Sharon Ufberg, DC discusses ways to enact change in the health of our country 2009.

by Sharon Ufberg, DC

“Change is the only constant.” Remember that one? I heard it many years ago and loved it, but never knew who first put that thought out into the universe. Online today, it took me less than thirty seconds to search for the quote and here’s our answer: Heraclitus of Ephesus (c.535 BC – 475 BC), a Greek philosopher, known for his doctrine of change being central to the universe.

This New Year, as a new administration descends on Washington, D.C., the change Heraclitus spoke about feels palpable. Improving the current status of healthcare coverage for most Americans is the obvious issue that we, as healthcare practitioners, are passionate about and support. As an integrative healthcare community, we must be part of the upcoming conversations. Now is the time to add your voice to the dialogue. The new administration is poised to hear our ideas and suggestions. One place to share your thoughts is online at We should recommend and advocate for our peers and leading thinkers in the integrative healing community to be at the table where the decisions about healthcare will take place. We have a unique voice and it must be heard as the plans for the next four years unfold.

There also are many other pieces of a recovery plan for this country that needs our attention. Beyond the health care agenda, there are a number of other pieces of the recovery plan that effect the health and well being of our patients, and every American.

Let’s start with the environment. As a healthcare community we need to be vigilant in our support for upholding and strengthening the Clean Air Act. We should be visible and active proponents of every initiative that works for the reduction of smog, acid rain, mercury and greenhouse emissions, and demand up-to-date pollution controls when older plants are upgraded. We are the practitioners that see the asthma sufferers and witness the effects of respiratory illness. These few diseases alone take a huge toll on our public health costs each year.

Steps to create alternative energy technologies, build more wind farms and increase the use of solar panels and fuel efficient cars are all projects that need to be part of the jump start of new initiatives in 2009. Smart, responsible plans to revamp how every American interacts with the environment on this macro level will have an enormous long term impact on the health of each person.

This is our time. We, as Americans, have chosen to make a real change and take back the responsibility for making this world a healthier place for future generations. I feel deeply compelled to encourage those around me to be part of the process.

Other articles by this author: