end-of-life care
  • An enhanced effectiveness for addiction recovery programs

Our province has a remarkable number of well-educated and well-trained health professionals. The BC Government should be proud of the breadth and depth of talent offered in our health care sector.

British Columbia’s regulatory environment for health professionals is amongst the best in the world. Our province’s 22 regulatory colleges for health professionals are mandated to serve and protect the public. These regulatory colleges ensure that health professionals are qualified, competent and follow the clearly defined standards of practice and ethics. Colleges respond to complaints from patients and the public alike, and take immediate action when any member practices in a manner that is incompetent, unethical, illegal or impaired.

British Columbia’s naturopathic doctors believe that the solutions to each of the Committee’s areas of inquiry can be solved by a systematic process that removes barriers to care for all health professionals. Like many health professionals, naturopathic doctors have high levels of education and safety training to provide more health care services to patients than the current rules permit. The province’s health care system needs to assess these barriers, decide if they make sense, and trust regulators to ensure that health professionals are meeting necessary qualifications and competencies.

With members practicing in all areas of the province, the BC Naturopathic Association has identified some areas where unnecessary barriers in regards to care exist. We propose some strategic recommendations for the Committee’s considerations in order to make better use of these existing health professionals. Some of these recommendations will help in more than one of the Committee’s areas of inquiry. In brief, our recommendations are as follows:

  • Make full use of existing health resources by enabling all health professionals to practice to the extent of their competencies
  • Reduce barriers to lab access and federally controlled substances to help naturopathic doctors provide a complete range of health services, in particular to rural patients and patients with addictions
  • Increase interdisciplinary care projects, such as Inspire Health and Dr. Gabor Maté’s addictions recovery program, through Health Ministry participation and resources, and through encouraging all health professionals to collaborate
  • Reduce barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration by changing arbitrary rules that prevent naturopathic doctors from accessing hospitals, referring patients to other medical specialists, and from accessing hospice and other end-of-life care facilities
  • Integrate naturopathic doctors into existing Health Ministry programs to benefit from additional perspectives and particularly our profession’s focus on prevention

$3.85M Research Grant Links Naturopathic and Conventional Medicine in Fight Against Cancer

OTTAWA, October 21, 2014 – Ottawa researchers are receiving the largest-ever North
American grant intended to study the effectiveness of naturopathic medicine used in
combination with conventional medicine. The funding was announced today by the Ottawa
Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC), an arm of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
(CCNM), and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.

The $3.85 million grant, provided by a private Canadian foundation that wishes to remain
anonymous, will fund a project to develop and study the use of integrative treatments for
esophageal, gastric and lung cancer patients who will undergo surgery.

“This is an excellent opportunity for our top-notch researchers to demonstrate how innovation
and cooperation can lead to improved overall health outcomes,” said Rona Ambrose, Federal
Minister of Health. “The Canadian institutions involved in this research are world-class and we
look forward to the results of the trial.”

Called the Thoracic Peri-Operative Integrative Surgical Care Evaluation (Thoracic POISE), the
project’s goals are twofold. First, it will pioneer integrative care interventions (characterized by
different therapeutic approaches, health-care professionals and disciplines working together to
achieve optimal health and patient outcomes) to use before and after cancer surgery. Second, it
will fund a randomized controlled trial to evaluate if the integrative care approach reduces
adverse events and improves disease-free survival. A multi-centred network of Canadian
thoracic surgery centres, in partnership with naturopathic doctors, will collaborate over the next
11 years in this 300-patient study.

“We have assembled an outstanding team of investigators that includes surgeons, oncologists,
naturopathic doctors, PhD research specialists and a health economist,” said Dugald Seely,
project co-lead, Executive Director OICC, Director of Research CCNM, and affiliate investigator
with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. “Lung cancer accounts for the highest incidence of
cancer deaths in Canada and we know that more than half of all cancer patients use
complementary therapies. This research will help determine when complementary care is
appropriate and may potentially lead to enhanced standards of medical practice that can
positively impact patients’ lives.”

“This study is an innovative whole-person approach involving naturopathic medicine integrated
with traditional care. It is more than a single intervention,” said project co-lead Dr. Andrew
Seely, an associate scientist at The Ottawa Hospital, director of research for its Division of
Thoracic Surgery and an associate professor at the University of Ottawa. “By using a welldesigned
randomized controlled trial to assess multiple evidence-based interventions that are
often found in real-life clinical practice, we hope to show that integrative cancer care improves
two critical problems simultaneously, namely adverse events after surgery and long-term cancer
outcomes.”

When Terry Vida was diagnosed with cancer she worked with her medical and naturopathic
doctors to explore ways to combine naturopathic treatments with conventional treatments of
chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Vida used supplements, acupuncture, exercise and
nutrition in her bid to do everything possible to deal with her cancer. “I have been cancer-free
for two years now,” said Vida, who is back at work as a partner with ConversArt Consulting and
completing her PhD in human and organizational systems. “I feel as though this approach
helped me a lot and it is through research such as this that we will really know.”

Bob Bernhardt, President and CEO of CCNM added, “There is an absolute need for an
enhanced evidence-base for naturopathic medicine. The Thoracic POISE trial focuses on
patient-centred research and is essential to proving the value and assessing the role that
naturopathic medicine could play in health care. CCNM and the OICC are committed to clinical
research in areas where we believe naturopathic medicine could improve health outcomes for
Canadians.”

Breast Cancer Awareness: Pink Ribbons Inc.

Pink Ribbons Screenshot

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and local naturopathic physicians in Campbell River want to contribute to this awareness. They are sponsoring a showing of the National Film Board documentary called Pink Ribbons Inc. The film is based on the book written by Samantha King Pink Ribbons Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy. King’s argument is that the pink-themed campaign promotes a quick-fix mentality, focuses too much on early screening and achieving a “cure” for the disease instead of researching causes and putting equal emphasis on harm from environmental contaminants.

Many of the corporate sponsors of Pink campaigns sell products that cause pollution, and/or are chemical companies that produce pesticides.  Some sponsors sell foods that promote disease rather than health.  And some sponsors are cosmetic companies that use carcinogens that may all contribute to the chemical environment that contributes to the risk of getting breast cancer.  In its review of the documentary, the Globe and Mail called this “pink washing.”  Read the review here.

Every day in their practices, naturopathic physicians focus on causes of diseases and ways to protect against environmental toxins. They want to educate their patients on how to get the chemicals out of their lifestyle: To eat organic, to use chemical free skin and hair products; to look at their estrogen dominance either from their diet or their use of prescription hormones; to look at deficiencies such as vitamin D and melatonin (especially in shift workers) as well as the role that inflammation plays in cancer cell proliferation.

The Ottawa Integrative Cancer Care clinic is the first of its kind in Canada where naturopathic physicians work closely with other health care providers, including oncologists, to provide cancer patients with optimal health care. They provide Whole Person Care for the body, mind and spirit, they Empower the patient to take care of themselves to prevent and treat cancer they Train and Educate practitioners as well as patients on preventive as well as integrative care, they provide Innovative Research and tools to improve the quality of life during and after conventional cancer treatments, and they promote Living Green to reduce exposure to environmental toxins that may impact cancer incidence, progression and recurrence.

On October 21 7-9:30 at the Community Center in Campbell River, Pink Ribbons Inc will be shown followed by a Q&A with a panel of NDs: Dr. Ingrid Pincott, Dr. Stacey Savard and Dr. Anita Komonski. Experience docere, the Latin word for doctor, which is “to teach.”

Pink Ribbons Inc Campbell River, October 21

Naturopathic Medicine in the Community

On September 14, doctors from the Mountainview Wellness Centre and merchants of the Alder Crossing Shopping Mall in South Surrey, hosted their fourth annual all-day fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Canada.

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Choices Market management with Dr. Caleb Ng.

Hosted by Choices Community Markets, the event featured a pancake breakfast, salmon BBQ lunch, food demonstrations, store tours, entertainers, artists, local resources for prostate cancer patients and more.

Why are so many promoting awareness of prostate cancer? Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men and will affect one in six men in their lifetime; within a decade that statistic is expected to rise to one in four. Prostate Cancer Canada is the national foundation dedicated to the elimination of prostate cancer through research, education, support and awareness. PCCN has 70 support groups across Canada; each group is involved in hosting monthly meetings, educational events and fundraisers. The goal of PCCN support groups is to educate men on the importance of early detection while providing resources and sharing information for men with a new diagnosis of prostate cancer.  Each year, PCCN hosts Movember, an opportunity to individuals, associations and workplace groups to help raise awareness of detection, prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.  To get involved or for more info, link here for the Movember site.

All funds raised at the September event were used to promote awareness, research and educational programs. Prostate Cancer Canada’s support group arm, the Prostate Cancer Canada Network (PCCN-Surrey), will be in attendance to answer questions about the resources that are available to anyone who has questions about or has been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Mountainview Wellness is one of half a dozen ND clinics in the South Surrey/White Rock area providing primary care in an environment dedicated to guide patients on a path to better health and wellness. Drs. Galina Bogatch, Caleb Ng and Allison Patton are the wellness partners at Mountainview.

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Left to right, George Main, Drs. Allison Patton and Caleb Ng, Leno Zecchel.

Naturopathic Medicine Week Supports Victoria’s Family Free Clinic

Proceeds from the film screening of GMO OMG during Naturopathic Medicine Week (NMW) were provided to the Family Naturopathic Clinic (FNC) in July. The FNC provides naturopathic health care free-of-charge to young parented, low income families in Victoria. NMW, an annual event promoting health, wellness and preventive medicine, occurs across Canada each May. This year, the new documentary on GMO foods was shown to specifically support the FNC.

 

Left to right, FNC staff Drs. Pamela Hutchison, Kristin Schnurr (with daughter Charlotte), Amy Gilchrist, NMW Victoria Liaison Dr. Penny Seth-Smith & BCNA Vice-President Dr. Janine Fraser.

Left to right, FNC staff Drs. Pamela Hutchison, Kristin Schnurr (with daughter Charlotte), Amy Gilchrist, NMW Victoria Liaison Dr. Penny Seth-Smith & BCNA Vice-President Dr. Janine Fraser.

Dr. Penny Seth Smith, Victoria’s NMW Coordinator, noted that the success of the film screenings, in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna, were an opportunity to share naturopathic expertise as well as raise awareness of preventive medicine in local communities. “I am delighted to have been a part of organizing this event, and want to thank the hundreds of people who participated. We look forward to repeating this success next year.”

 

Dr. Janine Fraser, BCNA Vice-President, added that “The FNC offers graduating doctors an opportunity for internships, improves access to NDs amongst low income families, and helps improve health care services for patients across the island. Only with more financial support can it continue to grow and serve even greater numbers.”

 

The FNC, a project begun in 2007, provides medical services free of charge through donations and fund-raising. The clinic is not government funded. As one patient noted, “Overall, this project has been invaluable and precious in my life. I listen, I learn, I heal. I am a better mother because of this project and my son has an improved quality of life.”

 

Patient info and donation links for the FNC are at www.familynaturopathic.org

Another Naturopathic Medicine Week Success!

BC Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014

This year’s Naturopathic Medicine Week was May 12-18. Naturopathic Doctors and clinics held special events across British Columbia, including an open house at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, a Health Fair and Speaker Series in Nanaimo, and free seminars and consultations in Vancouver and Abbotsford.

GMO OMG Movie Screenings

This year the BCNA featured 3 screenings of the movie GMO OMG in Richmond, Victoria and Kelowna, with proceeds going to the Family Naturopathic Clinic – a naturopathic teaching clinic providing free care to young low income families.

kelowna-gmoomg

BCNA Hosts a Government Lunch in Victoria

As part of Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014, BCNA hosted a government lunch in Victoria.  Pictured standing, left to right, MLA Richard Lee, MLA Jackie Tegart, MLA Linda Reimer, Dr. Kulwinder Sraw, MLA Simon Gibson, Dr. Deborah Phair, MLA Doug Bing, MLA Jane Thornthwaite.  Seated, MLA Linda Larson, MLA Mike Morris receiving a heart rate variability test, and MLA Michelle Stillwell.

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Offical Recognition in Kelowna

The mayor of Kelowna officially recognized naturopathic medicine week this year:

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Naturopathic Medicine in the House of Commons
“I ask everyone here to recognize Naturopathic Medicine Week.” -Colin Carrie at the House of Commons.

Another successful year, and we are looking forward to Naturopathic Medicine Week in 2015!

It’s Official! Naturopathic Medicine Week May 12-18, 2014

Today is the first day of Naturopathic Medicine Week across Canada.

Check out this official recognition from the mayor of Kelowna, BC:

Naturopathic-Medicine-Week-Proclamation2014


Naturopathic Medicine Weeks across Canada: cand.ca

Special Movie Screenings of GMO OMG in select cities in British Columbia: bcna.ca

Other events across the province, including free doctor visits, talks, and more: click here

 

Victoria BC Lyme Awareness

Let’s Talk About Lyme

Join Dr. Jasmine Wong of the Vancouver Island Naturopathic Clinic Inc. at this event, which will include children’s activities, displays, videos, and a chance to talk to naturopathic physicians as well as other health practitioners.

When: Saturday May 10 Noon – 3:00pm

Where: 1335 Thurlow Road Victoria BC (see poster for details).
Lyme Victoria BC

Free Events Vancouver BC – Naturopathic Medicine Week

Doctor’s Choice Nutrition answers the question…

Naturopathic Medicine: What exactly is it?

Dr. Martha Reid of Doctor’s Choice nutrition will host a free public seminar on Wednesday, May 14th, from 6-7 pm, titled: Naturopathic Medicine: What exactly is it?

When: Wednesday, May 14th, from 6-7 pm

Where: 1190 Thurlow Street, Vancouver. V6E 1X3

Directions:  On the corner of Davie and Thurlow streets, beside the Starbucks and 1 block south of St. Paul’s Hospital

Register: 604-688-1169 – interested participants should call the clinic to register ahead of time.  Of course, the event is free, but space is limited.


Doctors Choice Nutrition VancouverDoctor’s Choice Nutrition

1190 Thurlow Street Vancouver BC

604-688-1169

Dr. Martha Reid holds free events at her clinic in Vancouver’s West End the last Wednesday of every month.


Vitalia Health Care Inc. offers…

Free Services During Naturopathic Medicine Week

Vitalia Health Care Inc. is offering the following services FREE for Naturopathic Medicine Week! Call us at 604-566-9355 to book your appointment or visit us at www.vitaliahealthcare.ca.

  1. Our BIO-IMPEDENCE ANALYSIS ($40 Value) shows your measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass……… an integral part of your 15 minutes health / nutrition assessment!  

You will also learn:

  • How toxic your body is
  • If you are drinking enough water
  • How many calories you are burning in a day
  • Your real age vs. your chronological age
  • If you are burning fat or muscle
  • How healthy your cells are
  1. Find out information about your heart’s health!  The Acoustic Cardiograph ($65 Value) is a 15 minute, non-invasive test that analyzes sound waves in your heart and can suggest to the doctor:
  • Whether your muscle function is optimal
  • If your body’s chemistry is balanced
  • If there are possible nutritional imbalances or deficiencies in your body

vitalia-logo

 

Vitalia Health Care Inc.

The Regent Medical Building Suite 460
2184 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V6K 2E1

Free Events in Abbotsford for BC Naturopathic Medicine Week

Abbotsford

Dr Christina Coloma, ND is hosting free talks at Abby Naturopath Clinic on May 13, 14, 16 and 17 for Naturopathic Medicine Week.

Feel Great! Lose the Weight!
Free lecture on weight loss.
When: Tuesday and Wednesday May 13, and 14 at 6PM
Where: 2888 Gardner Court.
Call to reserve your seat. 604-556-4596 or email: abbynaturopath@gmail.com.
Raising a Healthy Child
Attention all moms!  Free lecture on Raising a Healthy Child.  What to do when your child gets sick.
When: Friday and Saturday May 16, 17 at 11 AM
Where: 2888 Gardner Court.
Call to reserve your seat. 604-556-4596 or email: abbynaturopath@gmail.com.
Dr Coloma ND

Cristina M Coloma, ND
Abby Naturopathic Clinic
2888 Gardner Court
Abbotsford, BC Canada V2T 5H9