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Ruth Westreich & the Westreich Foundation Joins Integrator Sponsors for 2015-2017 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Ruth Westreich & the Westreich Foundation Partner with the Integrator for 2015-2017

Ruth Westreich: Integrator strategic partner
I write with the terrific news that integrative health and medicine strategist Ruth Westreich has stepped up to partner with the Integrator Blog News and Reports as a sponsor for a two year period through mid-2017.

Westreich has been a creative marketing and strategic planning director in the non-for-profit and for profit sectors for over 30 years. She is co-author of the soon-to-be-published
FLASH: Why Creativity Changes Everything. Her contributions to the integrative health and medicine field have been multiple and wide-ranging. Westreich has served at various times on the boards or advisory bodies of the Samueli Institute, UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine, Cal State San Marcos Institute for Palliative Care, Bravewell Collaborative, Bastyr University, UCLA Arts and Healing, Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) and the Consciousness and Healing Institute.

In some cases, Westreich has coupled her advisory work with philanthropic investment. Her
initiative-based foundation partners with organizations and causes that will move the needle in healthcare. The mission is to create new models of care for the whole person, preventing illness, creating well-being and resilience for people, communities and the planet. Ruth puts her money and her skin in the game to connect and collaborate for lasting change. Through her multiple engagements, Ruth has gained a rare, high level experience and perspective on the field and its multiple players.

Investments in key IHM initiatives
I received the news from Ruth with surprise and delight during a visit in July. In truth, for the last half-decade, other professional engagements - principally in building and directing ACCAHC -- have not allowed me the time to focus on reading, learning, thinking and writing. Ruth's sponsorship comes just as I shed my executive responsibility at ACCAHC. Ruth is buying me time to again make the best use of the Integrator, the Integrator community, and my other writing to help forward the movement. Ruth's investment provides an exciting lease on a more robust writing and communications period ahead.

Energizing Ruth's integrative care activity is her strongly held view that to maximize positive contributions in people's health, the integrative health and medicine stakeholders need to get out of their silos and build a bigger tent.

Energizing Ruth's integrative activity
is her strongly held view that to maximize
positive contributions in people's health,
 the integrative health and medicine
 stakeholders need to get out of their
silos and build a bigger tent. 

For instance, Westreich directed a recent grant from her foundation to underpin collaboration between the mainly MD-led Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM) and ACCAHC's collaborative platform of 17 organizations and 40 institutions from the professions of chiropractic, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, naturopathic medicine, massage therapy and others. Her commitment to building a powerful platform for action has been a strong link between the two of us. At every significant turn in recent years, I have looked to Ruth's counsel.

Westreich made public her sense of my work in her contribution last year to the Lifetime Achievement Living Tribute Award (thank you!) I received in 2014. I laughed on reading her refer to me as an "energizer bunny." She wrote, in part: "John's Integrator Blog pulls together timely information from the integrative health fields. He takes on the tough subjects, and you never have to wonder which side John prefers. He writes with 'in your face' frankness." And: "He has been the constant reminder that integrative health is a whole-person care and that no one can do it better than a team of qualified providers."
I recently noted with pleasure a comment made about Westreich in an award she was given 
at this San Diego function at the end of July. The honor came from a palliative care-focused organization, the LightBridge Hospice Community Foundation. The chair of Lightbridge noted Ruth's passion for integrative therapies and palliative care. She said that "Ruth can be feisty and she doesn't mind being out there ‘fighting the fight' for people and that is part of what I love about her. She is real and genuine." I can't say it better. It's wonderful to have this investment in my work with the field via the Integrator - plus this excuse to continue collaborating even more closely.

Her engagements continue. Ruth mentioned recently that she has just become a founding member of the Nutrition Leaders Council affiliated with both the Accreditation Council for Nutrition Professional Education, the university nutrition program accreditation agency, and the American Nutrition Association, an advocacy organization. The latter's CEO, Michael Stroka, shared this on her involvement: "We're delighted and grateful to have Ruth's vision, intellect and connective power on this stellar team. I'm personally gratified by her belief in and support of our work, and I thoroughly look forward to linking arms with Ruth and the rest of this Founding team." Ruth said she hopes to again connect these organization with the other collaborations in which she is involved "to break down even more silos."

A thumbnail on the Westreich foundation site
Ruth and her writing partner, Jan Phillips, are co-authoring a seminal book on consciousness creativity that will be published in 2016 entitled FLASH: Why Creativity Changes Everything. Westreich says the book will "connect the dots between personal insight, conscious creativity, and social transformation." The content will be "rooted in scientific research, seeded with stories, and hopeful in tone." The co-authors envision Flash as a kind of David Bohm's On Creativity meets Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind. The premise, says Ruth, "is that we are born to create - our canvases are the very lives we lead."

In its 2006-2011 years, the Integrator was powered by multiple sponsors. Thanks in particular to NCMIC Group, Alternative Medicine Inc., Peter Amato, Standard Process, and Lucy Gonda. In the years since, the time and energy to produce the Integrator has been financially sustained via an Integrator partnership with Integrative Practitioner Online that re-publishes the Integrator Round-up each month to its 20,000+ list, and through re-purposing the content for other paid columns.

Westreich's pledge is for two years of partnership at $20,000 each year. The Integrator is seeking other investors - not necessarily so generous! - to create additional time and space to make the most of the Integrator's value in the coming period. Any suggestions? Thank you, Ruth!

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