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:
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
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
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
Across the province, patients undergoing standard cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, are seeking out naturopathic doctors (NDs) for adjunctive care. Many of the immune-supporting therapies NDs provide can help patients recover from cancer treatment faster and support overall health. Commonly called “adjunctive” cancer therapy, NDs focus on decreasing negative side effects of conventional treatment; balancing a patient’s immune system; and providing concrete strategies for cancer prevention and health maintenance.
The protocols and therapies NDs employ may include botanical medicine (herbs, plants and plant extracts), clinical nutrition (using nutrition not to simply modify diet but prevent disease and improve overall health), as well as physical modalities, Asian medicine, homeopathy and counselling. Some NDs work closely with oncologists and others in the cancer community to facilitate patient care.
However, navigating the diverse range of adjunctive cancer care available can be daunting. Fortunately, BCNA member Dr. Neil McKinney has published the second edition of his Naturopathic Oncology: An encyclopedic guide for patients and physicians. Dr. McKinney’s book has proven to be a very popular and practical guide to clinical success with cancer treatments. His revised edition adds new therapies, refinements of protocols, expanded references and builds on his personal expertise focused on cancer care and advanced scholarship. The comprehensive text outlines very detailed protocols to integrate support for surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and targeted adjunctive therapies. It also goes into all the leading naturopathic medicines for a wide range of cancers, for complications and co-morbidities, as well as cancer emergencies. Doctors find it a practical resource, as well as providing detailed information on mechanisms of action, scientific references and examples of protocols that have actually worked with cancer patients. But while it is a succinct handbook for practicing clinicians, it’s also a useful resource for patients who are looking for qualitative information on alternatives and support to standard medical care, and a better understanding of the options available outside of common treatments.
Naturopathic Oncology: An encyclopedic guide for patients and physicians
by Dr. Neil McKinney
Naturopathic clinics are opening their doors all over BC with open houses, free seminars, and complimentary consultations and testing. The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (New Westminster) is also opening its doors to the public. There are also movie screenings (Richmond and Kelowna), a radio show, and there’s a special event at a community center in Nanaimo.
Some Naturopathic Doctors are even cooking up their favorite recipes; others have teamed up with other local healthy businesses to provide samples. Naturopathic Doctors will even be at your favourite stores for free consultations or seminars.
Today we posted a complete list of events by city. You can also plan your week with our calendar, which lists events by day. Please note, some events are by appoinment only or require pre-registration – call now to reserve your spot!
5 New Events
Here are 5 new events just listed today:
In celebration of Naturopathic Medicine Week, Dr. Hadikin ND is offering complimentary 15 minute health checks by appointment for new patients at West Shore Family Naturopathic.
This includes a blood pressure check or Chinese tongue and pulse check as well as a chance to ask questions about Naturopathic Medicine. By appointment only, visit the event listing for more information.
Dr. Angèle Besner, B.Sc. ND is celebrating Naturopathic Medicine Week at her clinic. Join her on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at The Tea Room at Gastown Wellness for an open house, with free body composition analysis, herbal tea tasting, Q&A and 20% off initial consults booked at the event. Please visit the event listing for more information.
The Core Centre of Health Presents a Movie Screening – Forks Over Knives to celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week, May 10th.
Forks Over Knives is a film that examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. There will be a brief Intro on Naturopathic Medicine presented by Dr. Emina Jasarevic, ND, prior to film viewing. Please visit the event listing for more information.
Electro-meridian Imaging examines the meridian system of the body through electronic measurements. According to acupuncture these meridians are invisible channels through which Qi (pronounced “chi”) circulates throughout the body. The EMI machine will assess and give a report how each organ system is functioning.
Dr. Sandeep Sangra invites you to set up your appointment for a Free EMI test, May 10 and 11, 2012, at the Naturally Well Health Centre. Please visit the event listing for more information.
Free EMI Tests at Famous Foods Vancouver
Dr. Sangra will also be at Famous Foods conducting EMI testing on May 13, 2012. Please visit the event listing for more information.
Dr. Penny Seth-Smith is offering free blood typing at Ingredients health Food Store and Café on May 13, 2012.
Summary sheets of foods considered beneficial, neutral and harmful for your blood type according to the “Eat Right For Your Blood Type” theory will also be provided. On a drop-in basis, please visit the event listing for more information.
You have done the research.
You know you need to consult with a naturopathic doctor to take charge of your health.
You are ready to improve your health today!
Events At Agape Natural Wellness Centre
Dr. Vicky Radhakrishnan, ND and Dr. Kris Bentz, ND of Agape Natural Wellness Centre are celebrating Naturopathic Medicine Week with the following 3 events:
2 for 1 Initial Consultations
2 initial consultations for the price of 1 if booked and paid for during naturopathic medicine week.
Take advantage of our once-a-year promotion, great for Mother’s Day! Bring your Mother, family member, friend or an acquaintance and get 2 initial consultations for the price of 1.
Cost for 2 initial consultations $130
Note: only if booked and paid for during naturopathic medicine week, after May 13th – it will be $130 each.
Call our clinic for more information. 604 737 2273
Agape Natural Wellness Centre
102-2245 West Broadway,
Vancouver, BC V6K 2E4
604 737 2273
Free 20 Minute Naturopathic Consultation
Dr. Kris Bentz, ND & Dr. Vicky Radhakrishnan, ND are offering free 20 minute consultations.
Are you concerned about your health? Interested in finding out more about how a naturopathic doctor can help you?
Come have your questions answered regarding your main health concerns.
During your 20 min’s you can expect the following:
1. Your blood pressure will be evaluated.
2. A basic case-history will be taken.
3. You will be given a Naturopathic Treatment Plan which will outline how you can start improving your health concerns.
May 8, 2012 11:00 – 6:00pm
May 11, 2012 11:00 – 6:00pm
Call to book your consultation: 604 737 2273
Agape Natural Wellness Centre
102-2245 West Broadway,
Vancouver, BC V6K 2E4
604 737 2273
Free Public Lecture
Do You Suffer from Stress, Fatigue, Insomnia, or Digestive Disturbance?
Find out how these issues are related and steps you can take to start improving your health immediately!
Dr. Kris Bentz, ND will host a talk on how adrenal stress leads to fatigue, insomnia, and digestive disturbance, followed by a Q & A period
where you can have specific questions answered about your health.
May 11, 2012, 7:00 – 8:00pm
Important: Must book-in advance, limited seating! 604 737 2273
Agape Natural Wellness Centre
102-2245 West Broadway,
Vancouver, BC V6K 2E4
604 737 2273
2 More Events With Dr. Bentz
Are You Concerned About Your Health?
Come have your questions answered regarding your main health concerns during free 20 minute consultations at the following 2 locations:
During your 20 min’s you can expect the following:
1.) Your case-history will be taken
2.) You will be given a Naturopathic Treatment Plan
Free 20 Minute Consultations at Cedar Integrated Medical Clinic
Dr Kris Bentz, ND is offering Free 20 Min. Consults at Cedar Integrated Medical Clinic.
May 11, 2012 3:00 – 6:00pm
Call to book your appointment: 604 875 1151
Cedar Integrated Medical Clinic
4209 Fraser St
604 875 1151
Free 20 Minute Consultations at YYoga
Dr. Kris Bentz, ND is offering Free 20 Min. Consults at the YYoga in Burnaby.
Located at the Burnaby YYoga (Highgate, Above Shoppers Drug Mart in Highgate Village)
May 12, 2012 10:00am – 2:00pm
604 525 8777
Check out our complete list of events by city. You can also plan your week with our calendar, which lists events by day. Please note, some events are by appoinment only or require pre-registration – call now to reserve your spot!
BC Naturopathic Association
2238 Pine Street
Vancouver, BC, V6J 5G4
Phone Toll-Free 1-800-277-1128