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Fostering Community

  We’ve seen some vicious attacks on homeopathy lately both at home and abroad—you may, for example, have come across the Consumer Reports article a couple of months ago (see “In the News” on page 8 for a synopsis) or been following the bitter debates in the UK. As homeopathy gains recognition worldwide, it attracts the attention of factions whose self-interest appears to be at stake. What can we do in the face of their misinformation campaigns?

  Fostering community, educating, and getting the word out about homeopathy’s successes is the way for homeopathy to thrive. The National Center for Homeopathy ardently pursues its mission all year long, finding every way possible to promote awareness of homeopathy. Our staff and all-volunteer Board of Directors work hard—but there are lots of ways in which other NCH members contribute, too. And so can you. Here are just a few examples…

Media outreach & monitoring

  Our Public Relations and Media Liaison, Peter Gold, went above and beyond the call of duty late last year when he organized the “great debate,” our first webcast at the University of Connecticut Health Center in concert with Nancy Boyer, Chair of the Media, Membership, and Marketing Committee. Establishing networks of colleagues within the media field is one of Mr. Gold’s talents, and he has cultivated interviews with senior editors and writers of magazines such as Newsweek, Prevention, and Mothering as well as placing many articles for publication (including my own op-ed piece, which was picked up in numerous weekly newspapers). He also tracks media coverage of homeopathy so that we can respond to biased and uninformed reporting by providing correct information and access to expert testimony.

A web of like-minded people

  Our website is another way in which we spread the word as well as meet the needs of our members. Website Committee Chair Amy Lansky recently unveiled upgrades to the chat room that were made with the help of Website Designer Doug Hoff and Chat Room Coordinator Kristy Lampe. Our much-visited website is our most valuable tool to nurture a community of like-minded individuals and to provide social networking for our own members. We welcome our newest member to the Board of Directors, Edward Conway, who brings considerable skills and talents to the web arena, as we look forward to new enhancements to the site.

Strategic networking

  Networking with leaders and members of other professions is integral to the health of our own profession. The NCH sends representatives to speak and to staff exhibit booths at many of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine conferences and related expos. The creation of strategic alliances is an important part of the lifeblood of any organization, and we are always on the lookout for such connections. The NCH has recently forged an alliance with the Organic Consumers Association, which represents 850,000 members, volunteers, and supporters, and we look forward to a very fruitful collaboration.

Talented liaisons

  This year, we implemented a program of Liaisons to the Board—NCH members who have special skills and enthusiasm to partner with the Board and expand our scope—and I have been privileged to work with these talented people. Our Research Liaison is Tina Quirk, who is presently managing an AIDS research project in Tanzania in collaboration with Jeremy Sherr. Cindy Chrisman, CCH, MPH, is serving as Liaison to the American Public Health Association, creating opportunities to educate their members about homeopathy and pursuing opportunities for working through the public health sector to serve veterans of the Armed Forces. In order to further our mission to support the legalization of homeopathic practice, Caroline Rider, our Legal Liaison, lends her considerable experience as an attorney and author of two health freedom bills in reviewing proposed state legislation.

A shining example

  All of these activities take talent and skills, but supporting them also takes money. Through our wills and bequests program, the NCH was recently the recipient of a generous bequest from the estate of Karen F. Hunter. Ms. Hunter’s gift will allow us to significantly enhance our website and our Internet outreach. Such bequests are not only laudable, but necessary to our future. Please remember to include the NCH in your will or trust, or designate the NCH as a beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement plan. In addition, you can memorialize a deceased loved one, honor a dear friend, or celebrate momentous occasions by giving a gift to the NCH.

  The NCH is a membership organization first and foremost. It is our members’ contributions of time, talent, and money that define our community. As your Board of Directors, we share your devotion to homeopathy, and we welcome your input, your ideas, and your service.

Come together!

  The Third Annual Joint American Homeopathy Conference, coordinated by NCH and embracing a variety of organizations, brought our community together in Rhode Island in April 2008. The Conference stimulates continuity and interaction among people engaged in every aspect of our field.
We are no doubt living in a world of connections made easily and without effort through the Internet. The spirit of homeopathy is unique in that it encompasses the totality of a person. Coming together in person creates the type of networking that I believe was called “social” prior to the invention of Facebook. The human spirit is the intangible sense that we experience when we greet, hug, interact, laugh, and learn with each other.

Save the dates! March 27–29, 2009

  I speak for all of us on the Board of Directors when I say that it is our heartfelt wish to have the gift of your presence at the next Conference, which will be in the Seattle, WA, area, March 26–29, 2009. Consciousness rises, community develops, ideas come to fruition, and action ensues when people gather. In these times when it is crucial to carry the promise of homeopathy forward into mainstream healthcare, we need and encourage your support.
Warm regards,
Nancy Gahles

About The Author

Nancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA), NCH PresidentNancy Gahles, DC, CCH, RSHom(NA), NCH President, practices homeopathy and chiropractic in NYC and Belle Harbor, NY. She operates Health and Harmony Wellness Education, which offers consultations and symposia on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Integrative Medicine. She also serves as a CAM expert on the panel of Mothering magazine.