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CHANA Conference Update 
After a few tense months of medical tests and intervention for bone tumors in my spine, I'm recovering and back (pun intended). Since I'm doing mostly seatwork and regaining muscle strength in the physical activity department, my family and I decided to re-structure the First Annual CHANA (Christian Herbalists Association of North America) Conference. We will be adding a couple new topics/speakers to the program in the next week, though the biggest change revolves around limiting conference registration to the first 20 registrants.

We are doing this to enable us to utilize our congregation's hospitality house to host the conference and to provide cost-effective lodging and meals to our conference attendees all on-site. This first year will be a more intimate setting, and we'll see where interest leads from here.

Because we want to make the limited registration fair and we're only letting you know about it right now, we're not going to open registration until November 1, 2010 to allow you time to set aside your registration $'s. We'll have registration online November 1 and will begin accepting mail-in registrations that day as well.

Registration Fee for Conference Only will remain: $250/person.
Registration Fee for Conference and 12 Meals will be: $375/person.
Registration Fee for Conference, 4 nights Lodging and 12 Meals: $450/person

For those just wanting to do the Suturing for Midwives pre-conference class with Carlotta Crawford, MN, MPH, CNM, we will accept up to 20 registrants for the class, and the fee will be $225. You may opt to add this on to your conference registration or attend this day only. Lodging will be free for those who attend the conference as well.

If students of the NH Community Herbalist course are ready to complete their Professional Intensive and have their final exam administered, I'll be offering a pre-conference Herbal Intensive for our agreed-upon fee. The Intensive will be limited to 20 participants. You may opt to add this on to your conference registration or attend this day only. Lodging will be free for those who attend the conference as well.

I'll be posting more details each day this week for you.

Blessings and peace,

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Founding CHANA 
CHANA - Christian Herbalists Association of North America
And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing. Ezekial 47:12

CHANA was founded by Shonda Parker to offer Christian herbalists an annual conference to further learning, to provide a place of gathering for those interested in healthy living who are in fellowship in the Body of Christ, and to establish a peer-review and mentoring organization that honors the Creator above the creation.

CHANA's Goals are to provide:
* Access to Christ-honoring herbalists for individuals and families interested in safe and effective herbal medicine therapies to use at home;
* A conduit for those wanting to learn about plant medicine to educational programs firmly rooted in the Bible, and to Christian Herbalist mentors;
* Continuing education for learning and practicing herbalists;
* A peer-review and mentoring process that enables Christian herbalists to share case studies and receive encouragement and critique in a professional environment;
* Fellowship among Christian herbalists, focusing on unity in the essentials of faith and liberty and mercy in all else;
* And, to encourage stewardship of the whole of creation.

* Find an Herbalist to help Christian families find herbalists who honor the Lord Jesus Christ in their work;
* Christian herbalist training program listings to help those who want to learn about plant medicine find a school where their education will be rooted in the Bible;
* Newsletter to be published 2-4 times per year;
* Member community online to provide ongoing support for those seeking to learn about herbal medicine and those who desire to know how to apply herbal medicine effectively and safely in their homes or businesses;
* Annual conference;
* Peer review and mentoring process whereby student herbalists will have an opportunity to be mentored by practicing herbalists and student and practicing herbalists will have a process by which their case studies may be offered up for peer review to achieve a diversity of scholarship and practical experience to enhance the professional herbalist's practice.

Membership Levels: All members receive $25 discount off conference fees.
* Individual or Family - support the work of CHANA and be admitted to the online community forum to allow personal questions about herbal and nutritional medicine to be answered by students and the practicing herbalists overseeing them: $75/year (that's only $6.25/month).
* Student Herbalist - provides proof of study in an herbal program or submits a self-study plan as they seek to complete their training through CHANA's mentoring program and is listed as a student herbalist in the Find An Herbalist referral program and in the newsletters and website: $100/year (only $8.33/month).
* Professional Herbalist - professional member who has successfully completed their learning and mentoring process or provides proof of credentialing through another professional herbalist association entity and is listed as a Professional Member in the Find an Herbalist referral program, newsletters, and on the website: $125/year (that's only $10.42/month).
*Healthcare Professional (nutritionists, midwives, massage therapists, doulas, childbirth educators, nurses, docs of all letters, etc.) - professional member who support the work of CHANA and desire to be admitted to the online community forum to allow networking of community and gain access to herbalists to ask questions about herbal and nutritional medicine to be answered by students and the practicing herbalists overseeing them: $150/year (that's only $12.50/month).
* Supporting Institution - designed for those individuals or institutions desiring to support the work of CHANA and be a resource to our learning and accomplished herbalists, as well as families wishing to have more access to healthy choices- $200/year (that's only $16.67/month), supporting members will receive regular ad space in the newsletters, website, annual conference program, and at the annual conference proceedings (the wishes of those who desire anonymity will be honored). If vendor table(s) is/are desired at the annual conference, supporting members shall automatically receive one (1) table.
* Educational Provider - supports the work of CHANA and receives a listing as a Christian Herbalist Education Provider and is listed in the Find an Herbalist referral program, newsletters, website: $250/year.
*Sustaining Member - designed for those individuals, business institutions or organizations wishing to sustain the work of CHANA - $500+/year (that's only $41.66/month). Complementary ad space in print and web CHANA presences, as well as vendor space and honor at our conferences are but a small thank you for helping us make CHANA a growing resource for our members who want to honor the Great Physician while being a servant to families around the world (the wishes of those who desire anonymity will be honored).

CHANA President: Shonda Parker, CCE, Clinical Herbalist

Statement of Faith:
We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried. The third day He arose from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from thence He shall come to judge both the quick and the dead. We believe in the Holy Ghost, the union of all believers in the Body of Christ, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The First Annual CHANA Conference
When: Jan 19-22, 2011
Where: Monroe, Louisiana

Cost: Conference Only - $250/person; Conference + 12 meals - $375/person; Conference/Lodging/12 meals - $450/person.
We are limiting registration to the first twenty (20) registrants. In order to make this fair, we will open registration online and through receiving mailed-in registrations on November 1, 2010.

Tentative Schedule

Jan. 19th - Pre-Conference Workshops 9:00 - 3:00 pm
Suturing for Midwives by Carlotta Crawford, MN, MPH, CNM - Workshop Fee $225 (class size limited to 20) Lodging will be complementary for those who register for full conference, too.

Professional Herbalist Intensive + Final Exam Administered for Community Herbalist Candidates - Fee same as discussed when you signed up for your course; Lodging will be complementary for those who register for the full conference.

3:00 - 5:00 - Registration
5:00 - 7:00 Dinner and Vendors
7:00 - 8:30 - Serving Up Health, Becoming a Resource for Your Community - Shonda Parker, CCE, Clinical Herbalist

Jan. 20th
8:00 - 9:00am - Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 am - Real Food for Real Health - Vickilynn Haycraft of

10:30 - 12:00 noon - Impacting Diabetes with Food and Herbs - Vickilynn Haycraft

Noon - 1:30 pm - Lunch and Vendors

1:30 - 3:45 pm - Understanding & Interpreting Lab Tests - Carlotta Crawford, MN, MPH, CNM

3:45 - 5:15 pm - Changing Lives Through Dietary Evaluation - Kelli Roark, Community Herbalist candidate

5:15 - 7:00 pm - Dinner and Vendors

7:00 - 8:30 pm - Herbs & Toxicity, Paying Close Attention - Shonda Parker, CCE, Clinical Herbalist

Jan 21st
8:00 - 9:00 am - Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 am - Respiratory & Ear Infections - Brandi Wood, CPM

10:30 - 12:00 noon - Vaginal Infections: Causes and Complementary Treatment - Kristen Benoit, CPM, Community Herbalist

noon - 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:00 - 3:00 pm - Making Herbal Medicines by Kelli Roark, Community Herbalist candidate, and Rosanna King, Clinical Herbalist candidate

3:00 - 3:15 pm - Break

3:15 - 5:15 pm - Herb Identification Walk, Rosanna King, Clinical Herbalist

5:15 - 7:00 pm - Dinner and Vendors

7:00 - 8:30 pm - Integrating Herbal Medicine with Other Modalities - Shonda Parker, CCE, Clinical Herbalist

Jan 22nd
8:00 - 9:00 am - Breakfast

9:00 - 10:30 am - Phytochemistry - Understanding Body Chemistry to Understand How Herbs Work - Naomi Watson, BA, BA, RN student

10:30 - 12:00 noon - Legalities of Owning and Running an Herbal Business, private attorney and Shonda Parker

Noon - 1:00 pm - Lunch

1:00 - 2:00 pm - Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) - Brandi Wood, CPM

2:00 - 3:30 pm - Immunology, Food Allergies, and Autism Spectrum Disorders - Amy Whitlock, Parent Researcher and NHF student

3:30 - 4:45 pm - Break and Last-Chance Vendor Time

4:45 - 6:00 pm - Anxiety and Depression - Kristen Benoit, CPM, Community Herbalist

6:00 - 7:00 pm - Celebration Dinner for our Certificate Students

7:00 - 8:00 pm - Counseling Clients: Serving the Body - Shonda Parker, CCE, Clinical Herbalist

8:00 - 9:00 pm - Pressing Forward with Vision - Carlotta Crawford, MN, MPH, CNM

Jan 23rd - Departures
We will provide a simple breakfast for those who will be staying to worship with us in our congregation or one of the other congregations in town.

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Fear-Mongering About Swine Flu 
Fear-mongering is a problem and might just have been the thing a fellow Facebook friend was attempting to address with her link yesterday morning to Dr. Mercola’s YouTube clip about the declaration of a National Public Health Emergency, for which she was promptly challenged by a public health advocate with the question, How can a state of National Public Health Emergency not benefit us as citizens? I think the fair citizens of this nation would find accurate statistics more compelling in being able to appreciate a declaration of National Public Health Emergency rather than statements regarding swine flu which cannot be verified by the nation's own CDC, which ceased tracking swine flu numbers July 24th, tracking now only “influenza-like illnesses” and has also announced in its MMWR the quick test for swine flu had only a 40% chance at accuracy. In fact, all tests for swine flu, or novel H1N1, were rushed to market without adequate testing due to the state of emergency declared.

So, how do we not benefit as citizens by a National Public Health Emergency? Well, let’s talk about the powers granted during a state of National Public Health Emergency:
• More of our, the citizens, money is freed for an already over-spending administration to spend, further increasing our national debt, and the risk to our future economy;
• Unapproved tests may be, and were, rushed to market without adequate testing for accuracy (, and drugs may be given to children, pregnant women, and others in high risk groups which otherwise are considered not okay for those groups due to risks with the vaccine components, an example of which would be the recent override of the “no thimerosal” in vaccines – thimerosal is a mercury-containing organic compound used as a preservative in vaccines (mercury is toxic to humans in small doses) (;
• Potential travel bans may occur, which has the potential to harm US businesses which rely on travel abroad, further undermining the faltering economy;
• More people will go to the doc's office or emergency rooms for flu-like symptoms and possibly be isolated and quarantined, resulting in higher costs of healthcare and loss of work-time, and over-treated - there is a very real risk to citizens to the effects of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu, not to mention the problem of increasing resistance of some flu strains to anti-virals ( given indiscriminately to everyone for fear they “might” have H1N1 and “might” be one of those who have serious complications (;
• Citizens could be forced to have a vaccine they do not choose to have and one that is already showing very real risks to the citizenry. Informed consent? Not an issue during public health emergencies, at least not a problem for those with the power to make you take it;
• Citizens could be forced to stay home from work in areas of outbreak, potentially undermining family solvency and thus the overall economy. Now, I’ve long been an advocate (see post below) of staying home when you’re ill. But, let’s see, if the public were made aware they need to stay home while ill, or until an exposure period has been exhausted, there’d be a way to lessen spread without resorting to mass quarantine of the well in addition to the sick.
These are just a few things that pop into my mind, and I have not even watched the Mercola clip.

I share the public health advocate’s belief that fear-mongering is a problem…even when it comes from an administration with its own ends to achieve. This administration has an extremely high stake (the push for universal healthcare) in making the public confident in the government’s ability to handle its citizen’s healthcare effectively and with rapid response. Rapid response to a perceived threat, I grant. A safe, effective, and informed response, utilizing real numbers rather than “guesstimates,” appears lacking.

Transparency is vital in public health to achieve citizen’s confidence with public health measures. The problem at this juncture is the CDC's abrupt cessation of tracking of swine flu cases (novel H1N1), the continued reporting of "swine flu" cases/deaths now that swine flu is not being tracked apart from all other strains of flu and in fact, reporting now includes “influenza-like illnesses,” rather than confirmed influenza of any type. This has the appearance of generalized fear-mongering with the numbers not adding up.

For several good reasons, it is not illegitimate for the citizens to have - and voice - concerns over the President's response to swine flu and concerns regarding a state of National Public Health Emergency declared as a means to an end of what is essentially an extension of governmental powers, complete with more government funding. Sure, Dr. Mercola and others may achieve some form of monetary or influence benefit from raising their concerns from citizens who are interested and offer up their money to be used by these folks. The difference here is an important one: A President declaring a National Public Health Emergency is not informing the citizens and asking for those who are interested to give their money; the state of emergency allows the administration to take citizens' money (tax monies) without their consent.

Do I, as a citizen, have a right to voice my concern? Sure, I just did. Am I fear-mongering? Nope, don’t think so. I don’t get paid to say this, and I don’t have a goal in mind other than to encourage folks to become informed rather than simply rush out for a vaccine that may, or may not, be safe and effective; to consider prevention measures; and to voluntarily stay home while ill with a flu-like illness unless symptoms become severe or a secondary infection requires a doctor visit. Do my friends who post links to Dr. Mercola get to be labeled fear-mongering? Nope, they pretty much just want another side to be shown to the unsubstantiated fear-mongering going on with inflated numbers.

Let’s see, the definition of fear-mongering is the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end. Why is reporting on the real numbers being called “fear-mongering” so citizens can make an informed decision about what interventions they will or will not choose to access, while using “guesstimates” to achieve mass vaccination – without a proven safety and efficacy history – and to have people to assume swine flu if they have an influenza-like illness, rush for additional doctor/ER visits, and use anti-virals is called being responsible in caring for the public health?

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