Hawaii Achieves Scope Expansion!

Contact: Jenna Huntsberger
Phone: (202) 237-8150
Email: jenna.huntsberger@naturopathic.org
Hawaii Expands Scope of Practice For Naturopathic Physicians
New law combats state’s shortage of health care professionals
Washington, DC (July 21, 2009) - The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians applauds the Hawaii
legislature for overriding the veto of SB420. The bill, which expands the scope of practice for naturopathic
physicians in the state, was vetoed by the Governor on July 15. Now, the people of Hawaii will be able to
access a broader scope of services offered by qualified, primary care provider physicians in that state, and will
help in combating the shortage of skilled health care workers.
“Hawaii has taken a bold step forward in ensuring that the people of Hawaii can receive the right care at the
right time,” said Karen Howard, Executive Director of the AANP. “We laud the Hawaii legislature for
recognizing that patients have the right to access care from a broad spectrum of health care professionals,
including naturopathic physicians.”
SB420 expands the scope of practice for naturopathic physicians regarding parenteral therapy, formulary, and
minor surgery. Under the new law, the Hawaii Board of Examiners in Naturopathy (HBEN) will be able to
independently determine a list of prescription drugs that naturopathic physicians can use and that are
consistent with naturopathic practice. The HBEN will also adopt rules establishing requirements for
administering IV therapies and for performing minor surgical procedures. This legislation brings the scope of
practice for naturopathic physicians in Hawaii up to the standards in which it is taught in naturopathic medical
schools, as well as to the standards of other state laws, while providing adequate protections for consumer
health and safety.
“We are delighted that Hawaii is moving towards an inclusive health care model that allows patients to access
a range of qualified health care professionals,” continued Howard. “This is the second state recently to
recognize the important role naturopathic physicians can play in health care delivery – Oregon expanded their
scope of practice for naturopathic physicians in June. With growing demands on the American health care
system – including health care provider shortages, spiraling costs and more than 45 million uninsured
Americans – now is the time for all health care professions to work together, not against one another, to
advance the health and well-being of patients.”
Naturopathic medicine is based on the belief that the human body has an innate healing ability. Naturopathic
physicians teach their patients to use lifestyle changes and cutting-edge natural therapies to enhance the
body’s ability to ward off and combat disease. Naturopathic physicians craft comprehensive treatment plans
that blend the best of modern medical science and traditional natural medical approaches to not only treat
disease, but also to restore health.
Currently, 15 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic physicians. In these states, naturopathic physicians are
required to graduate from a four-year, postgraduate naturopathic medical school and to pass an extensive
postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is a professional association that strives to make naturopathic medicine available
to every American, and to increase recognition of naturopathic physicians as the identified authorities on natural medicine. Our
members include accredited schools of naturopathy, students, physicians, and individual and corporate supporters, participating
independently or though 40 state-level affiliate organizations. Learn more at www.naturopathic.org