I AM WELL AMERICA
I Am Well America is the signature project of the I Am Foundation; It was developed by the Whole Person Centered Optimal Health & Wellness Task Force (aka “The Task Force”), a multi-disciplinary team of health and mental health professionals from across the healing and body, mind spectrum. The Task Force set out to create a model designed to be cross-cultural, and combine alternative health practices, traditional medicine, lifestyle medicine, allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, modern medicines, counseling, coaching and mental, emotional and behavioral health practices, while emphasizing the “whole person” holistic approach. I Am Well America is also designed to demonstrate how the Whole Person Centered Optimal Health & Wellness Model can be presented to both providers and patients/clients across a broad spectrum. As a nationally focused project, I Am Well America provides direct links to national resources that can provide local services whenever possible.
- Duane Bowers, LPC
- Jordan Francis, Health Educator/Wellness Coordinator
- Mary Pat Curran, Intentional Flow
- Ryan Acker, All People Thriving
- Sheila Voisard, Sweet Hagatha’s Essential Oils
- Shelly Acker, Imagine Living Well
- Charlotte Sherman
- Deb Stull Kohn
- Rosalind London, Essential Wellness with Roz
- Ty Baker Baumann
Our mission is to empower individuals throughout the United States to understand, achieve and maintain optimal health and wellness by providing education, promoting self evaluation tools and connecting people to providers and resources.
We envision an America where all people are living at their highest health potential and are guaranteed access to whole-person, patient-centered optimal health care.
- All people should be provided the opportunity to access health and mental health care services that empower and enable them to reach their own unique optimal health, regardless of income, employment status, or geographic location within the United States.
- Prevention, education and action plans are key in moving the model from a “sick care” focus to an “optimal health” focus.
- A whole-person, patient centered model begins at birth and continues throughout the life of the individual.
- Barriers to health care and mental health care services should be eliminated, to include replacing the “insurance-based” health care model with the Single System Direct Service Universal Health Care model, ensuring transportation is included as an essential health care service, and recognizing alternative practices as integral to whole-person, patient-centered health care (among others).
- The role of caregivers is to “give care” rather than focusing on payer requirements, and this should be encapsulated in the whole-person, patient centered model.
- I Am Well America should be guided and developed by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and stakeholders from across the healing and body/mind spectrum, including professionals from specialized fields, such as technology, transportation, and many others.
- I Am Well America should intentionally address and eliminate disparities among traditionally marginalized patients, including racial disparities, and disparities for people with disabilities, people with a mental health diagnosis, people facing addictions, LGBT communities, people with lower income, and others.
- Staffing models and technology need to be addressed in order to ensure provider needs are also met in developing a new health care service delivery model.
- Dignity: We honor the dignity and worth of patients, providers and members of the Task Force.
- Respect: We respect the personal journey of patients and providers, and we respect the contributions of stakeholders and Task Force Members.
- Innovation: We believe in visionary approaches incorporating the latest in best practices and opportunities.
- Compassion: Building authentic, trauma-informed relationships are key to promoting overall wellness and health, and systems should be built with that in mind.
- Education: Patients should be fully informed of all their options, so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
- Making the right choice the easy choice: Systems and designs should be accessible, with barriers eliminated as much as possible.
- Integrity: The administration of health and mental health services, including, policies, practices and procedures should be implemented with the highest of integrity.
- Supportive: Health and mental health services should offer advice and care with genuine encouragement, reassurance and validation.
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM PAYMENT MODEL REFORMS
- I Am Well America supports wellness and healthcare as a fundamental human right, and supports universal health care or single payer health care systems in which tax dollars provide for unlimited treatment to ensure the best health outcomes. These systems remove the middle financiers and establish health care and wellness as fundamental human rights. Further, these systems can ensure all practices, including preventative, therapeutic and complementary, are available to all people. They ensure benefits for children and the elderly, as well as for working class people, alike. Unlimited access to care, without denials, and regardless of employment status, income, cultural affiliation or geographic location, is critical to optimal health and well-being. This includes not only physical health, but mental, emotional, dental and vision health as well.
ERADICATING RACISM & DISCRIMINATION AND PROMOTING EQUITY & CULTURAL INCLUSION
- I Am Well supports efforts to promote equity and inclusion for all people, including but not limited to, racial equality, equity and inclusion, LGBTQ+ people, transgender specific communities, women, people of all ages, people of all physical, mental and emotional abilities, people of all national origins, people who speak or utilize diverse languages, people with various religious beliefs, people with various cultural backgrounds and all ethnic diversity, specifically including indigenous peoples. I Am Well promotes the creation of safe, inclusive spaces where individuals can receive the physical and mental health care, including emotional, dental and vision care, they need by professionals who understand and/or can relate to their own lived experiences. I Am Well denounces white supremacy, as well as other forms of cultural or biological supremacy.
REPRODUCTIVE & FAMILY RIGHTS
- I Am Well recognizes consenting adults have the right to form families of their own choosing, and that support of pregnant women in their optimal health and well-being includes access to fully informed decisions and interventions, including access to options such as adoption and foster care.
- Abortion – The I Am Well Task Force members come from a broad background of health and mental health professions. All members were tasked with considering the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of abortion. Members presented a wide variety of proposals regarding abortion ranging from completely unrestricted access to access only when the life of the mother is in danger, as well as a variety of limitations in between (i.e., only in the case of rape or incest). Ultimately, when considering the “whole person” approach, the Task Force did not come to an agreement. We did not agree there is a right or wrong.
- All options should include physical, mental and emotional supports as part of routine follow up care.
ECONOMIC SYSTEM REFORMS
- I Am Well recognizes the current economic system can have a detrimental impact on the physical, mental and emotional health and well-being of individuals and families, and supports efforts to improve the economic system, including, but not limited to, efforts such as universal basic income for all people.
I Am Well recognizes workplace conditions can impact overall health and well-being. We also acknowledge flexibility of work hours can increase worker happiness and effectiveness. I Am Well supports efforts to promote six (6) to eight (8) hour work days, which includes the ability to have full, uninterrupted breaks, restroom time and mealtimes (on or off-campus). Natural break settings away from others should be available when possible. Break rooms should offer quiet spaces, as well as information or tools for rejuvenation such as information for stress reduction, recliners, diffusers, or sound machines, etc. Staffing should be made available to ensure appropriate breaks and relief.
Worker pay should always be commensurate with education, experience and living wages, and full-time workers should never be “working poor”, or need to have more than one job to meet their basic needs. Outside of shifts and hours, fringe benefits should include mental health/self-care days, and undefined paid-time-off (PTO). For example, employees should receive 160 hours of PTO annually, rather than 80 “vacation hours” and 80 “sick hours”. Tuition assistance or reimbursement, paid maternity/paternity, family and medical leave–including for newborns, as well as adoptive and foster children, and elder care. Campus-based services, such as child/adult care facilities, should also be provided whenever possible.
- I Am Well recognizes that access to sunlight, clean air, water, and natural settings are critical to optimal health and well-being. I Am Well supports protecting the environment, climate and natural resources towards that end.
HEALTH LITERACY & SERVICE NAVIGATION
- I Am Well recognizes all people process information differently. In light of this, I Am Well supports efforts that promote teaching and guiding people how to vet scientific, reliable and expert guided information, while learning how to discard inaccurate information. Whenever possible, I Am Well supports the utilization of paid or volunteer care translators, advocates and patient navigators who can help someone through addressing health crisis on a personal level, to include guidance and absorption of information. This includes helping patients understand medical terminology, their choices, and the potential outcomes of their choices. Whenever possible, these volunteers or paid professionals should be independent from care facilities to avoid conflicts of interest. In addition, these liaisons should specifically focus on guiding patients through the continuum of care, particularly in matters of inpatient, outpatient and follow up care.