The ND Will See You Now: Arlie Millyard, ND

Arlie Millyard, ND

Podcast series, The ND Will See You Now, Arlie Millyard, ND

 In this podcast and interview transcript, from The ND Will See You Now podcast, our editor interviews Arlie Millyard, ND about the importance of inclusive healthcare. Naturopathic doctor Millyard is the founder of Heal All Consulting, which helps health and wellness practitioners build safe, welcoming, and affirming practices for patients who may feel marginalized and unwelcome in the medical system. This includes: LGBTQ2SIA+ patients, fat patients, disabled patients, patients of color, and other patients who have been mistreated by the healthcare system. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This transcript has been edited for clarity from a podcast interview. The advice given here is not meant to treat or diagnose any disease or illness. The information is for education purposes. If you wish to find a naturopathic doctor who specializes in integrative and naturopathic medicine, visit the INM’s Find an ND tool. 


Anna-Liza (AL): Hi there, and welcome to the Institute for Natural Medicine’s podcast, The ND Will See You Now. In this podcast, we talk to naturopathic doctors across North America about their whole-person approach to health, what patients can expect, and why their work is so very vital to patient health. I’m your host, Anna-Liza, and today I’m really happy to talk to naturopathic doctor, Arlie Millyard, from Toronto, Canada. Hi Arlie!

Dr. Arlie Millyard (AM): Hi! 

AL: So, Dr. Millyard’s private practice focuses on digestion, complex chronic illness, mental wellness, and inclusive health care, which we’re going to be talking about quite a bit today. And Dr. Millyard, you are deeply committed, and I mean deeply, to be a safer space for quite a few patients. Here’s just some of the patient populations that you mention on your website: of course, LGBTQ2SIA+ patients, fat patients, disabled patients, patients of color, and in fact, all other patients who are mistreated by the healthcare system. So, that is a lot of inclusivity. This is fantastic. And of course, you’re the co-founder, which we’re going to talk about today, of Heal All Consulting, a platform that helps health and wellness practitioners build safe, welcoming, and affirming practices for queer clients. Thanks so much for joining us today, Dr. Millyard!

AM: Thanks for having me.

AL: So, let’s dive in here. When it comes to queer inclusion, you do go further than simply putting a rainbow sticker on your website or maybe on your clinic door, which as we know, happens. This can be rather performative when it comes to queer inclusion. And you and your business partner, fellow naturopathic doctor, Cindy Gilbert, as I mentioned, founded Heal All Consulting to really help healthcare practitioners make their practices more inclusive and more affirming for queer patients. And on your website you pose a really interesting question to patients— ‘what if you could finally feel that your health issues are no longer holding you back without having to consult ‘judgey’ or dismissive healthcare practitioners?’ So, all of this leads to our question—what were you actually hearing from queer patients that led you to co-found Heal All Consulting?

AM: Yeah, so both Cyndi and I have talked to many, many LGBTQ2SIA+ folks and also draw from our own experiences to understand the main areas where practitioners often miss the mark. And you bring up a really great point about the issue of performative inclusivity. Because one of the big things that I hear, and that I’ve personally experienced, is going to a practitioner who you think is going to be super inclusive, right, because they’ve marketed themselves that way. And then finding that they actually haven’t done anything to make their actual practice inclusive. It’s really, really disappointing. And it often happens because practitioners who aren’t LGBTQ2SIA+ or who aren’t queer don’t know much about identities that they don’t share; they don’t realize the full scope of what is needed to be a good practitioner to these populations. 

There are five areas that we most commonly hear patients worry about. So, the first thing that you have to do when you are making an appointment with a new practitioner is to phone reception or you go on their website to make an appointment. You might worry, ‘Is the receptionist trained to be inclusive?’  ‘Does the online booking software require you to put in a title like Mr. or Mrs.?’  ‘Is the intake form inclusive?’ 

So, you need to have inclusive systems to have an inclusive practice for LGBTQ2SIA+ clients. They may get the message that this practice isn’t safe for us. It doesn’t make space for us. So that’s one of the things I hear a lot. 

So, let’s say we do make an appointment. We come into a clinic, and then we look around. Is that space physically and emotionally safe for LGBTQ2SIA+ clients? Are there safe bathroom options for trans patients? Do the media and the decor around the clinic represent us? Do they show diverse people? Do they show families who look like our families? 

So, then we get the appointment itself. Has the practitioner challenged their biases? Are they making assumptions that patients are straight and cisgender unless they’re proven otherwise? This is probably the most common issue that I have personally experienced. And that I hear about a lot. And it has much deeper consequences than I think most practitioners realize. It’s not just a simple mistake. For someone who is. Iff there’s assumptions being made about us, it can be really demoralizing, and that can lead people to avoid healthcare, which we shouldn’t have to do. 

And then, I’d say the second most common complaint that I hear is that practitioners just don’t have the clinical knowledge and skills to support their LGBTQ2SIA+ clients. For example, many practitioners are not aware that asexuality is a normal thing. Not all patients with low libido need to be actually treated for that. So, patients get pathologized and pushed into unwanted treatments, which also can lead you to avoid health care—which we don’t want. 

And then finally, it’s always really important to consider intersectionality. You can be the most LGBTQ2SIA+ inclusive practitioner, and if you haven’t addressed racism in your practice, you won’t be inclusive to black queer patients, right? If you don’t work towards decolonizing your practice, you won’t be inclusive to Two-Spirit patients. If you don’t make your practice accessible, you won’t be inclusive to queer disabled patients. So, those are kind of the main themes that I hear from people a lot. And so, inclusive systems, safer spaces, challenging our bias, updating our clinical knowledge and skills, and intersectionality are all things that practitioners can do to create safer practices for their LGBTQ2SIA+ clients. 

AL: Well, that was a very concise summary, as it’s really a rather large topic. Thank you, Dr. Millyard. And I suspect that there’s a number of things in there that people have not thought about—or as you pointed out—they may have thought about them but may not realize what the impact is on patients. So, let’s get a little bit into the nuts and bolts of what Heal All Consulting does. You do offer a number of services to healthcare practitioners. There are some fantastic courses and workshops—a couple that really caught my eye. You have one called Queering Naturopathic Medicine and another one called Neutralizing Clinical Language. And then, to speak to what you mentioned just now about inclusive systems, a really interesting service you provide is doing custom consulting to review a lot of what makes up those systems for the healthcare practitioner. So, we’re talking about things like intake forms, what their social media messaging is like, and what their website content is. As opposed to the first question about the patients, what I’m wondering this time is, what is it that you’ve heard from the naturopathic doctors who have used your services in terms of how this is making them better healthcare practitioners and helping them better serve queer patients?

AM: Yeah, we’ve had such overwhelming, lovely feedback from our services. In particular, I think folks that we’ve worked with really appreciate our approach of teaching theories and our follow-up by giving time for practical application of that theory. This allows practitioners to expand their knowledge on their own with a really solid theoretical framework and then gives them the confidence to actually go into the clinic and use these skills that we teach because we’ve trained them first in a risk-free setting. 

So, this means that patients don’t have to worry that their practitioners have maybe done training but don’t actually have the experience or don’t actually know how to do it without being awkward. They can really go in and give that great experience to their patients. We also really emphasize that well-rounded approach of addressing all five of those factors so that patients don’t come in and have a good experience with part of the practice that someone has done work on but then is disappointed by something else not being quite up to snuff.

AL: Yeah, those are all fair things. And I think that it really is a learning experience for everyone. I fall into the category you mentioned, being a queer individual who’s a person of color. And absolutely—when you mentioned intersectionality—there are certain things that healthcare practitioners may be aware of: one checkbox, one bucket. But you bring certain things together, and people don’t know how to deal with this combination. So, thank you for raising that issue of intersectionality. Now, that brings us back to the patients and to our last question today. Your website also notes, this is what you say, ‘I am here for anyone who is unsatisfied with the treatment options offered by your family doctor or has had bad experiences with doctors in the past.’ So, what would you say? Or in fact, what do you say to queer patients who are thinking about seeing a naturopathic doctor but may be quite disillusioned by previous discriminatory experiences that they’ve had in the healthcare system?

AM: Yeah, I think all of my patients who come to me and who’ve told me, ‘I’ve struggled with this in the past;’ ‘I’ve had bad experiences in the past, and yet I’m here,’ are such rockstars. I’m so glad that they’ve taken the step to reach out and get help with their health because everyone deserves that. And I’d say that often the reason that we face so many issues in healthcare is that practitioners don’t see us as individuals, which is why so many assumptions are made and stereotypes are used. And that inherently is just much less likely to happen with a naturopathic doctor. Because naturopathic doctors always use an individualized approach, we’d always want to understand your whole lifestyle, your individual factors, and who you are as a person. 

That said, one of the great things also about naturopathic doctors is that we all have our own unique practice style. So, it is actually a good thing to shop around and find the person who you actually click with, who really understands you as a person, and who has a style that works with your values. You don’t need to stick with someone who you don’t feel comfortable with. So, find the person who really makes you feel seen and heard as an individual, and they’re the person who can help you without feeling judged.

AL: Well, who wants to be judged when they go to a health care practitioner? I dare say that creates a very negative situation, which is the exact opposite of what the patient came to see you for to begin with. 

Well, that’s about all we have time for today. Thanks so much for joining us, Dr. Millyard. You’ve really told us a lot about the challenges that queer patients can experience and face in the healthcare system. And of course, it was so wonderful to hear about how yourself and Dr. Cyndi Gilbert at Heal All Consulting are really breaking those patient barriers down by educating and supporting healthcare practitioners. You’ve also shared what naturopathic medicine does have to offer queer patients as well. So, for those of you listening, if you’re looking to learn more about Heal All Consulting and Dr. Millyard, you can find a transcript of this interview and links to all the work in the podcast notes. Dr. Millyard, thanks so much for joining us today, and we’ll see you next time. 

AM: Thank you!

This article is provided by the Institute for Natural Medicine, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, partnered with the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. INM’s mission is to transform healthcare in America by increasing both public awareness of naturopathic medicine and access to naturopathic doctors for patients. INM believes that naturopathic medicine, with its unique principles and practices, has the potential to reverse the tide of chronic illness that overwhelms existing healthcare systems and to empower people to achieve and maintain their optimal lifelong health. INM strives to achieve this mission through the following initiatives:

  • Education – Reveal the unique benefits and outcomes of naturopathic medicine
  • Access – Connect patients to licensed naturopathic doctors
  • Research – Expand quality research of this complex and comprehensive system of medicine

Anna-Liza Badaloo is a writer and program consultant, working at the intersection of health, environment, and social justice. With over 10 years of experience at non-profit organizations, she brings a combination of content writing, copywriting, and journalism to her work. Using her strong storytelling ethic, Anna-Liza strives to amplify traditionally silenced voices such as BIPOC, youth, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

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Deb Hubers

Debra Hubers is a serial entrepreneur and has started seven businesses; ranging from an advanced genomics to an employer health care purchasing cooperative. Deb has over 35 years of experience in healthcare finance, education, technology, and pharmacogenomics.

Ms. Hubers has dedicated her career to measuring and improving healthcare outcomes. Her expertise is leveraging technology to deliver personalized, preventative medicine. Ms. Hubers co-founded La Vita Compounding Pharmacy in 2007. Collaborating with her business partner, physicians and strategic partners, Deb has grown La Vita to be one of the most respected and sought-after personalized medicine providers on the west coast. She is also Co-Founder of EpigeneticsRx, a leading provider of precise, personalized, prevention which positively impacts genetic expression.

Alex Keller, ND

Dr. Alex Keller, ND, AFMCP is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with an Honours Bachelor in Health Sciences and Psychology. Although originally intending to attend conventional medical school, following a three-month volunteer internship at a rural Kenyan hospital where he observed how doctors used local food to treat patients, he shifted his career goals and pursued a degree in naturopathic medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.

After one year of practicing with the esteemed Dr. Chris Pickrell, ND, RH in a community acupuncture setting, in 2015 he and his wife Dr. Jenn Keller, ND moved to rural Ottawa, Canada where they started an organic farm and retreat center. In the same year, Alex and his athletic therapist sister Jess Keller combined their practices to form Keller Active Health, an integrative physical therapy clinic.

Ever curious and passionate about the education of evidence-based natural medicine, in 2017, Dr. Keller joined a fledgling Ottawa-based health tech startup named Fullscript. He serves as its Medical Director and oversees the development of medical education content for practitioners across North America.

Prior to medicine, Alex worked in the renewable energy sector, where he developed a deep passion for sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship. This connection between medicine and agriculture now drives Alex to focus much of his energy on bringing awareness to the quality and sourcing standards in the supplement and organic agriculture supply chains.

Today, he splits his professional time practicing as a clinician, working for Fullscript, and expanding the farming operation while chasing his kids with Jenn and occasionally running ultra-marathon trail races. He is also currently completing an Executive MBA through the Quantic School of Business & Technology with a focus on supply chain innovation.

Pamela Snider, ND

Pamela Snider, ND, is Executive and Senior Editor for the Foundations of Naturopathic Medicine Project, producing a first of its kind international textbook of Naturopathic medicine through a series of international retreats and symposia. A nationally recognized integrative health and policy leader, she is active in both national and regional integrative health initiatives. Dr. Snider serves on the Board of Directors, was founding Executive Director and co-founder of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Health (ACIH/ACCAHCa consortium of the councils of schools, accrediting agencies and certifying bodies of the licensed, traditional and emerging integrative health professions, and is currently Vice Chair and co-founder of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC).  Dr. Snider served as a founding Board Member of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine from 2014-2016. Her public policy work includes completing a two year appointment to the DHHS Center For Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee (MCAC); serving as a Steering Committee Member for  the HRSA funded American College of Preventive Medicine NCCIM Integrative Medicine in Preventive Medicine Residency program, co-directing in USPHS Region X the Building Bridges Between Provider Communities Group, an exploration of interdisciplinary collaboration and common ground between public health and CAM; serving for 22 years on Washington State’s Health Professional Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program Advisory Committee (HPLRSP); providing technical assistance to and developing key language for the enabling legislation for NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCIH/NCCAM); and staffing Joseph Pizzorno ND during his appointment as Commissioner on the White House Commission on CAM Policy.

From 1994-2003, Dr. Snider served as Associate Dean for Public and Professional Affairs and Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, dividing her work between academic and public affairs activities, including chairing the Naturopathic Medicine Program Curriculum Review Committee.  Dr. Snider has been teaching, publishing and lecturing widely on Naturopathic philosophy, theory integrative health, public policy, and other topics for over 30 years. Currently, an Associate Professor at National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, OR, Dr. Snider also continues at Bastyr University in her 22nd year as a faculty member teaching naturopathic medicine history, clinical theory, and global context. Among her Naturopathic medicine professional roles she serves on the Institute for Natural Medicine’s Leadership Council.  In 1989, she co-led the naturopathic profession with Dr. Jared Zeff, in developing a unifying definition of naturopathic medicine and its principles of practice adopted unanimously by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) House of Delegates. She was a co-investigator in the 2004 NIH NCCAM research study, the North American Naturopathic Medical Research Agenda and CAM Advisor in NIHCCAM’s Financing Integrative Health Care (University of Washington).  Her areas of experience include healthcare education; naturopathic and interdisciplinary clinical theory, curriculum development; clinical practice; government and legislative affairs, public policy, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community organizing.  Dr. Snider has received the Ontario Naturopathic Physician of the Year Award, the Physician of the Year Award from the AANP, the President’s Outstanding Vision Award and Distinguished Alumnus Award at Bastyr University, AANP’s President’s Award, an honorary Doctorate of Naturopathic Philosophy from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), the William A Mitchell Vis Award from the AANP and The Gathering – NMSA’s Beacon Award. She received her ND degree in 1982 from Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences and is a licensed naturopathic physician in the State of Washington. She lives with her husband and children at their homestead in North Bend Washington, in the beautiful mountain to sea landscape and home of The Revival – Restore the Vis, an annual student-led community gathering.

Susan Haeger

Susan Haeger is Founder/Principal of Transformative Health Solutions Inc. She has applied her twenty plus years in executive leadership to help shape and drive adoption of progressive health policy for whole person healthcare. She was a section contributor to the 2021 INM/AANP published professional white paper, Naturopathic Physicians as Whole Health Specialists: The Future is Whole Person Health Care that provides supporting evidence for the profession’s significant and unique contributions to preventive, whole person care and models of integrative clinical practice.

Bruce Barlean

Bruce Barlean is an owner and founder of Barlean’s, a global dietary supplement manufacturer located in the Pacific Northwest in Ferndale, WA. Bruce has been actively involved in the Natural Products industry since 1989 and is passionate about making a difference in the world and positively impacting the lives of others.

Bruce believes that people can make a difference in the world through ordinary purchases. He is committed to improving the quality of life for every person on the planet by making the best products and by using the profits to support outreach programs. Bruce summarizes it simply, “We make good stuff to do good stuff”.

In the late 1980’s Bruce became passionate about how health could be dramatically improved with Flax Oil Supplementation. Bruce along with his entrepreneurial parents saw the potential to improve the lives of many people and in 1989 they began selling Flax Oil under the Barlean’s name. From 1989 – 2000 the business grew an average of 40% year over year. While most companies saw a decline in business in the 2001 recession, Barlean’s continued to grow and soon became America’s #1 selling flaxseed oil and continues to be to the present. The brand has since expanded to include additional oils, green food concentrates and other premium supplements. Bruce continues to drive innovation and over the years his products and company have won countless awards including: Eight consecutive Vity Awards for #1 EFA, Six consecutive Vity Awards for #1 Greens Food Supplement, Natural Choice Award for Best Specialty Supplement, Best Product of the Year, Best New Product, Gold Medal Taster’s Choice Award, Gold Medal American Masters of Taste Award, #1 Health Food Store Brand for Consumer Satisfaction by Consumer Lab, and Manufacturer of the Year.

In 2013 as the company was on the eve of celebrating the 25th year in business Bruce and his parents decided to take their desire to help people to a new level that they call Pathway to a Better Life – which is now seen in the Barlean’s logo. Bruce and his parents had always been generous in their giving and support of charities, but as part of the Pathway to a Better Life they decided to increased partnership with charitable organizations such as: Vitamin Angels, Compassion International, KidsTown International, Autism Hope Alliance, Engedi Refuge, Project 92, and others. And because so many people are unable to meet basic nutritional needs, Bruce created a comprehensive Omega-3 and multivitamin formula that he distributes free-of-charge to local food banks. In addition, Bruce decided the company would supply food banks with organic coconut oil to provide people with a health alternative to standard cooking oils.

Always generous with his time Bruce has served as a youth leader for his local church for several years and continues to mentor youth. He has been on several not for profit boards including; Whatcom County Pregnancy Center (2003-2006), Natural Products Association (dates?), and the Institute for Natural Medicine Leadership Council (presently).

The Barlean family have been avid supporters of Bastyr University since the 1990’s and in 2013 were given Bastyr’s most prestigious honor, the Mission Award, which recognizes their leadership over time in improving the health and well-being of the human community.

Bruce currently resides in Ferndale, WA with his wife Lisa and their two dogs: Heinz & Shadow. When he’s not helping others he can be found fishing (catch & release).

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Michelle Simon

Michelle Simon, PHD, ND

President & CEO

As president and CEO of INM, Dr. Simon brings her passion for working with organizations dedicated to improving the quality and delivery of healthcare. This desire stems from her years of practice as a licensed naturopathic physician. In addition to holding a Naturopathic Doctorate from Bastyr University she also holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has served on boards for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), the Naturopathic Physicians Research Institute (NPRI), and several advisory boards. Dr. Simon served nine years on the Washington State Health Technology Clinical Committee, as Ambassador to the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) and was recognized as 2018 AANP Physician of the Year. Dr. Simon shares with her husband a passion for adventure travel, preferably by boat or motorcycle. She also enjoys teaching a women’s off-road motorcycling class.