The Three Wise Men and a Moonshot
I am not sure how I ended up hearing about the Global Wellness Summit. I am on a lot of
wellness email lists, so I can’t tell you exactly. I do know what got me to apply seeing Dr. Oz,
Dr. Ornish and Dr. Weil. They were all coming to the conference being held in Florida, these
facts were enough for me to apply to be a delegate (yes, I had to apply, send in my resume and
write a personal statement as to why they should let in) and a couple of other hoops to jump
I remember what was going on when I applied. I had just had a really crappy couple of days in
early August and I was drained. I was having a difficult time shaking it off and I had a bad case
of writers block with my book. I had remembered hearing somewhere that when I was having a
case of the “poor me’s” to take a chance, to challenge yourself and test your limits. I figured
EW Wellness Solutions
“Why not me” when I saw the daunting application. What’s the worst that could happen? I don’t
get to go, and I can reapply when I have more experience?
I didn’t over think the application, the personal statement or the other hoops and I hit send. I
thought it was such a long shot, I didn’t even tell my husband about it until after I was accepted.
As soon as I got the acceptance email, I had forgotten, mostly about the drama. My writers block
for my book went away because all I could think about was who I wanted to be in Palm Beach,
Florida when I was going to my first big conference as a Wellness Professional.
When I saw the Three Wise Men as I like to call them, my book would already be on pre-sale at
Amazon, and I wanted to be the kind of person who would feel comfortable to be in the presence
of the Surgeon General, and head of Google (x). I needed to be the author of a book that would
make a difference so I could hold my head high and make small talk with the thought leaders in
Health and Wellness across the Globe. I had gotten into the big leagues, whether or not I was
fully ready for it (gulp).
Me and My Great Ideas
As the Global Wellness Summit started getting closer, I started to panic. Did I need new business
cards? Should I change my hair? Maybe I needed a skin peel? The peel turned out to be an epic
disaster when I developed an allergic reaction to the numbing gel and my face doubled in size
and looked according to my kids like a “greasy tomato” a week before the conference. My new
website had been delayed due to my book deadlines, and it was set to go live the first day of the
conference. The day I was flying out I got into a huge argument with my lead developer, I hired a
social media coordinator to manage the process and I was so distracted I left 4 or 5 pretty
important things I needed for the weekend at home.
I was very excited the night before at the meet and greet. I learned that at a Wellness Conference
the bar is limited and the food isn’t much to talk about. My husband came with me as my plus
one, and he kept asking why he was getting nothing to eat but zoodles. I met some great people
the first night such as one of the big wigs from Zappos.
The Three Wise Men
The first full day of the conference was for the Wellness and Health crowd, i.e me! The morning
was going to be Dr. Ornish, Dr Oz and Dr. Weil. I was looking most forward to Dr. Oz, I have to
admit I had always thought he was super cute back from his days on Oprah and even though I I
rarely watch his show, have never purchased his magazine and couldn’t tell you the name of one
book he has ever written, yet I had high hopes for his talk.
Dr. Ornish and I are kindred spirits of wellness, who knew?. He has seen great results with
patients on heart transplant lists by having them change their diet and move, so much progress
they no longer need heart transplants. Diet and exercise can save our lives. His philosophy of
asking patients would you rather be healthy and have more time with your family or would you
rather have fast food is similar to what I have said to my clients time and time again. I see the
choice as clearly Dr. Ornish does.
Dr. Oz was up next. The excitement in the room reminded me of when I saw Taylor Swift with
my daughter, after she kept us waiting for 90 minutes. He has an entourage and knows how to
make an entrance. He had super snazzy graphics of this presentation, is charming and funny and
can work a crowd. He hates sugar, as do I, and had the group eating out of the palm of his hands
in a few minutes.
Dr. Weil was up next. He didn’t run down the aisle giving everyone high 5’s like Oz. He
discussed the need for wellness in schools and making wellness fashionable. He is very sweet
and patient with the crowd, and seems a tad uncomfortable.
We are about to break for lunch, then the real show begins. The room goes dark and a giant full
moon comes on the screen and the famous words from JFK about going the moon comes on the
screen, then we hear his distinctive voice .
“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy,
but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our
energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are
unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win”
The head of the summit, Susie Ellis comes out with The Surgeon General, The three big Dr’s, the
head of the Cleveland Clinic and a lot of other huge deals in the medical world to announce they
are all working on a project together. They want to irradiate all preventable diseases in 10 years!
This got my attention way more than Dr. Oz’s thick head of hair.
The opening of the summit noted that roughly 70 percent of all deaths each year are a result of
preventable diseases, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Additionally, the cost
of largely preventable chronic disease could reach $47 trillion by 2030, according to the World
Economic Forum. So, as the summit kicked off the three-day event, the health and wellness
industries were asked to help make preventable diseases a thing of the past.
“The time has come to pool our resources – knowledge, access, funding – and use our collective
megaphone on the world stage to work towards achieving a wold free of preventable diseases”
says Susie Ellis, chairman and CEO of the non-profit Global Wellness Institute (GWI), the hosts
of the GWS. “Unlike President Kennedy’s famous moonshot to send a man to the moon, where it
was clear when the ‘mission was accomplished’ – this moonshot will require not one, but many
incremental steps for mankind.”
Joining Ellis was Richard H. Carmona, M.D., the 17th Surgeon General of the United States and
the current chief of health innovation for Canyon Ranch, as the two announced the ‘“wellness
moonshot”. “The world is increasingly plagued by largely preventable chronic diseases, and the
crippling economic burden that comes with them,” Carmona says. “This call to action is
absolutely critical, refocusing on humankind’s most pressing need. The GWI is the right
organization to launch this moonshot, as it can only be achieved with high-level collaboration in
the many health and wellness sectors.”
I left the GWS feeling like I was walking on air knowing I was part of something so big, can you
imagine a world without preventable chronic diseases? No cancer, obesity, or heart disease.
Sometimes, it seems as though I am just one person typing on my laptop in my home office,
talking to clients via Zoom and when we are all part of a much bigger global effort. Eradicating
preventable diseases in the next 10 years would be the greatest thing out generation could do for
the next. Imagine how much suffering we could prevent? the money spent on other things? the
energy could be redirected on other issues?
Next years, Global Wellness Summit will be in Italy. I am 99% sure I will attend. Not just
because it is in Italy but being a part of such a worthwhile project as the Moonshot, really excites
me. To think I got involved in this project because I was having a crappy day and decided to
make lemons into lemonade, makes me smile. You never know where life is going to take you, it
might even help you take the world to the moon.
Here is the press release for more information: