Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

New market touts eco-friendly vendors

Environmentally conscious mart will debut Aug. 6, much to the delight of O.C. ‘greenies.’

By SARA PETERS
sarah.peters@latimes.com

When entrepreneur Rana Sabeh couldn’t find available vendor space to showcase her discount natural products business, she decided to create her own alternative ‘green’ market.

The Orange County Green Market debuts Aug. 6 at the Irvine Valley College.  Everything from eco-friendly cleaning supplies and services , repurposed accessories, natural skin care products and Sabeh’s own business Healthy Bargains will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.   Saturdays in the college’s parking lot.

“I figured that if I’m an eco-friendly vendor trying to get out on the market and I can’t then there must be others like e who are also having a hard time,” Sabeh, a Huntington Beach resident, said of her decision to launch the market.

With room to fit up to about 80 vendors lined up for the opening weekend with more expected to sign on as the market grows.

No environmentally friendly vendors will be turned away from her market, she said.

“I really want to build a community, for the market to unite what I call the ‘greenies,'” she said.

However, the market is also build on a foundation of education, she said.

Some of the vendor spaces will be  occupied by nonprofits which advocate to raise awareness of ‘green’ lifestyle practces.

“I also want to pull in people who don’t know about living green and educate the to see how t can fit into their liifestyle,” Sabeh said.  “It’s an opportunity for them to understand that it’s a win-win for their health, families and for the environment, as well.”

The market also has an educational component for IVC’s green initiative and business students: free vendor space.

While details are still being worked out, a limited number of students will be able have access to real-world entrepreneurial experience of running a small business — something Sabeh wishes she had access to in college, she said.

“What Rana is doing is very exciting for us at the college,” said Jeff Hurlbut, the college’s director of facilities and maintenance. “Moving forward, we’re trying to gear things and events so students can have interaction in it.”

The college hosts seasonal vendors such as pumpkin and tree lots as well as the occasional craft or car show, Hurlbut said.

Although the market came too late to be worked into this semester’s curriculum, future semesters may hold the opportunity for students to earn course credit for their partcipation, Hurlbut said.

“I don’t know yet what’s going to happen.” Hurlbut said.   “But I ‘m excited to see what students will do with the opportunity.”

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UNLOCK THE SECRETS of today’s Successful Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatments!

 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

This year’s symposium on Hybperbaric Oxygenation will provide improved awareness and educational interaction from some of the worlds most eminent experts covering treatments relating to:

* Autism
* Cerebral Palsy
* Lyme Disease
* Stroke
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Traumatic Brain Injury
* Coma
* Anoxic Encephalopathy

Over 30 of  world’s leading authorities in this field have been assembled to share their wisdom and their philosophy for “Putting the Vision into Practice.”

This Year, there is even more of what you want most –

– Meet more open-minded doctors seeking innovative treatment for their patients.
– A venue conducive to on-site demonstrations and one-on-one interaction that will improve learning.
– The evolution of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is fast moving.  The very latest innovations will be on show.

July 22-25, 2010
Irvine, California
http://www.hbot2010.net
Call 1-954-857-9013

Mention Webstorm Internet Media

“Standing in Your Power” and Elena Radford coming to Radio!

Radio Show Announcement
Written by Elena Radford
Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Tune in on Sundays Live for the “Standing in Your Power Show” from Salt Lake City, Utah, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM K-TALK AM 630

Listen to Streaming Audio Online at K-Talk.com

Podcast Archive available Tuesdays on StandingInYourPower.com
The show is Produced by Webstorm Internet Media produces “Standing in Your Power”
with the highest standards of production.

Call 801.759.0455 if your are interested in becoming a sponsor or advertiser on this program.

Dear Friends;

We are excited to announce the “Standing in Your Power” radio program, which will be starting on this coming Sunday night on K-TALK AM 630. — The show can also be listened to “live” via streaming audio on KTALK.com

This is exciting, But there is more.

This program will also be podcasted globally so that anyone can hear it online at any time after the show is broadcast on K-TALK. Archives of the show podcasts will be available by Tuesday each week.

You are invited to experience an overview of the transformative series of workshops that are now being taught in corporate America and to individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning the effects of personal power, healing, eliminating limiting beliefs, and creating what you want for your highest good.

What is “Standing in Your Power”?

To live your life from your authentic self. Being who you were born to be. Living life from a place of joy and self confidence. These are all ways to describe “Standing in Your Power.”

Elena Radford can facilitate these answers. She is the pioneer of a new dimension of healing using her skills as a Shaman to support the evolution of New Men and New Women.

Elena is part of a rich heritage from the mountains of Peru, and since childhood she has been empowered with the knowledge of her ancestors. And now she delivers the tools of this powerful new form of energy to help you literally transform your life and start “Standing in Your Power.”

Listen to Elena Radford on the “Standing in Your Power” program every Sunday, beginning April 26, 2009 on K-TALK AM 630 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Live streaming of the show is available online at k-talk.com. Podcasts of the show are available the following monday on StandingInYourPower.com
Testimonials

“After only taking the first series of classes my life has taken on a new meaning. If you want to be moved, amazed, speechless, empowered, self awakened…”
-Sharlene Ashton
“I was pleasantly surprised and literally amazed by the effects of shifting my energy…”
Bruce McLean

“I was able to make more significant shifts in my personal and professional life then in 24 years of formal education…”
Mark Welch, PhD
Adjunct Professor
“It’s one thing to transform yourself from the outside in, it’s a whole different experience transforming yourself from the inside out. So how does one go about doing this?”
Garrett White

A Call to “Inspirational Nourishment” from the Holistic Gourmet — Pati Reiss April 27, 2009

Pati Reiss is presenting another holistic cooking class and dinner on
April 27, 2009.

holisticgourmet

A Call to Inspirational Nutrition

WHAT:
The Holistic Gourmet
Cooking Class and Dinner
The Holistic Gourmet: Pati Reiss
Bringing Health and Pleasure…to the Planet, One Plate at a Time

The Power of feeding the Mind, Body and Spirit!

The Power of feeding the Mind, Body and Spirit!

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine, And Thy Medicine Be Food and Let Thy Food Be Delicous” Hippocrates & Pati

Holistic Cooking Class

WHEN AND WHERE:

Wasatch Commons House
1411 Utah Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
April 27, 2009
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Let food be thy medicine

Let food be thy medicine

To Reserve Space: Call Pati Reiss at 801-688-2482 or
email Pati@PatiReiss.com

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:

How to Cook…Delicious Foods that Heal
~ Easy Recipes that are…Scrumptious!
~ Why Food is your…”Best Medicine”
~ The…”Food Mood Connection”
~ The Healing Benefits of…Going Organic
~ Tps for…Shopping…
– Organizing your Kitchen & Office.

COST:

You will be tasting all the recipes you will be learning about and then the how to and why you want to eat for vibrance…balance and peace!

Price:
$68.00 per person
Price includes: cooking lecture…recipes…
full meal, leftovers…
***please bring small~medium container

Private Classes Available in Your Home
and Catering Available!

Website: PatiReiss.com

83304775                    85008978

People are saying — :

“Pati, I loved your class last night, you made it fun and creative.
I especially liked the millet dish. I had never known how to prepare it. The  tahini dressing was divine.
Do you have a recipe for peanut sauce? I like it on rice and vegetables.

85203840

I hope you will do a class  in April..  Joanne”

Standing in Your Power: April, 2009 Workshops

elena

If you are a CEO, sales executive, life coach, alternative health practitioner, business owner, media personality or anyone interested in exploring your potential and taking your talents to the next level… You are invited to experience the transformative series of workshops that are now being taught in corporate America and to individuals who share a set of beliefs concerning the effects of personal power, healing, eliminating limiting beliefs, and creating what you want for your highest good. 

 RSVP Today: 1-866-938-5553

April Workshops:

Level One – April 3, 2009     9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
                
Level Two – April 11, 2009    9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
 
Cost: Regular price of $250.00/ea

Special price Only for April — $150 for each workshop

image001

Konsyl Pharmaceuticals – New Sponsor of The Danielle Lin Show

Konsyl Pharmaceuticals is the new sponsor of the Danielle Lin Radio Show

Easton, MD (PRWEB) March 13, 2009 — Konsyl Pharmaceuticals, makers of premium psyllium fiber supplements for lowering cholesterol and improving intestinal health, has been selected as a product partner to the Danielle Lin Show, the noted health talk radio program. Host Danielle Lin has been dedicated for 27 years to bringing her listeners “information with purpose.” She personally evaluates and approves all show sponsors to introduce listeners to products they can trust.

Konsyl Pharmaceuticals Executive Vice-President John Flohr says, “We’re pleased that such an expert in the natural products arena sees the benefits of Konsyl fiber. She’s known as the premier radio host in health and wellness.   Her support of our fiber products means a lot.”

“The Danielle Lin Show” is popular for bringing entertainment and enlightenment to its listeners. Now host Danielle Lin broaches the essential, yet “unsexy” topic of digestive health in conjunction with Konsyl.

It’s often said that “health begins in the colon.” Danielle invited David H. Gibbs, M.D, a board-certified colon & rectal surgeon, to discuss the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, colorectal cancer. Dr. Gibbs warned, “Colorectal cancer affects all races equally, all sexes equally, and you don’t have to smoke or drink to get it. You just have to live long enough, so I think it’s a pandemic. Everyone needs to be concerned about this disease.”

Colorectal cancer is preventable. Colonoscopy is imperative to detecting the polyps where cancer starts. Dr. Gibbs also recommended improving natural dietary fiber intake and maintaining good bowel habits to promote a healthier colon.   He is a proponent of Konsyl psyllium fiber for his patients and takes it himself every morning.

Registered dietician Jennifer Snyder appeared on the Danielle Lin Show to advise listeners on smart, fiber-rich food choices. Her quick tips include looking for at least 3 grams of fiber per slice of bread and choosing whole fruit instead of fruit juice. Snyder also spoke about her own experience with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). She noted that a fiber supplement twice daily helps regulate her digestive system.

The Danielle Lin Show is heard in over 107 countries. This valuable health information is also podcast on www.daniellelin.com. Konsyl Pharmaceuticals is also proud to feature the show on its website http://www.konsyl.com/health-benefits/index.htm

About Konsyl Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Konsyl Pharmaceuticals, Inc. produces high quality, natural fiber supplements and digestive aids for improved intestinal and digestive health. Konsyl products address a variety of digestive issues, such as constipation, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, IBS and diverticulosis. For over 50 years, doctors have recommended natural Konsyl products as a soluble fiber supplement for patients of all ages. The high fiber content of Konsyl products helps consumers to achieve dependable digestive health. Konsyl products are available in fine pharmacies and chain stores throughout the United States. For more information on Konsyl Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for healthcare professionals, visit www.konsylmd.com.

A Call to “Inspirational Nourishment” — The Holistic Gourmet Cooking Class: Monday, March 9, 2009

The Holistic Gourmet
Bringing Health and Pleasure…to the Planet,  One Plate at a Time

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine, And Thy Medicine Be Food and Let Thy Food Be Delicous” Hippocrates & Pati

Holistic Cooking Classes

Taught by:  Pati Reiss, Holistic Health Counselor and Educator

Time and Place:
Wasatch Commons House
1411 Utah St .  Salt Lake City , Utah   84104

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

In these classes you will learn….

~ how to cook…Delicious Foods that Heal
~ easy Recipes that are…Scrumptious!
~ why Food is your…”Best Medicine”
~ the…”Food Mood Connection”
~ the Healing benefits of…Going Organic
~ tips for…Shopping…Organizing your Kitchen & Office

Holistic Menu

~Class Opening~
Balanced Eating Meditation

~Cooking Lesson and Dinner~

* Wake Up Essentials for Body and Soul
* Pati’s Breakfast Favorites…(please don’t miss this meal)…will be gluten free…of course!
* 2 Soups…also know as “One Pot Meals”…yum and easy!
* Sauteed Kale & Beet Greens with Gogi Berries and Suflower Seeds…oh my!
* Glorious Greens Salad Raw ( a staple for your fridge) with Creamy Tahini Dressing
* Samurai Burgers…salmon, rice, etc…with a Super Sexy Sauce!
* Millet Couscous Delight…with hijiki (sea veggie)…ok it’s yum
* Ananda Cookies…bliss in a treat…not to sweet…forever rememberd!!
* Energy and Calming Teas

You will be tasting all the recipes you will be learning about and then the how to and why you want to eat for vibrance…balance and peace!

~Class Closing~
Inner Peace Meditation

 Price:
$68.00 per person
Price includes: cooking lecture…recipes… full meal
leftovers…please bring small~medium container

10% off on… Pati’s “Transformational Wellness Program”

*Do the Food *Feel the Peace *Heal the Planet

Come Eat…Relax…and Treat Yourself to…Inspirational Nourishment !

Reserve your space & plate…call or e-mail Pati at:

danceflowgo@yahoo.com…801~688~2482
Peace and Health…Pati Reiss HHC

*Privates and Classes in your home available.
*Holistic Catering…feed your guests the best!

Deepak Chopra brings message of peace and love to Tampa Bay area

Here is an interesting article on Deepak Chopra from the St. Petersburg Times

PALM HARBOR — They came. They saw. They didn’t conquer.

Instead, they felt the love.

More than a thousand people were expected Friday night as celebrity doctor, Deepak Chopra, a world leader in mind, body and soul medicine, came to the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club to instruct others how they could “Be the Change.”

Dale Colton, a Palm Harbor resident who works with Chopra, put the outreach program together.

NP_301432_FREE_chopra_1
[TERRI BRYCE REEVES | Special to the Times]

Deepak Chopra autographs a ticket for Donna Kashtan, who showed up two hours early to hear his talk. The proponent of mind, body and soul medicine was expected to draw more than 1,000 people to Innisbrook Resort Friday night for the presentation.

“We’re trying to bring people together and raise their collective consciousness,” she said. “Basically, the message is that we all have to start caring about each other if we want to solve the problems of humanity.”

It’s a grass roots, worldwide movement presented by the Alliance for a New Humanity, which aims to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world by connecting people and raising awareness.

Chopra is a founding director and its president.

During a phone interview earlier on Friday, Chopra — in his very gentle Indian accent — suggested that we must give up our militaristic approach to solving world problems.

“What we’ve tried in the past is just not working,” he said. “Even the peace activists are angry.”

Oh, and we may want to drop the warring rhetoric too, such as the “war on poverty,” “war on terrorism,” and “war on AIDS.”

Instead he advocates for a peaceful, nonviolent approach that involves changing ourselves, finding our passion, making a difference in our communities, then sharing our success stories through a worldwide network.

We’ll all be happier for it, he said.

He gives the example of abject poverty.

“We aren’t going to have peace when 50 percent of those in the world live on less than $2 a day and 20 percent of those live on less than $1 a day,” he said.

And trade in those tanks for turnips.

“Only 4 percent of the U.S. military budget would solve hunger,” he said.

Chopra, an endocrinologist, splits his time between New York and California .

He’s written more than 45 books dealing with themes of alternative medicine, spiritualism, life after death and such. He has also appeared on shows like CNN’s Larry King Live and Fox’s the O’Reilly Factor.

Chopra is optimistic that attitudes are changing and that we are moving in a positive direction.

“If enough people do this, we’ll have a different world,” he said. “It just takes one person at a time.”

By Terri Bryce Reeves, Times Correspondent, St. Petersburg Times
In Print: Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Call for Health Care for People, Not for Profits

A Call for Health Care for People, Not for Profits
Wellness – Events
Written by Cherie Snyder

Dr. James Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in Washington. DC., has submitted the following report to the Obama/Daschle team for consideration as they initiate the overhaul of our health care system. Dr. Gordon and his group of widely diverse individuals called on our government to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system, to cut its killing cost, and to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits. The report also includes 10 recommendations for action, including a call for a White House Office of Health and Wellness.

Report on The Healthcare Community Discussion

Sponsored by The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

December 30, 2008

Recommendations Respectfully Submitted by

James S. Gordon, M.D., Founder and Director

The accents and the perspectives were as varied as the 30-person group-men and women from their early 20’s to early 80’s, blacks and whites, Asians and Hispanics, healthcare professionals, businesspeople and policy wonks, the wealthy and the barely getting by. Still, remarkably, as each of us spoke of our greatest health care concerns, common themes, common understandings, common solutions emerged.

Healthcare is “too expensive,” said the first speaker, an FDA scientist calling up other countries’ statistics. “My neighbor,” a currently unemployed old friend, ventured, “gets $2600 a month in disability and pays $1500 for her insurance. How can you live like that?” “My daughter and her husband,” an active-duty Army colonel told us, “are actually getting divorced so Medicaid will cover my grandchild’s surgical bills.” “We are,” concluded a former high Clinton administration official, a serious man suddenly sad, “the only advanced country where people without insurance go bankrupt.”

Everyone agreed that catastrophic care after a car accident or in a surgical or medical emergency was often excellent, but that the model of swift and decisive intervention had been long misapplied. “We have a ‘sick care’, not a health care system,” a black family physician told us, to a general nodding of heads. “I can’t bill for obesity or smoking cessation.” The current system, everyone agreed, often reimburses for expensive treatments of questionable value, instead of supporting preventive and self-care approaches. Small businesses, including doctors’ offices, we heard, cut services and raise fees to meet the escalating costs of their own employees’ healthcare-“It’s more than 15% a year,” a second family physician, who’d brought his budget with him, told us. Anxiety about health and coverage, our participants said again and again, contributes to the illnesses that demand coverage, and keep poorly covered people from seeking the help they need. The costs mount out of control while our national health grows worse-we spend far more money, our group members said with pain, incredulity, and outrage, live far less long and have far higher rates of infant mortality than just about any other industrial society.

Still, in spite of the pain, disappointment, and the frustration that providers, patients, and policy makers have all repeatedly experienced, that they still feel, there was, all around the circle and throughout the evening, a sense of promise and a feeling of hope in the room. Everyone deeply appreciated that the opinions of the American people were finally being asked for and that their voices would be heard. This time of crisis in our national health care, we agreed, can be an opportunity for profound change in the structure and the content of our healthcare, a time to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system and to cut its killing costs, an opportunity to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits.

At the end of the evening, I summarized the most robust recommendations that were emerging from the rich soil of our conversation, the ones we would make to the Obama-Daschle team. Here they are.

1. We need a coherent, rational system of National Health Care, a single-payer system that, without demeaning and destructive bureaucratic obstacles, meets the needs of all Americans. This recommendation was supported by successful, stressed-out health professionals and beleaguered parents, by self-styled liberals and conservatives, and by policy analysts who months ago believed it was “off the table” of political discussion. In spite of any complexities in its creation, it was regarded as the “only sane” remedy. Indeed, one of our participants, a former head of mental health services for the Veterans Administration, pointed out that a majority of US physicians and nurses already favor such a plan.

The crucial task, we felt, was to examine the available models-Medicare, government employees’ insurance, and military health in the United States, and the national systems of other developed countries-and create one that was most beneficial and suitable to our population: a system that facilitated more free choice than the current one, and eliminated demeaning bureaucratic inquisitions while insuring universal coverage and cutting costs. Though all participants regarded insurance companies as obstacles, the chief proponents of profits over peoples’ welfare, all felt it was imperative that their employees be retained as workers in the single-payer system or retrained for other careers, especially in healthcare.

2. Whatever model of universal care is chosen, it must be grounded in a profoundly different point of view and practice from the current one, one in which prevention is as important as treatment and in which self-care and mutual help are understood as fundamental to both prevention and treatment.

This means that education about psychosocial and economic factors in health and illness and practical instruction in the use of nutrition, exercise, stress management, and mind-body approaches must come to be seen and practiced as the true primary care. These effective and inexpensive practices-“breathing, moving, learning how to shop,” as one mother of three put it-must be used wherever possible prior to more side-effect burdened approaches like surgery and drugs, as well as along with them. All of our group believed that this approach was absolutely essential to cost savings as well as our national health; that it should be mandated as primary care.

We realized as we listened to several military participants that we have much to learn from the Armed Forces’ emphasis on comprehensive fitness programs which include mental, emotional, spiritual, social, familial, and financial, as well as the physical, aspects of health.

This approach to wellness and prevention does not, we believe, require economic incentives and penalties as many have insisted -carrots and sticks. It can be grounded in an entire system which helps people who have felt discouraged and disrespected and alienated to become actively engaged in their own care. I and other clinicians in the room reported that when we treated our patients with respect, taught them techniques they could use to help themselves, and provided the kind of practical, emotional, and social support they needed to sustain the changes they decided to make, health care miracles were possible. Many of us, including The Center for Mind-Body Medicine staff (and many of our professional trainees), have found this approach to be highly successful with populations that are often regarded as recalcitrant and incapable of self-care, including the low-income, chronically ill elderly; delinquent adolescents; HIV-positive ex-prisoners; and war-traumatized children and adults. Respected and treated as equals who are capable of understanding and helping themselves, offered the opportunity to use tools to live healthier and fuller lives, the vast majority respond-and so will the vast majority of all Americans.

3. Integrative approaches to healthcare must be adopted as the standard of care and rigorously studied. This means including in National Health Care whichever forms of helping and healing-whether previously described as conventional, complementary, or alternative-have proven to be most effective and making them available to all Americans in comprehensive and individualized programs: meditation and medication, acupuncture and surgery, group support in sustaining programs of self-care as well as individual diagnosis and consultation in designing them.

4. Transforming the selection and education of health professionals. The health professionals who will sustain and embrace this new commitment to comprehensive care, self-care, wellness, and prevention, must be imbued with idealism and humanitarianism, with a primary devotion to science in the service of people, to patients, not profits. To train and support them, we must create a system which provides a free professional education with an emphasis on wellness, self-care, and prevention as well as biomedicine, and, in return for it, require compulsory public service for all physicians, nurses, and other health professionals.

This system would foster the selection and education of the most committed, gifted, and dedicated healthcare providers regardless of financial background. It will give all health professionals both a scientific understanding of the therapeutic power of self-care and prevention as well as a profound personal experience of these approaches. It will emphasize character, commitment, and genuine concern for others equally with academic achievement.

5. The transformation of the health of our population must begin with our children. In this process, the Department of Education must be understood as a central agency in health promotion and disease prevention. Current school health programs are largely negative-“don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t have sex, etc. etc.”-and largely ineffective. The school wellness curricula that all states have been ordered to develop are a good first step. They need to be taken far more seriously, closely examined, and carefully implemented. True and comprehensive wellness-including exercise, nutrition, stress management and self-expression-must become a central part of all school curricula and of the lives, and the teaching and learning experience, of all school personnel and of the parents of school children. Those who are teaching self-care must themselves learn and practice it, and the homes that children live in must support their children’s efforts to help and care for themselves.

6. We must create a sane alternative to the current overpriced, counterproductive, indeed, destructive system of malpractice insurance. This new option would separate financial compensation for patients from re-education and punishment of health professionals and hospitals. A national fund would fairly compensate those who have been injured by medical and hospital error (the vast majority of whom, according to a number of studies in New York and elsewhere, do not sue and are not compensated) in a way similar to workman’s compensation. Instead of perpetuating the destructive narrowness of “defensive medicine,” this new approach would provide genuine re-education for erring physicians or-if their offenses warrant it-bar them from practice. This kind of system, which is being successfully used in such countries as Norway and New Zealand, must be investigated and refined to meet US needs.

7. We must remove the baleful influence of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies on healthcare quality and its cost, and make industry serve, rather than exploit, Americans with health needs. This includes eliminating health insurance companies from the health care equation. They are formed for profit rather than service, and each year add hundreds of billions of dollars ($350 billion according to Physicians for a National Health Plan) of administrative costs, executive pay, and shareholder profits to our health care bill. This measure would require retraining and re-deploying the several hundred thousand managers and workers in the insurance industry-equipping those who are genuinely interested to provide health care and health education.
A national system of health care should have and use its bargaining power to ensure true competitiveness among pharmaceutical manufacturers and thereby significantly lower costs. Elimination of the influence of direct-to-consumer advertising-deplored by health professionals as well as patient advocates at our meeting-would further lower costs as well as reduce unnecessary, propaganda-driven drug-prescribing and drug-taking.

8. We must develop a research program which serves the needs and priorities discussed above, one which helps set the agenda for our nation’s health, rather than one that uncritically reflects a narrow biomedical perspective. The NIH’s 30-some billion dollar budget must be put to the best possible use, with a far more significant percentage-up from the current 2% to perhaps 20%-explicitly dedicated to studying the effectiveness of prevention, self-care, and wellness. An additional 20% of the budget needs to be shifted away from the single intervention studies-one drug or one procedure-on which NIH grants focus, to the study of comprehensive, integrative and individualized programs of care for the chronic illnesses that beset our population and consume our health care dollars, approaches that appear to be likely to produce the best results-for example, nutritional, mind-body, and exercise interventions for arthritis, heart disease, and chronic pain; chemotherapy along with nutritional therapy, acupuncture, herbs, and group support for cancer. Finally, 10% of the budget that is allocated to single intervention studies should be awarded to research on non-patentable approaches, including mind-body therapies, herbal remedies, therapeutic dietary programs, acupuncture, musculoskeletal manipulation etc. etc.

9. We must recover the ancient philosophical perspective, in which the highest quality healthcare is seen as promoting personal, emotional, social, and spiritual fulfillment, and we must develop programs that manifest this perspective. The military’s health care may be more effective than most civilian care because it has allegiance to and is implemented in the service of a greater mission-the defense of our country. A similar and perhaps even more life-affirming spirit-one of enhancing our collective national life and of providing service to our fellow citizens-can be called on and mobilized for civilian health care.

10. A White House Office of Health and Wellness. As we surveyed the changes we were recommending, it became clear to our group that a small but powerful agency at the highest level of our government was required to ensure continued responsiveness to the ongoing and changing health needs of Americans. Therefore, we recommend that a White House Office of Health and Wellness be established. This office (which would in some ways be similar to the White House Offices of Science and Technology and Drug Policy) would ensure that government bureaucracies (including any required for National Health Care as well as the NIH, the Departments of Education, and Defense and the Veterans Administration) are accountable to a vision in which service to all Americans is paramount. The White House Office would help ensure ongoing active engagement of our population in their own care and in shaping the kind of care that will most effectively, humanely, and economically meet all our needs.

Dr. James Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in Washington. DC., has submitted the following report to the Obama/Daschle team for consideration as they initiate the overhaul of our health care system. Dr. Gordon and his group of widely diverse individuals called on our government to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system, to cut its killing cost, and to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits. The report also includes 10 recommendations for action, including a call for a White House office of Health and Wellness.

Report on The Healthcare Community Discussion

Sponsored by The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

December 30, 2008

Recommendations Respectfully Submitted by

James S. Gordon, M.D., Founder and Director

The accents and the perspectives were as varied as the 30-person group-men and women from their early 20’s to early 80’s, blacks and whites, Asians and Hispanics, healthcare professionals, businesspeople and policy wonks, the wealthy and the barely getting by. Still, remarkably, as each of us spoke of our greatest health care concerns, common themes, common understandings, common solutions emerged.

Healthcare is “too expensive,” said the first speaker, an FDA scientist calling up other countries’ statistics. “My neighbor,” a currently unemployed old friend, ventured, “gets $2600 a month in disability and pays $1500 for her insurance. How can you live like that?” “My daughter and her husband,” an active-duty Army colonel told us, “are actually getting divorced so Medicaid will cover my grandchild’s surgical bills.” “We are,” concluded a former high Clinton administration official, a serious man suddenly sad, “the only advanced country where people without insurance go bankrupt.”

Everyone agreed that catastrophic care after a car accident or in a surgical or medical emergency was often excellent, but that the model of swift and decisive intervention had been long misapplied. “We have a ‘sick care’, not a health care system,” a black family physician told us, to a general nodding of heads. “I can’t bill for obesity or smoking cessation.” The current system, everyone agreed, often reimburses for expensive treatments of questionable value, instead of supporting preventive and self-care approaches. Small businesses, including doctors’ offices, we heard, cut services and raise fees to meet the escalating costs of their own employees’ healthcare-“It’s more than 15% a year,” a second family physician, who’d brought his budget with him, told us. Anxiety about health and coverage, our participants said again and again, contributes to the illnesses that demand coverage, and keep poorly covered people from seeking the help they need. The costs mount out of control while our national health grows worse-we spend far more money, our group members said with pain, incredulity, and outrage, live far less long and have far higher rates of infant mortality than just about any other industrial society.

Still, in spite of the pain, disappointment, and the frustration that providers, patients, and policy makers have all repeatedly experienced, that they still feel, there was, all around the circle and throughout the evening, a sense of promise and a feeling of hope in the room. Everyone deeply appreciated that the opinions of the American people were finally being asked for and that their voices would be heard. This time of crisis in our national health care, we agreed, can be an opportunity for profound change in the structure and the content of our healthcare, a time to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system and to cut its killing costs, an opportunity to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits.

At the end of the evening, I summarized the most robust recommendations that were emerging from the rich soil of our conversation, the ones we would make to the Obama-Daschle team. Here they are.

1. We need a coherent, rational system of National Health Care, a single-payer system that, without demeaning and destructive bureaucratic obstacles, meets the needs of all Americans. This recommendation was supported by successful, stressed-out health professionals and beleaguered parents, by self-styled liberals and conservatives, and by policy analysts who months ago believed it was “off the table” of political discussion. In spite of any complexities in its creation, it was regarded as the “only sane” remedy. Indeed, one of our participants, a former head of mental health services for the Veterans Administration, pointed out that a majority of US physicians and nurses already favor such a plan.

The crucial task, we felt, was to examine the available models-Medicare, government employees’ insurance, and military health in the United States, and the national systems of other developed countries-and create one that was most beneficial and suitable to our population: a system that facilitated more free choice than the current one, and eliminated demeaning bureaucratic inquisitions while insuring universal coverage and cutting costs. Though all participants regarded insurance companies as obstacles, the chief proponents of profits over peoples’ welfare, all felt it was imperative that their employees be retained as workers in the single-payer system or retrained for other careers, especially in healthcare.

2. Whatever model of universal care is chosen, it must be grounded in a profoundly different point of view and practice from the current one, one in which prevention is as important as treatment and in which self-care and mutual help are understood as fundamental to both prevention and treatment.

This means that education about psychosocial and economic factors in health and illness and practical instruction in the use of nutrition, exercise, stress management, and mind-body approaches must come to be seen and practiced as the true primary care. These effective and inexpensive practices-“breathing, moving, learning how to shop,” as one mother of three put it-must be used wherever possible prior to more side-effect burdened approaches like surgery and drugs, as well as along with them. All of our group believed that this approach was absolutely essential to cost savings as well as our national health; that it should be mandated as primary care.

We realized as we listened to several military participants that we have much to learn from the Armed Forces’ emphasis on comprehensive fitness programs which include mental, emotional, spiritual, social, familial, and financial, as well as the physical, aspects of health.

This approach to wellness and prevention does not, we believe, require economic incentives and penalties as many have insisted -carrots and sticks. It can be grounded in an entire system which helps people who have felt discouraged and disrespected and alienated to become actively engaged in their own care. I and other clinicians in the room reported that when we treated our patients with respect, taught them techniques they could use to help themselves, and provided the kind of practical, emotional, and social support they needed to sustain the changes they decided to make, health care miracles were possible. Many of us, including The Center for Mind-Body Medicine staff (and many of our professional trainees), have found this approach to be highly successful with populations that are often regarded as recalcitrant and incapable of self-care, including the low-income, chronically ill elderly; delinquent adolescents; HIV-positive ex-prisoners; and war-traumatized children and adults. Respected and treated as equals who are capable of understanding and helping themselves, offered the opportunity to use tools to live healthier and fuller lives, the vast majority respond-and so will the vast majority of all Americans.

3. Integrative approaches to healthcare must be adopted as the standard of care and rigorously studied. This means including in National Health Care whichever forms of helping and healing-whether previously described as conventional, complementary, or alternative-have proven to be most effective and making them available to all Americans in comprehensive and individualized programs: meditation and medication, acupuncture and surgery, group support in sustaining programs of self-care as well as individual diagnosis and consultation in designing them.

4. Transforming the selection and education of health professionals. The health professionals who will sustain and embrace this new commitment to comprehensive care, self-care, wellness, and prevention, must be imbued with idealism and humanitarianism, with a primary devotion to science in the service of people, to patients, not profits. To train and support them, we must create a system which provides a free professional education with an emphasis on wellness, self-care, and prevention as well as biomedicine, and, in return for it, require compulsory public service for all physicians, nurses, and other health professionals.

This system would foster the selection and education of the most committed, gifted, and dedicated healthcare providers regardless of financial background. It will give all health professionals both a scientific understanding of the therapeutic power of self-care and prevention as well as a profound personal experience of these approaches. It will emphasize character, commitment, and genuine concern for others equally with academic achievement.

5. The transformation of the health of our population must begin with our children. In this process, the Department of Education must be understood as a central agency in health promotion and disease prevention. Current school health programs are largely negative-“don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t have sex, etc. etc.”-and largely ineffective. The school wellness curricula that all states have been ordered to develop are a good first step. They need to be taken far more seriously, closely examined, and carefully implemented. True and comprehensive wellness-including exercise, nutrition, stress management and self-expression-must become a central part of all school curricula and of the lives, and the teaching and learning experience, of all school personnel and of the parents of school children. Those who are teaching self-care must themselves learn and practice it, and the homes that children live in must support their children’s efforts to help and care for themselves.

6. We must create a sane alternative to the current overpriced, counterproductive, indeed, destructive system of malpractice insurance. This new option would separate financial compensation for patients from re-education and punishment of health professionals and hospitals. A national fund would fairly compensate those who have been injured by medical and hospital error (the vast majority of whom, according to a number of studies in New York and elsewhere, do not sue and are not compensated) in a way similar to workman’s compensation. Instead of perpetuating the destructive narrowness of “defensive medicine,” this new approach would provide genuine re-education for erring physicians or-if their offenses warrant it-bar them from practice. This kind of system, which is being successfully used in such countries as Norway and New Zealand, must be investigated and refined to meet US needs.

7. We must remove the baleful influence of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies on healthcare quality and its cost, and make industry serve, rather than exploit, Americans with health needs. This includes eliminating health insurance companies from the health care equation. They are formed for profit rather than service, and each year add hundreds of billions of dollars ($350 billion according to Physicians for a National Health Plan) of administrative costs, executive pay, and shareholder profits to our health care bill. This measure would require retraining and re-deploying the several hundred thousand managers and workers in the insurance industry-equipping those who are genuinely interested to provide health care and health education.
A national system of health care should have and use its bargaining power to ensure true competitiveness among pharmaceutical manufacturers and thereby significantly lower costs. Elimination of the influence of direct-to-consumer advertising-deplored by health professionals as well as patient advocates at our meeting-would further lower costs as well as reduce unnecessary, propaganda-driven drug-prescribing and drug-taking.

8. We must develop a research program which serves the needs and priorities discussed above, one which helps set the agenda for our nation’s health, rather than one that uncritically reflects a narrow biomedical perspective. The NIH’s 30-some billion dollar budget must be put to the best possible use, with a far more significant percentage-up from the current 2% to perhaps 20%-explicitly dedicated to studying the effectiveness of prevention, self-care, and wellness. An additional 20% of the budget needs to be shifted away from the single intervention studies-one drug or one procedure-on which NIH grants focus, to the study of comprehensive, integrative and individualized programs of care for the chronic illnesses that beset our population and consume our health care dollars, approaches that appear to be likely to produce the best results-for example, nutritional, mind-body, and exercise interventions for arthritis, heart disease, and chronic pain; chemotherapy along with nutritional therapy, acupuncture, herbs, and group support for cancer. Finally, 10% of the budget that is allocated to single intervention studies should be awarded to research on non-patentable approaches, including mind-body therapies, herbal remedies, therapeutic dietary programs, acupuncture, musculoskeletal manipulation etc. etc.

9. We must recover the ancient philosophical perspective, in which the highest quality healthcare is seen as promoting personal, emotional, social, and spiritual fulfillment, and we must develop programs that manifest this perspective. The military’s health care may be more effective than most civilian care because it has allegiance to and is implemented in the service of a greater mission-the defense of our country. A similar and perhaps even more life-affirming spirit-one of enhancing our collective national life and of providing service to our fellow citizens-can be called on and mobilized for civilian health care.

10. A White House Office of Health and Wellness. As we surveyed the changes we were recommending, it became clear to our group that a small but powerful agency at the highest level of our government was required to ensure continued responsiveness to the ongoing and changing health needs of Americans. Therefore, we recommend that a White House Office of Health and Wellness be established. This office (which would in some ways be similar to the White House Offices of Science and Technology and Drug Policy) would ensure that government bureaucracies (including any required for National Health Care as well as the NIH, the Departments of Education, and Defense and the Veterans Administration) are accountable to a vision in which service to all Americans is paramount. The White House Office would help ensure ongoing active engagement of our population in their own care and in shaping the kind of care that will most effectively, humanely, and economically meet all our needs.

Dr. James Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in Washington. DC., has submitted the following report to the Obama/Daschle team for consideration as they initiate the overhaul of our health care system. Dr. Gordon and his group of widely diverse individuals called on our government to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system, to cut its killing cost, and to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits. The report also includes 10 recommendations for action, including a call for a White House office of Health and Wellness.

Report on The Healthcare Community Discussion

Sponsored by The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

December 30, 2008

Recommendations Respectfully Submitted by

James S. Gordon, M.D., Founder and Director

The accents and the perspectives were as varied as the 30-person group-men and women from their early 20’s to early 80’s, blacks and whites, Asians and Hispanics, healthcare professionals, businesspeople and policy wonks, the wealthy and the barely getting by. Still, remarkably, as each of us spoke of our greatest health care concerns, common themes, common understandings, common solutions emerged.

Healthcare is “too expensive,” said the first speaker, an FDA scientist calling up other countries’ statistics. “My neighbor,” a currently unemployed old friend, ventured, “gets $2600 a month in disability and pays $1500 for her insurance. How can you live like that?” “My daughter and her husband,” an active-duty Army colonel told us, “are actually getting divorced so Medicaid will cover my grandchild’s surgical bills.” “We are,” concluded a former high Clinton administration official, a serious man suddenly sad, “the only advanced country where people without insurance go bankrupt.”

Everyone agreed that catastrophic care after a car accident or in a surgical or medical emergency was often excellent, but that the model of swift and decisive intervention had been long misapplied. “We have a ‘sick care’, not a health care system,” a black family physician told us, to a general nodding of heads. “I can’t bill for obesity or smoking cessation.” The current system, everyone agreed, often reimburses for expensive treatments of questionable value, instead of supporting preventive and self-care approaches. Small businesses, including doctors’ offices, we heard, cut services and raise fees to meet the escalating costs of their own employees’ healthcare-“It’s more than 15% a year,” a second family physician, who’d brought his budget with him, told us. Anxiety about health and coverage, our participants said again and again, contributes to the illnesses that demand coverage, and keep poorly covered people from seeking the help they need. The costs mount out of control while our national health grows worse-we spend far more money, our group members said with pain, incredulity, and outrage, live far less long and have far higher rates of infant mortality than just about any other industrial society.

Still, in spite of the pain, disappointment, and the frustration that providers, patients, and policy makers have all repeatedly experienced, that they still feel, there was, all around the circle and throughout the evening, a sense of promise and a feeling of hope in the room. Everyone deeply appreciated that the opinions of the American people were finally being asked for and that their voices would be heard. This time of crisis in our national health care, we agreed, can be an opportunity for profound change in the structure and the content of our healthcare, a time to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system and to cut its killing costs, an opportunity to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits.

At the end of the evening, I summarized the most robust recommendations that were emerging from the rich soil of our conversation, the ones we would make to the Obama-Daschle team. Here they are.

1. We need a coherent, rational system of National Health Care, a single-payer system that, without demeaning and destructive bureaucratic obstacles, meets the needs of all Americans. This recommendation was supported by successful, stressed-out health professionals and beleaguered parents, by self-styled liberals and conservatives, and by policy analysts who months ago believed it was “off the table” of political discussion. In spite of any complexities in its creation, it was regarded as the “only sane” remedy. Indeed, one of our participants, a former head of mental health services for the Veterans Administration, pointed out that a majority of US physicians and nurses already favor such a plan.

The crucial task, we felt, was to examine the available models-Medicare, government employees’ insurance, and military health in the United States, and the national systems of other developed countries-and create one that was most beneficial and suitable to our population: a system that facilitated more free choice than the current one, and eliminated demeaning bureaucratic inquisitions while insuring universal coverage and cutting costs. Though all participants regarded insurance companies as obstacles, the chief proponents of profits over peoples’ welfare, all felt it was imperative that their employees be retained as workers in the single-payer system or retrained for other careers, especially in healthcare.

2. Whatever model of universal care is chosen, it must be grounded in a profoundly different point of view and practice from the current one, one in which prevention is as important as treatment and in which self-care and mutual help are understood as fundamental to both prevention and treatment.

This means that education about psychosocial and economic factors in health and illness and practical instruction in the use of nutrition, exercise, stress management, and mind-body approaches must come to be seen and practiced as the true primary care. These effective and inexpensive practices-“breathing, moving, learning how to shop,” as one mother of three put it-must be used wherever possible prior to more side-effect burdened approaches like surgery and drugs, as well as along with them. All of our group believed that this approach was absolutely essential to cost savings as well as our national health; that it should be mandated as primary care.

We realized as we listened to several military participants that we have much to learn from the Armed Forces’ emphasis on comprehensive fitness programs which include mental, emotional, spiritual, social, familial, and financial, as well as the physical, aspects of health.

This approach to wellness and prevention does not, we believe, require economic incentives and penalties as many have insisted -carrots and sticks. It can be grounded in an entire system which helps people who have felt discouraged and disrespected and alienated to become actively engaged in their own care. I and other clinicians in the room reported that when we treated our patients with respect, taught them techniques they could use to help themselves, and provided the kind of practical, emotional, and social support they needed to sustain the changes they decided to make, health care miracles were possible. Many of us, including The Center for Mind-Body Medicine staff (and many of our professional trainees), have found this approach to be highly successful with populations that are often regarded as recalcitrant and incapable of self-care, including the low-income, chronically ill elderly; delinquent adolescents; HIV-positive ex-prisoners; and war-traumatized children and adults. Respected and treated as equals who are capable of understanding and helping themselves, offered the opportunity to use tools to live healthier and fuller lives, the vast majority respond-and so will the vast majority of all Americans.

3. Integrative approaches to healthcare must be adopted as the standard of care and rigorously studied. This means including in National Health Care whichever forms of helping and healing-whether previously described as conventional, complementary, or alternative-have proven to be most effective and making them available to all Americans in comprehensive and individualized programs: meditation and medication, acupuncture and surgery, group support in sustaining programs of self-care as well as individual diagnosis and consultation in designing them.

4. Transforming the selection and education of health professionals. The health professionals who will sustain and embrace this new commitment to comprehensive care, self-care, wellness, and prevention, must be imbued with idealism and humanitarianism, with a primary devotion to science in the service of people, to patients, not profits. To train and support them, we must create a system which provides a free professional education with an emphasis on wellness, self-care, and prevention as well as biomedicine, and, in return for it, require compulsory public service for all physicians, nurses, and other health professionals.

This system would foster the selection and education of the most committed, gifted, and dedicated healthcare providers regardless of financial background. It will give all health professionals both a scientific understanding of the therapeutic power of self-care and prevention as well as a profound personal experience of these approaches. It will emphasize character, commitment, and genuine concern for others equally with academic achievement.

5. The transformation of the health of our population must begin with our children. In this process, the Department of Education must be understood as a central agency in health promotion and disease prevention. Current school health programs are largely negative-“don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t have sex, etc. etc.”-and largely ineffective. The school wellness curricula that all states have been ordered to develop are a good first step. They need to be taken far more seriously, closely examined, and carefully implemented. True and comprehensive wellness-including exercise, nutrition, stress management and self-expression-must become a central part of all school curricula and of the lives, and the teaching and learning experience, of all school personnel and of the parents of school children. Those who are teaching self-care must themselves learn and practice it, and the homes that children live in must support their children’s efforts to help and care for themselves.

6. We must create a sane alternative to the current overpriced, counterproductive, indeed, destructive system of malpractice insurance. This new option would separate financial compensation for patients from re-education and punishment of health professionals and hospitals. A national fund would fairly compensate those who have been injured by medical and hospital error (the vast majority of whom, according to a number of studies in New York and elsewhere, do not sue and are not compensated) in a way similar to workman’s compensation. Instead of perpetuating the destructive narrowness of “defensive medicine,” this new approach would provide genuine re-education for erring physicians or-if their offenses warrant it-bar them from practice. This kind of system, which is being successfully used in such countries as Norway and New Zealand, must be investigated and refined to meet US needs.

7. We must remove the baleful influence of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies on healthcare quality and its cost, and make industry serve, rather than exploit, Americans with health needs. This includes eliminating health insurance companies from the health care equation. They are formed for profit rather than service, and each year add hundreds of billions of dollars ($350 billion according to Physicians for a National Health Plan) of administrative costs, executive pay, and shareholder profits to our health care bill. This measure would require retraining and re-deploying the several hundred thousand managers and workers in the insurance industry-equipping those who are genuinely interested to provide health care and health education.
A national system of health care should have and use its bargaining power to ensure true competitiveness among pharmaceutical manufacturers and thereby significantly lower costs. Elimination of the influence of direct-to-consumer advertising-deplored by health professionals as well as patient advocates at our meeting-would further lower costs as well as reduce unnecessary, propaganda-driven drug-prescribing and drug-taking.

8. We must develop a research program which serves the needs and priorities discussed above, one which helps set the agenda for our nation’s health, rather than one that uncritically reflects a narrow biomedical perspective. The NIH’s 30-some billion dollar budget must be put to the best possible use, with a far more significant percentage-up from the current 2% to perhaps 20%-explicitly dedicated to studying the effectiveness of prevention, self-care, and wellness. An additional 20% of the budget needs to be shifted away from the single intervention studies-one drug or one procedure-on which NIH grants focus, to the study of comprehensive, integrative and individualized programs of care for the chronic illnesses that beset our population and consume our health care dollars, approaches that appear to be likely to produce the best results-for example, nutritional, mind-body, and exercise interventions for arthritis, heart disease, and chronic pain; chemotherapy along with nutritional therapy, acupuncture, herbs, and group support for cancer. Finally, 10% of the budget that is allocated to single intervention studies should be awarded to research on non-patentable approaches, including mind-body therapies, herbal remedies, therapeutic dietary programs, acupuncture, musculoskeletal manipulation etc. etc.

9. We must recover the ancient philosophical perspective, in which the highest quality healthcare is seen as promoting personal, emotional, social, and spiritual fulfillment, and we must develop programs that manifest this perspective. The military’s health care may be more effective than most civilian care because it has allegiance to and is implemented in the service of a greater mission-the defense of our country. A similar and perhaps even more life-affirming spirit-one of enhancing our collective national life and of providing service to our fellow citizens-can be called on and mobilized for civilian health care.

10. A White House Office of Health and Wellness. As we surveyed the changes we were recommending, it became clear to our group that a small but powerful agency at the highest level of our government was required to ensure continued responsiveness to the ongoing and changing health needs of Americans. Therefore, we recommend that a White House Office of Health and Wellness be established. This office (which would in some ways be similar to the White House Offices of Science and Technology and Drug Policy) would ensure that government bureaucracies (including any required for National Health Care as well as the NIH, the Departments of Education, and Defense and the Veterans Administration) are accountable to a vision in which service to all Americans is paramount. The White House Office would help ensure ongoing active engagement of our population in their own care and in shaping the kind of care that will most effectively, humanely, and economically meet all our needs.

Dr. James Gordon, Director of the Center for Mind/Body Medicine in Washington. DC., has submitted the following report to the Obama/Daschle team for consideration as they initiate the overhaul of our health care system. Dr. Gordon and his group of widely diverse individuals called on our government to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system, to cut its killing cost, and to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits. The report also includes 10 recommendations for action, including a call for a White House office of Health and Wellness.

Report on The Healthcare Community Discussion

Sponsored by The Center for Mind-Body Medicine

December 30, 2008

Recommendations Respectfully Submitted by

James S. Gordon, M.D., Founder and Director

The accents and the perspectives were as varied as the 30-person group-men and women from their early 20’s to early 80’s, blacks and whites, Asians and Hispanics, healthcare professionals, businesspeople and policy wonks, the wealthy and the barely getting by. Still, remarkably, as each of us spoke of our greatest health care concerns, common themes, common understandings, common solutions emerged.

Healthcare is “too expensive,” said the first speaker, an FDA scientist calling up other countries’ statistics. “My neighbor,” a currently unemployed old friend, ventured, “gets $2600 a month in disability and pays $1500 for her insurance. How can you live like that?” “My daughter and her husband,” an active-duty Army colonel told us, “are actually getting divorced so Medicaid will cover my grandchild’s surgical bills.” “We are,” concluded a former high Clinton administration official, a serious man suddenly sad, “the only advanced country where people without insurance go bankrupt.”

Everyone agreed that catastrophic care after a car accident or in a surgical or medical emergency was often excellent, but that the model of swift and decisive intervention had been long misapplied. “We have a ‘sick care’, not a health care system,” a black family physician told us, to a general nodding of heads. “I can’t bill for obesity or smoking cessation.” The current system, everyone agreed, often reimburses for expensive treatments of questionable value, instead of supporting preventive and self-care approaches. Small businesses, including doctors’ offices, we heard, cut services and raise fees to meet the escalating costs of their own employees’ healthcare-“It’s more than 15% a year,” a second family physician, who’d brought his budget with him, told us. Anxiety about health and coverage, our participants said again and again, contributes to the illnesses that demand coverage, and keep poorly covered people from seeking the help they need. The costs mount out of control while our national health grows worse-we spend far more money, our group members said with pain, incredulity, and outrage, live far less long and have far higher rates of infant mortality than just about any other industrial society.

Still, in spite of the pain, disappointment, and the frustration that providers, patients, and policy makers have all repeatedly experienced, that they still feel, there was, all around the circle and throughout the evening, a sense of promise and a feeling of hope in the room. Everyone deeply appreciated that the opinions of the American people were finally being asked for and that their voices would be heard. This time of crisis in our national health care, we agreed, can be an opportunity for profound change in the structure and the content of our healthcare, a time to eliminate the waste and “collateral damage” of our current system and to cut its killing costs, an opportunity to create a health care system devoted to people, not profits.

At the end of the evening, I summarized the most robust recommendations that were emerging from the rich soil of our conversation, the ones we would make to the Obama-Daschle team. Here they are.

1. We need a coherent, rational system of National Health Care, a single-payer system that, without demeaning and destructive bureaucratic obstacles, meets the needs of all Americans. This recommendation was supported by successful, stressed-out health professionals and beleaguered parents, by self-styled liberals and conservatives, and by policy analysts who months ago believed it was “off the table” of political discussion. In spite of any complexities in its creation, it was regarded as the “only sane” remedy. Indeed, one of our participants, a former head of mental health services for the Veterans Administration, pointed out that a majority of US physicians and nurses already favor such a plan.

The crucial task, we felt, was to examine the available models-Medicare, government employees’ insurance, and military health in the United States, and the national systems of other developed countries-and create one that was most beneficial and suitable to our population: a system that facilitated more free choice than the current one, and eliminated demeaning bureaucratic inquisitions while insuring universal coverage and cutting costs. Though all participants regarded insurance companies as obstacles, the chief proponents of profits over peoples’ welfare, all felt it was imperative that their employees be retained as workers in the single-payer system or retrained for other careers, especially in healthcare.

2. Whatever model of universal care is chosen, it must be grounded in a profoundly different point of view and practice from the current one, one in which prevention is as important as treatment and in which self-care and mutual help are understood as fundamental to both prevention and treatment.

This means that education about psychosocial and economic factors in health and illness and practical instruction in the use of nutrition, exercise, stress management, and mind-body approaches must come to be seen and practiced as the true primary care. These effective and inexpensive practices-“breathing, moving, learning how to shop,” as one mother of three put it-must be used wherever possible prior to more side-effect burdened approaches like surgery and drugs, as well as along with them. All of our group believed that this approach was absolutely essential to cost savings as well as our national health; that it should be mandated as primary care.

We realized as we listened to several military participants that we have much to learn from the Armed Forces’ emphasis on comprehensive fitness programs which include mental, emotional, spiritual, social, familial, and financial, as well as the physical, aspects of health.

This approach to wellness and prevention does not, we believe, require economic incentives and penalties as many have insisted -carrots and sticks. It can be grounded in an entire system which helps people who have felt discouraged and disrespected and alienated to become actively engaged in their own care. I and other clinicians in the room reported that when we treated our patients with respect, taught them techniques they could use to help themselves, and provided the kind of practical, emotional, and social support they needed to sustain the changes they decided to make, health care miracles were possible. Many of us, including The Center for Mind-Body Medicine staff (and many of our professional trainees), have found this approach to be highly successful with populations that are often regarded as recalcitrant and incapable of self-care, including the low-income, chronically ill elderly; delinquent adolescents; HIV-positive ex-prisoners; and war-traumatized children and adults. Respected and treated as equals who are capable of understanding and helping themselves, offered the opportunity to use tools to live healthier and fuller lives, the vast majority respond-and so will the vast majority of all Americans.

3. Integrative approaches to healthcare must be adopted as the standard of care and rigorously studied. This means including in National Health Care whichever forms of helping and healing-whether previously described as conventional, complementary, or alternative-have proven to be most effective and making them available to all Americans in comprehensive and individualized programs: meditation and medication, acupuncture and surgery, group support in sustaining programs of self-care as well as individual diagnosis and consultation in designing them.

4. Transforming the selection and education of health professionals. The health professionals who will sustain and embrace this new commitment to comprehensive care, self-care, wellness, and prevention, must be imbued with idealism and humanitarianism, with a primary devotion to science in the service of people, to patients, not profits. To train and support them, we must create a system which provides a free professional education with an emphasis on wellness, self-care, and prevention as well as biomedicine, and, in return for it, require compulsory public service for all physicians, nurses, and other health professionals.

This system would foster the selection and education of the most committed, gifted, and dedicated healthcare providers regardless of financial background. It will give all health professionals both a scientific understanding of the therapeutic power of self-care and prevention as well as a profound personal experience of these approaches. It will emphasize character, commitment, and genuine concern for others equally with academic achievement.

5. The transformation of the health of our population must begin with our children. In this process, the Department of Education must be understood as a central agency in health promotion and disease prevention. Current school health programs are largely negative-“don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t have sex, etc. etc.”-and largely ineffective. The school wellness curricula that all states have been ordered to develop are a good first step. They need to be taken far more seriously, closely examined, and carefully implemented. True and comprehensive wellness-including exercise, nutrition, stress management and self-expression-must become a central part of all school curricula and of the lives, and the teaching and learning experience, of all school personnel and of the parents of school children. Those who are teaching self-care must themselves learn and practice it, and the homes that children live in must support their children’s efforts to help and care for themselves.

6. We must create a sane alternative to the current overpriced, counterproductive, indeed, destructive system of malpractice insurance. This new option would separate financial compensation for patients from re-education and punishment of health professionals and hospitals. A national fund would fairly compensate those who have been injured by medical and hospital error (the vast majority of whom, according to a number of studies in New York and elsewhere, do not sue and are not compensated) in a way similar to workman’s compensation. Instead of perpetuating the destructive narrowness of “defensive medicine,” this new approach would provide genuine re-education for erring physicians or-if their offenses warrant it-bar them from practice. This kind of system, which is being successfully used in such countries as Norway and New Zealand, must be investigated and refined to meet US needs.

7. We must remove the baleful influence of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies on healthcare quality and its cost, and make industry serve, rather than exploit, Americans with health needs. This includes eliminating health insurance companies from the health care equation. They are formed for profit rather than service, and each year add hundreds of billions of dollars ($350 billion according to Physicians for a National Health Plan) of administrative costs, executive pay, and shareholder profits to our health care bill. This measure would require retraining and re-deploying the several hundred thousand managers and workers in the insurance industry-equipping those who are genuinely interested to provide health care and health education.
A national system of health care should have and use its bargaining power to ensure true competitiveness among pharmaceutical manufacturers and thereby significantly lower costs. Elimination of the influence of direct-to-consumer advertising-deplored by health professionals as well as patient advocates at our meeting-would further lower costs as well as reduce unnecessary, propaganda-driven drug-prescribing and drug-taking.

8. We must develop a research program which serves the needs and priorities discussed above, one which helps set the agenda for our nation’s health, rather than one that uncritically reflects a narrow biomedical perspective. The NIH’s 30-some billion dollar budget must be put to the best possible use, with a far more significant percentage-up from the current 2% to perhaps 20%-explicitly dedicated to studying the effectiveness of prevention, self-care, and wellness. An additional 20% of the budget needs to be shifted away from the single intervention studies-one drug or one procedure-on which NIH grants focus, to the study of comprehensive, integrative and individualized programs of care for the chronic illnesses that beset our population and consume our health care dollars, approaches that appear to be likely to produce the best results-for example, nutritional, mind-body, and exercise interventions for arthritis, heart disease, and chronic pain; chemotherapy along with nutritional therapy, acupuncture, herbs, and group support for cancer. Finally, 10% of the budget that is allocated to single intervention studies should be awarded to research on non-patentable approaches, including mind-body therapies, herbal remedies, therapeutic dietary programs, acupuncture, musculoskeletal manipulation etc. etc.

9. We must recover the ancient philosophical perspective, in which the highest quality healthcare is seen as promoting personal, emotional, social, and spiritual fulfillment, and we must develop programs that manifest this perspective. The military’s health care may be more effective than most civilian care because it has allegiance to and is implemented in the service of a greater mission-the defense of our country. A similar and perhaps even more life-affirming spirit-one of enhancing our collective national life and of providing service to our fellow citizens-can be called on and mobilized for civilian health care.

10. A White House Office of Health and Wellness. As we surveyed the changes we were recommending, it became clear to our group that a small but powerful agency at the highest level of our government was required to ensure continued responsiveness to the ongoing and changing health needs of Americans. Therefore, we recommend that a White House Office of Health and Wellness be established. This office (which would in some ways be similar to the White House Offices of Science and Technology and Drug Policy) would ensure that government bureaucracies (including any required for National Health Care as well as the NIH, the Departments of Education, and Defense and the Veterans Administration) are accountable to a vision in which service to all Americans is paramount. The White House Office would help ensure ongoing active engagement of our population in their own care and in shaping the kind of care that will most effectively, humanely, and economically meet all our needs.

Inner Light Center presents Hot August Night 5

Hot August Night 5
Saturday, August 23rd
6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Location: Wheeler Farm
South Pavilion
6351 South 900 East
Murray, Utah

An evening of music, laughter, food and fun! Join with your ILC family for our social event of the summer!

Picnic Dinner: Hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, salads, chips, drinks and watermelon served 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Live music featuring The Wilson Project (Classic rock)
7:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Bring your own blankets and chairs for festival style seating.

Children’s Activities

Prize Drawings: 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Cost:
Presale Tickets: $15.00 per adult, $5.00 per child (12 years and younger)

Please Note: The last day to purchase presale tickets is Wednesday, August 20th. Please email cnerdin@xmission.com or call Colleen Nerdin at home 801-566-8343 to reserve your tickets.

At the Door: $20.00 per adult, $10.00 per child (12 years and younger)
(This is an Inner Light Center fun(d) raiser and is tax deductible.)