Realizing optimal health is a goal for us all. The more robust we are, the more we can achieve what we want in life. Yet vulnerable groups, including veterans, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities, generally participate in wellness programs and health screening activities to a lesser extent than the able-bodied population. Too often, the communication of health-promotion messages is inaccessible to disabled persons and other marginalized populations. So too, health promotion providers focus on an individual’s disability while overlooking societal barriers to wellness. Such disparities in access to wellness programs reflect a growing concern that huge swaths of society will not have opportunities to live to their full potential.
Alienation and marginalization for millions of people are part of our collective past, but need these misfortunes be a part of our present and future? To help us understand how we can change direction, Dr. Amy Goodman keynotes this topic area with insights drawn from the illustrious career she has led as a beloved family physician who empowers patients to realize that their health lay within the power of their own lives. The founder of the healing community Wellsmart and author of the book Discovering Your Own Doctor Within, Dr. Coleman has helped people receive care in countries where no formal system for healthcare existed. She will galvanize our gathering with her renowned penchant for keeping compassion at the forefront of health care in any context—ranging from the systemic to the cultural.
Our exploration of what it means to live well continues with Jessica Fechtor’s riveting personal story of a close brush with death. Fechtor will share her experience captured in her best-selling memoir, a chronicle of her recovery from an aneurism that nearly robbed her of life at age 28. She will also provide an actual taste of the restorative power of food and cooking, as she shares samples of dishes that follow the original recipes that are published her book- Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home.
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