16 Nov Building a New Standard for Integrated Care – Globally
By Dr.Iva Lloyd , ND – Before the naturopathic profession became my second career, I spent years working as an operations manager for a computing services company. My passion for health information led me to leave the corporate sector to pursue a career in healthcare, although I wasn’t sure what that was going to look like. Then, in November of 1998, I was at a Corporate Health and Wellness conference in British Columbia and saw an ad for the naturopathic program at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). The diversity and multi-modal aspect of naturopathic care and the opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives is what drew me to enroll in the program and pursue a career in naturopathic medicine.
Once I became a practicing ND, I began to engage in board work for the profession, serving as a board member and the Chair of the Canadian Association for Naturopathic Doctors (CAND). Then, when the World Naturopathic Federation (WNF) was founded in 2014 I became its inaugural President, working to create a functioning organization that would support and promote the naturopathic profession globally.
I am proud to say that the representation of the WNF now spans all World Health Organization (WHO) Regions in over 35 countries. As the past-President and CEO of the WNF, I am working to ensure that the naturopathic profession is recognized as essential to universal healthcare. Our collective efforts have led to the publication of over 35 documents, including a 750-page Health Technology Assessment (HTA) on Naturopathy, which I had the privilege of leading along with NDs Amie Steel and Jon Wardle from Australia. The HTA clearly outlines that the naturopathic profession is a leader in preventive medicine, supportive integrative cancer care, nutritional psychology, environmental healthcare and in the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases and anti-microbial resistance.
I have also had the honour of representing the organization at several WHO events around the globe – including the first WHO Global Summit on Traditional Medicine in India – and at seven WHO Working Group Meetings around the world. The ability to participate in these meetings has helped to promote the value of the naturopathic profession on a global level.
When I reflect on how the naturopathic profession is evolving nationally, Canada, like most countries, is finding that the demand for naturopathic services and other Traditional, Complementary and Integrative healthcare practices and therapies continues to grow. As individuals and governments recognize the interaction between the mind and the body and the impact of the environment on health, the requirement for healthcare that is rooted in complexity, such as naturopathic care, will continue to be essential.
In order for integrated care to be fully realized on a national and global level, we must continue to focus on collaboration amongst healthcare professionals, professional organizations, patient advocacy groups, and in all aspects of healthcare. We have made significant strides over the last decade, and I could not be more optimistic about what the future holds for naturopathic medicine and integrated care.