Naturopathic Doctors to Meet with Legislators in Albany

New York City Firefighter Credits Naturopathic Medicine for Saving his Life 

(May 9, 2011)  Steve Hintze is a New York City firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Like thousands of first responders, the dust at Ground Zero made him sick. By the time he was 45, he had lost one-third of his lung capacity. Doctors placed him on three different medications which left him lethargic, weak and depressed. 

Rather than focus on being sick, Hintze turned his focus to getting well. He went to a naturopathic doctor, Dr. Doni Wilson, but had to travel to Stamford, Connecticut for treatment because naturopathic medical doctors still aren't licensed in New York. Despite the hardship of traveling out of state while he was still very ill, Hintze says it was worth it. Dr. Wilson identified high levels of toxins which were eliminated from his body. A new diet helped build his strength and energy levels. Two years later, Hintze says he has never felt better.

What is naturopathic medicine and how does it differ from traditional medicine?. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) focus on wellness, identifying risk factors, and preventing disease. Medical doctors (MDs) focus on treating symptoms and disease. Despite a critical shortage of primary care physicians, naturopathic doctors are still not licensed in New York.

On Tuesday, May 17, the New York Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NYANP) will meet in Albany with key legislators to try and pass a bill that will license naturopathic doctors in the state of New York. NDs say this is also about giving New Yorkers “choice” when it comes to the medical treatment they want.

It's not just about choice but also dollars. Patients spend millions of dollars in other states for treatment. Some New York legislators say the state is now losing those dollars. Many top insurance companies also say that if you want the healthcare numbers to change, “wellcare” must be a viable option.

“Wellcare, or naturopathic medicine, can prevent disease by identifying risk factors and therefore, lowering health care costs,” says Dr. Donese Worden, a naturopathic doctor in Arizona who is hoping to practice in New York.

WHEN: On Tuesday, May 17, the New York Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NYANP) will be in Albany to meet with key legislators to try and pass a bill that will license naturopathic medical doctors in New York. 

TIME and LOCATION: 11:00am - 11:30 Press Conference ROOM 130 of LOB followed by 11:30 luncheon in the "Well" 


Interviews are available with the following BEFORE and AFTER the event.

*New York City Firefighter Steve Hintze  
*Dr. Doni Wilson Naturopathic Medical Doctor and President/Executive Director of the New York Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NYANP). Dr. Wilson practices in Connecticut but consults patients in New York City and Long Island.

*Dr. Donese Worden, a Naturopathic Medical Doctor with practices in Mesa and Scottsdale, Arizona is hoping to practice in New York. She is an international lecturer and has just signed with PBS for a new talk show. She can speak about prevention in fighting disease and how Arizona has saved millions in health care costs by incorporating wellness programs.

Mia Vasquez
[email protected]

ADDIIONAL INFORMATION: Some states recognize naturopathic medicine and have seen medical claims steadily decrease over the years. For example, in Vermont, 2400 employees in the Automobile Dealers Association enrolled in a Naturopathic Plan where patients had access to wellness screenings, biometrics, genetic screenings and much more. Absenteeism in the workplace dropped and so did medical costs. Since its inception, claims decreased by 1.3% and 1.2% in 2006 and 2005, respectively.