When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

B2W Radio - Be Your Own Best Health Advisor

B2W Radio - Be Your Own Best Health Advisor

Elane V. Scott
Rick Stephens
Featured Guest:
Jim Ehmke

Dear Valued Stakeholder,

Soaring medical costs at the government, business, and family levels present one of the greatest threats—not just to the well-being of our families—but to the very foundation of our national economy. As citizens and as stakeholders in our own economic well being, we must make critical changes now. But where do we begin? We must begin with the understanding that, like education, there are no single solutions. What Birth2Work leaders talk about is process. Given the state of health care in this nation, solutions will not be found simply through the desire to solve the complex health care problems we face. Rather, we must align stakeholder values around health. We must have some broader, clearer vision about what it means to be healthy and what the measures are that tell us we have been successful in getting healthy.

For the last few weeks we’ve been highlighting health stakeholder leaders with multi-faceted approaches to human care giving. We have taken special care to present them within the context of what Birth2Work does—examining the many aspects of broad, systemic issues that affect all communities (in this case health and health care) from the beginning of life through adulthood, and the necessity for engagement of every sector (education, government, business, non-profits, media and health) to even have a shot at achieving a sustainable solution. The health series has included a neonatologist and hospital CEO, who has done groundbreaking work in the urgency of mother and baby bonding at birth (Dr. Bob Roth, 02/24/09); a physical therapist and spokesperson for the American Association of Physical Therapists who is shedding light on a growing crisis related to improper physical and cognitive development in young children due to a lack of “Tummy Time” (Judy Towne Jennings, 03/03/09); a pediatrician serving as a community saver, as well as a life saver, dealing with the pediatric obesity epidemic (Dr. Alberto Gedissman, 03/10/09); a speech and communication therapist (Joyce Muraoka, 03/17/09) who shared her stories about how she helps children restore their ability to speak by helping them learn to love putting their own thoughts into words, not just correct the way they enunciate; Kevin Buck (02/17/09) gave us insights into hospitals and care facilities that are putting as much attention on aligning and integrating actions for developing staff as adding new machines for treating patients; and last week (03/24/09), Harvard educated neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, our brain specialist guest, talked about being a patient following a massive stroke, and held us spell bound as she described what it was like to be aware of a tumor pushing against one side of her brain. We learned about the surgery that kept her alive, but it was her mother’s instinctive care for eight years after that surgery that helped her recover her life. Why are these stories so important? They help give us a glimpse at the magic that results when the powers of the human mind and spirit meet the wonder of technology. No matter how extraordinary the things are that we can do with technology, it is still the gifts of time and the as yet immeasurable value of caring between humans that leaves us breathless with possibility.

Today’s guest, clinical nutritionist Jim Ehmke, wraps up our health series with his discussion about health and the responsibilities we have as our own primary stakeholders. He gives us that same glimpse at the importance of the human heart and soul in improving health practices and policies. When he and his wife began their Milwaukee-based practice, Complete Health Services, in 1976, there was a roaring national debate about the value of “alternatives” to traditional Western health care practices. Some thought those of us who were advocating more natural products or more personal responsibility were all nuts. Perhaps some were. But over time, the underlying messages of personal accountability and responsibility have grown, not diminished. Today prevention is not a dirty word. What we know, in the face of our massive economic meltdown and skyrocketing future health care costs as a nation, is that the day of the small town general practitioner who advised and guided us from birth to death, is long gone. We must be our own, best health stakeholders, and drive policy toward a standard of health that is more than simply an absence of disease. We salute all of us who began exploring alternative health practices at the dawn of the “health movement.” And that’s where we pick up today’s program.

Elane V. Scott

Functional Family Guide: