A milestone has been reached in the world of integrative pediatrics while I’ve been busy not blogging. 300+ and growing. What’s in a number?

So I’ve been busy – really busy – getting the Whole Child Center up and running. And those of you who read my posts regularly (thank you!) have noticed I’ve not been writing. With the tremendous response from families who are looking for a holistic primary care approach, and the hard work of my associate, Dr. Maja Castillo, and of our Clinical Coordinator and nurse and just about everything else Karen Overgaard, and of our fantastic office staff, we’ve been seeing lots of kids. And while I love that – and realize how much I missed those kids while not practicing in July – I do miss writing too. And there’s been a lot happening in the world of children’s health and integrative pediatrics. In future posts, I’m going to write about some terrific books I’ve been reading, like Philip and Alice Shabecoff’s “Poisoned Profits: The Toxic Assault on Our Children,” and about some of the big issues still percolating like vaccines/autism and BPA/plastics. But for now, back to the “300.”

I noticed this week in my re-surfacing mode that the IPC Network, our professional listserv I started in January 2004, has grown to over 300 members recently. We are a group of 300+ integrative practitioners who have in common one thing – we care about children’s health. There’s not meant to be any hierarchy in the IPC world; so many voices are equally represented (nutrition, psychology, education, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, nursing, pediatrics, and on and on) that I’ve lost count. And we have members from all over the world – just got an email today from an Ayurvedic healer in India who wanted to join our dialogue. Through the wonderful connections we’re making and the rich clinical conversations we’re having, I like to believe we’re making a difference in the world to help children stay well and feel better. 300 is a small number in some circles, but to me, it represents real growth. This fall, we’re holding our 6th pediatric integrative medicine conference, Pangea, in NYC, and I can’t wait to hear about all of the amazing work folks are doing. Many are “regulars” on the Network, and I’ll be profiling some of them here in weeks to come. I encourage you all to join us and be part of the conversation.

Do we still have a long way to go? Of course. When presidential candidates who talk and talk and talk all day long somehow find a way to not talk about children’s health in any substantive way, we know there’ s a lot more work to do. But perhaps this number 300 means we’re a bit closer, a wee bit. And for today, in this moment, that seems OK.

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