Dr. Peter Bongiorno – BIO

Peter Bongiorno, N.D., L.Ac., naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist, is a leader in the natural medicine field. He is President of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians and has a private practice in Huntington and New York City. Peter completed his medical training at Bastyr University in Seattle, and researched at both Yale University and the National Institutes of Health. He teaches an integrative medicine class at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and his latest book is How Come They’re Happy and I’m Not? The Complete Natural Guide to Healing Depression for Good. More about Peter can be found at drpeterbongiorno.com and innersourcehealth.com. 

Statement of Intent

I have been a member of the NYANP since I returned to New York after medical school almonst 11 years ago. I am as excited now about our future as I was then. As current President of the NYANP, and past vice-president for the last six years, I am passionate to continue with the NYANP. 

Since becoming NYANP president, I have focused on three areas: continuing the New York State naturopathic medicine licensing effort, creating fiscal sustainability for the NYANP, and connecting with all members. Towards the first goal of licensing, the NYANP legislative team and hired lobbyist has created a new bill that reflects member wishes regarding scope of practice autonomy. The legislative team is working quite diligently towards this and I plan to continue my support of this process. The second and third goal are very intertwined, for connecting with our current and potential members, and creating a strong NYANP community will be the key to keeping NYANP costs low for each member, and to create a sustainability for the group as a whole to move forward into the future. I am also most interested in creating more NYANP business success opportunities so every ND who is a member has the tools to create practice and financial success.

I am absolutely honored to lead the naturopathic physicians here in New York. I considered you, my naturopathic colleagues to be the smartest, and nicest group of people – and the people I consider part of my tribe, as I hope I am a part of yours. I plan on honoring that relationship by expanding the strength of the NYANP tribe and moving our professional lives forward at the same time.

(Please note: This information is from 2016)

Dr. Rick Brinkman – BIO

Dr. Rick Brinkman is best known for his Conscious Communication® expertise conveyed to millions of people via keynotes and trainings in his trademark Educating through Entertainment style. He is a 1980 graduate of NCNM. He specialized in mind / body medicine and studied communication and how it can profoundly affect one’s quality of life. He expanded to public practice becoming a trainer and professional speaker. He has since performed over 4000 programs in 18 countries. Dr. Brinkman is the coauthor of six McGraw Hill books including the 2,000,000 copy international bestseller (25 languages): Dealing With People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst. His latest book is: Dealng with Meetings You Can’t Stand, Meet Less and Do more. This book features the meeting process he developed when on the AANP board and has taught successfully to groups for 20 years. His clients have included: the Astronauts at NASA, LucasFilm, Sony Pictures, the FBI, Defense Department and many more. He has been featured as a communication expert on CNN, the Wall St. Journal, the New York Times and O Magazine. 

Statement of Intent

I served on the AANP board for seven years, first three years as vice president, then three years as President (1997-1999) and one year as past president. During my reign of terror we established the State Alliance for Licensing, that brought together various entities in our profession, i.e. state associations, schools, etc. with the singular goal of supporting getting new states licensed. The still State Alliance lives and I am the host of their monthly webinar series.

I currently am on the AANP Executive Committee as Treasurer so we have a direct connection to the national organization.

I also united a previously fractionated board. To this day I still consult with the ANP on teambuilding and internal communications.

I’ve served on the NYANP board now since 2012, including a year as president, vice president and currently two years as secretary

My goal as an ND, as a professional communicator experienced with video and media, as well as being a team builder, is to unite our profession on a grassroots level as well as support stable organizational structure that leads to licensing New York.

Licensing New York is highly significant the greater naturopathic scheme and that is why I continue to volunteer my time.

~Rick Brinkman

Dr. Kirsten Carle – BIO

Dr. Carle received her naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Natural Medicine (now NUNM) in Portland, Oregon in 2012, having previously completed her undergraduate studies in biology at Marist College. Drawn to the medical profession at an early age, she pursued pre-med studies in college but became disillusioned with the conventional medical model after working in the records department of a busy family practice. After a years-long hiatus from an interest in medicine, she was introduced to the naturopathic profession after fortuitously befriending two local naturopathic doctors. This reignited her underlying passion for health and healing and within two years, she was enrolled in a naturopathic medical school on the other side of the country. Upon graduation, she returned to her home state of New York intending to provide naturopathic medical services to a region with less access than in other parts of the country. She began her career at an integrative medical clinic with locations in Delmar, New York and Bennington, Vermont, where she practiced in collaboration with a host of integrative medical providers including medical doctors, nurse practitioners, acupuncturists and massage therapists. Dr. Carle is licensed to practice naturopathic medicine in Vermont and worked there for over five years, first as a primary care provider and later specializing in tick-borne infections and other chronic complex health conditions. She now has a solo practice in Latham, New York. There she continues to work collaboratively within an active referral network of regional integrative health providers and focuses on helping people address a wide variety of health issues that fall under the larger umbrella of chronic complex illness. Specific areas of specialty include tick-borne infections, mycotoxin illness, hormonal imbalances, mood disorders, and autoimmune disease. She also works well with the highly sensitive patient who is intolerant to most medications and even herbs and supplements. Dr. Carle lives in Saugerties, New York with her life partner and beloved cat and enjoys spending her free time exploring the beauty of the Hudson Valley.


Having been a member of the NYANP on and off for some years, I am writing now to express my interest in becoming a member of the board. My primary intention for becoming an NYANP board member is to participate more actively in efforts to gain licensure for naturopathic physicians in New York State. With fellow east coast states like Maryland and Massachusetts passing licensing bills in recent years, it seems an opportune time to build on that regional momentum and good will. Additionally, I would like to encourage greater representation of naturopathic physicians in the upstate regions of New York and to hopefully encourage increased communication with and involvement by fellow naturopathic colleagues in this area. I believe this would create more unity and diversity within the organization, thereby strengthening it as a whole and enhancing the likelihood of achieving its goals. Thank you for your consideration.

Dr. Amy Cole- BIO

Dr. Amy Cole is graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM). She graduated in 2011.

Dr. Cole attended Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY where she received her Bachelor Degree in psychology. She also completed two minor concentrations in chemistry and biology while completing the pre-med program. It was during this time that her interest in naturopathic medicine began. Dr. Cole originally became interested in naturopathic medicine as a result of her own health problems. She had been put on a variety of medications and was not getting the desired results. Dr. Cole began seeing a naturopathic doctor and was able to achieve better results without the use of prescription drugs. She had been planning to pursue a career in conventional medicine. After the results she had with her own health, she revised her plans and decided that she would better serve her future patients with an education in naturopathic medicine. 

Dr. Cole is originally from a small town (Sand Lake) in upstate New York outside of Albany. She moved back to the Albany area upon graduation and is now residing once again in her hometown. She has a practice in Albany, New York and a satellite office in Bennington, VT. She has a passion to see New York as the next state that licenses naturopathic doctors. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons. 

Dr. Cole has been a member of the NYANP board for the past two years.  She has been in the role of legislative chairperson as well as Vice President.  She has worked closely with the other board members and our lobbyist firm on our NY licensure bill.  

Statement of Intent

I am writing to express my intent for maintaining a position as a member of the board of NYANP.  Getting licensure for naturopathic doctors in New York state would be my main focus as a member of the NYANP board. Furthermore, I would strive to ensure that this licensure would appropriately reflect our profession’s skills and education. A secondary goal would be to continue to provide accurate and up to date communication regarding our licensing efforts. In this way, I would hope to increase the membership numbers of the NYANP. I believe that these two objectives are intertwined and would each serve to further the other. Achieving our objectives will serve to strengthen our organization and the profession of naturopathic medicine. Thank you for your consideration. 

Dr. Amy Cole

Dr. Sean Heerey – BIO

 Sean E. Heerey is a graduate of the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Prior to beginning his naturopathic medical career, Sean was a bilingual (Spanish/English) Speech-Language Pathologist for over 10 years. He is a native of New York City and was raised in a bilingual/bicultural home. Sean blends whole food nutritional supplementation, homeopathy, homeopathic drainage, flower essences and dietary/lifestyle modifications to help his patients make healing changes in their lives. One of the strengths of naturopathic medicine lies in the process of helping others make lasting and sustainable changes in their lives. A major focus of Sean’s practice is supporting children, and their families, with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and other developmental and language/learning issues. He practices in Forest Hills, Queens and works with both English and Spanish-speaking patients. He is married and lives with his wife and 3 children, ages 14, 12 and 9 years old.  

Statement of Intent:  I would like to continue to serve my state organization by holding a position on the state board. I would like to help further the profession of Naturopathic Medicine in New York State by becoming a more active participant of the NYANP. A position on the NYANP Board is a great vehicle for which to accomplish this. I am very motivated to help my state organization in the licensure process. Trips to Albany and conversations with legislators and lobbyists have taught me that we need to be focused and consistent in our efforts for licensure. The profession of Naturopathic medicine is unique in the field of healthcare in its individual, patient-centered approach to healing. This uniqueness needs to be conveyed to the public. We truly help our patients to make lasting changes in their lives but there are still so many people who need our help that don’t know about our medicine. As a member of the board I can more fully impact our profession and contribute to its growth and visibility in New York State. My communication skills, willingness to serve, desire to help and passion for Naturopathic medicine are all assets that can help the NYANP and Naturopathic profession as a whole. I am committed to helping this profession attain licensure status in New York State as well as assisting in the guidance, growth and protection of Naturopathic medicine and naturopathic doctors in New York State. I would be honored to serve for another term.

Dr. Maura Henninger – BIO

Dr. Maura Henninger graduated from University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2011. For the past ten years, she has practiced in the Flatiron section of Manhattan. She is licensed in Connecticut, where she also has an office in the town of Westport.

Originally from the New Jersey suburbs of New York City, Dr. Maura (as she is known to her patients) received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and, after a 6-year career as a magazine writer and editor, decided to turn her lifelong love for holistic healing into a profession. She continued her studies at The Columbia University Premedical Postbaccalaureate Program and then on to UBCNM. Following naturopathic school, she completed a self-designed one-year residency in the office a functional MD in Manhattan. She received additional training at The New England School of Homeopathy.

Dr. Maura believes strongly in the naturopathic principle of ‘Docere’ — that not only her patients but the public deserve to learn about the possibilities and strengths of naturopathic medicine. As such, she writes for various publications, blogs and shares on social media in hopes of introducing the profound benefits of natural medicine to as many people as possible.

She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Michael, where they chase their toddler daughter Maya and dog Hudson around on weekends.

Dr. Maura is a member of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.


I’m writing to express my interest in joining the board of the NYANP for this 2020 election period. My first reason for wanting to join the NYANP board is to give back to the association that has tirelessly fought and advocated for our profession in New York for all these years. I remember this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., which is something my mom would periodically say to my brothers and me: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” I believe that we can’t succeed as a profession unless we’re all participating and giving of our time and efforts to make naturopathic medicine an esteemed (and licensed) arm of the medical community here. Any way that I can support the licensure effort, community-building among naturopaths, and our excellent yearly conference, I’d like to be of service.

SAVE THE DATE: 2024 NYANP Annual Conference October 5, 2024