NHFC will serve as the national education and information resource center for health freedom in order to address the needs of citizens and grassroots advocates and leaders who find themselves in the position of needing to craft health freedom solutions. NHFC's goal is to provide the public with as many resources and services as possible to promote health freedom. Maximum visibility and ease of contact with the public will be a priority.
Information technology has given the public a new and powerful tool, the Internet, to advance their knowledge and interests. NHFC will stay abreast of technology and utilize it to fulfill its mission of service to the public. An interactive Web site will allow the public to access the most updated information on health freedom; provide state, national and international information and research; and supply links to other health freedom resources.
Program staff, through their own research, will develop publications for the public on key issues impacting health freedom. National models of legislative language will be developed and made public when necessary. NHFC staff, experienced in coping with complex legal and public policy issues on health care, will be available for public speaking, conferences, consulting and guidance. NHFC itself will sponsor important conferences on health freedom topics each year. Opportunity for membership and membership benefits including subscribing to a regular newsletter will be possible.
NHFC program staff will provide national leadership in the area of health freedom. Staff will participate in the development of workable solutions. It will serve the public by educating and encouraging individuals and group leaders to understand health freedom situations in the context of the broader state, national, and international health freedom arena. Staff will faithfully promote basic principles of health freedom; an informed environment, conduct guidelines for practitioners, reasonable standards of harm, and consumer complaint processes. With this knowledge the public will be better equipped to design solutions that will create an acceptable balance between the individual's right of self determination and free choice, and governments' concerns for public safety.
NHFC is unique in that it supports a mediative and nonconfrontational approach to conflict resolution and problem solving. NHFC's hope is that it will contribute to the healing of the people by reflecting a spirit of tolerance, compassion, and cooperation, qualities they believe necessary in every healing journey. NHFC holds that the community of the world must make a sincere effort to work together to find harmony. Differences thus will be approached as opportunities for growth and understanding.
We have described the urgent need for a professional team and a central educational and informational resource center for health freedom. But why is NHFC the organization that can best accomplish this endeavor?
Courageous people and common purposes are key elements in successful organizations. Effective members have the courage to assume responsibility; the desire to serve; the will to challenge; and the commitment to participate in transformation. Their common purpose binds them together and gives meaning to their activities.
The Common Purpose
Our mission is to promote access to all health care information, services, treatments, and products; to promote an understanding of the laws and factors impacting the right to access; and to promote the health of the people of this nation.
This mission calls for respect of our individual rights to self-determination: the right of all people to make their own personal health care choices in their healing process. In order to have that right in the fullest sense of the word, we believe that people must have access to the broadest range of health care options, practitioners, treatments, and truthful information.
In order to carry out this expansive mission NHFC is unprecedented in gathering together distinguished courageous health freedom leaders from across the country.
The Founding Leaders
For over a decade, NHFC's Cofounder and Executive Director Diane Miller, J.D., has worked to defend consumer options in health care. As co-counsel in State v. Saunders, Miller defended a farmer selling colostrum to persons that were sick. The case turned on whether an unlicensed practitioner could practice healing without a medical license. Charges were dismissed after two hung juries. An avid health freedom advocate and founding member of Minnesota health freedom organizations, Miller successfully helped draft and lobby to passage the groundbreaking Minnesota Complementary and Alternative Health Care Freedom of Access Act of 2000.
Cofounder and Treasurer Leo Cashman, an educator/activist/writer on health, nontoxic dentistry and health freedom issues, has dedicated his life to freedom issues. As a founding member of two Minnesota health freedom organizations, he worked to pass the Minnesota legislation for freedom of access to complementary and alternative health care. Cashman is currently President of national DAMS, Dental Amalgam Mercury Syndrome, an organization in the forefront of nontoxic dentistry issues.
Cofounder and President Jerri Johnson, homeopath, registered nurse, and a health freedom lobbyist and activist, is a community organizer. As founding member of the Minnesota Natural Health Coalition and the Minnesota Natural Health - Legal Reform Project, Johnson helped to lobby and facilitate the passage of the Minnesota legislation. She currently continues to work on health freedom issues.
Board member Norm Shealy, M.D., is one of the world's leading experts in pain management. He founded The Shealy Institute, respected worldwide for its innovative and successful rehabilitation approaches to pain management. Dr. Shealy is founder of the American Holistic Medical Association and his spirit and passion for opening up new options in health care and medicine is well known. As a former surgeon and now as a leading medical doctor in the field of energy medicine, Dr. Shealy brings an invaluable history and perspective to the NHFC's Board. He currently is director of Shealy Wellness Center in Springfield, Missouri, is president of the Holos Institute of Health, and hosts a regular talk radio show on wellness.
WHAT SUCCESS WILL MEAN
What will life be like for citizens seeking to protect access to healing options, once all the funds are raised and all the programs are in place?
An individual seeking access to options will no longer be a lone voice amidst powerful special interest groups when they attempt to protect their constitutional rights.
Seekers of health freedom will have a place to turn to gain support and understanding. They will benefit from NHFC's educational and informational resources and guiding principles. Individuals will have a way to become educated, articulate, successful community leaders advocating for health freedom. They will become equipped to be vigilant and successful in protecting their right to have maximum health care options and choice.
On a daily basis, health freedom advocates will be able to contact and speak with NHFC staff directly, or go to NHFC's Web site for up-to-date information on state and national health freedom issues. They will be able to view important documents and purchase important health freedom materials, books, tapes, and videos. Individuals will learn where they can attend public speaking meetings or longer conferences on special health freedom topics. Individuals involved in legislative actions may be interested in viewing new models of legislation drafted by NHFC program staff or requesting program staff to give a technical presentation to a particular group. NHFC members will receive benefits including a regular health freedom newsletter.
NHFC staff themselves will have the adventure of responding to the public's need and to work together in a professional team environment. The team approach will be especially satisfactory because it will give staff the opportunity to research and discuss health freedom issues with colleagues on a daily basis. In turn, this will generate an environment of more in-depth understanding of health freedom issues for creating new models of public policy and laws. NHFC believes that this teamwork is essential for creating a shift in consciousness and will contribute to the molding and shaping of the future of this very important constitutional issue.
The National Health Freedom Coalition is committed to assisting the public in protecting its constitutional rights. NHFC will create a presence that will live into the future. It will hold the vision and encourage us to work together to keep the voice of health freedom alive in our country.