Advocacy Through Action: Meet Ruth Westreich

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She may call herself an accidental activist, but Ruth Westreich is on a quest to make an impact and she is BIG, BOLD, and VERY CLEAR about this need. Her work touches many of today’s most important concerns and causes: health care and health creation, environmental responsibility and stewardship, global purpose and social good. Is it time for YOU to get involved? This is the episode you need to hear.

James Maskell: Hello, and welcome back to the Big Bold Health podcast. I’m here with my co-host, Dr. Jeffrey Bland. And, we’re in a series of interviewing some up and coming women who are leading us to a more interesting health future, a more successful health future, and we are super, super excited to have here, today, in the studio, Ruth Westreich. And Jeff, let me just pass it to you, this is quite a coup.

Jeffrey Bland: Yeah, I think it’s not many times that Ruth is willing to sit before a camera and give the essence of her wisdom to the masses. So this is, to me, a real special moment. This is just easily said, one of the leaders who is a connector par excellence, it’s an individual who has that native skill to attract people together, to be a big idea person, to organize thoughts, to get people to kind of smooth the edges of their positioning and their languaging, and to get collaboration to work—and it’s all about collaboration. So, if we’re going to be big and bold, then we better learn how to collaborate. And, Ruth Westreich is one of the experts in helping us to do that. So Ruth, thanks.

Ruth Westreich: Thank you. Lovely to be here.

James Maskell: Well Ruth, you’ve been sort of steering the ship of integrative medicine, in a certain way, over the last few decades and playing an incredible role. What is it that gets you out of bed to want to play this role?

Ruth Westreich: Well, it’s actually interesting, because the entry point where I came in, so, so many, so many years ago, has changed dramatically. And, I think there’s a number of reasons for that. One, there isn’t a simple either-or answer to this thing that we call health and this thing that we call disease, right? It’s a convolution of conditions at a certain time with certain perfect storms coming together for either good or not so good. And, since I’ve been involved in integrative medicine, functional medicine, natural medicine, palliative medicine, nutrition, arts and healing, that’s been where the bulk of my work has been centered. And, every single bit of it has been about building collaborations, because every single one of these disciplines in a silo, is not going anywhere.

Ruth Westreich: In fact, I see it’s just doing the opposite—it’s going down where it should be going up. And, because there is no one answer, and because now we’re in this world of precision medicine—which you so artfully talk about—we understand that every single one of us is an N-of-1. And we have to look at that, and we have the tools now that we can use to analyze and make decisions for us, our families, our pets, all around that. The thing that I think is exciting for me is with the technology that we have, with our way to communicate information to each other now, we have ways to communicate information that make people want to change. We haven’t always had that. And, we have figured out that change is different for everyone. What’s going to motivate me to change, really change, may not have any meaning for you whatsoever. And so, that’s all about this individual personalized time that we’re in now.

Jeffrey Bland: Well I think that was beautifully said, and one of the things that you have taught me in the years that I’ve had the fortune of knowing you is the marriage of art and science, right. I mean you’re an artist, you’re a very accomplished, both teacher and producer. And, you also have this other part of your brain that is really embracing science, and technology, and how it can be employed humanistically. And, the marriage of those two things together is part of kind of the life experience—it’s like the whole organism—how we don’t operate just on one side of our brain. We operate through this connection to our environment, to our world, to our aesthetics, to our function, through our physiology. And, I know that has brought your efficacy very strongly into the environmental movement, because there’s something very sentient and artful about putting your hands in the soil and being out in the world. Could you tell us a little bit of how that has manifest for you?

Ruth Westreich: Well, in looking for and creating health, ameliorating disease, I had to keep going upstream, because there wasn’t an entry point that I felt was the entry point. And so, I became what I call an accidental activist. You know, I certainly didn’t start out that way, but I think if you are a conscious thinking person today, you will end up that way. So, the entry point for me is no matter what we do, no matter what tools we have available to us, if our food source is not safe, if our environment is toxic, it does none of this stuff; it’s just window dressing. It’s like moving around the deck chairs on the Titanic. So, we have to look at regenerative farming, we have to look at safe water, we have to look at removing toxins from our bodies, and we know how to do that. So, we have all the tools that can get us to a position where we actually can create health.

Ruth Westreich: But you can’t just go in and start band-aiding everything, because it doesn’t work that way.

James Maskell: How would you compare and contrast over the time that you’ve been involved—you have on one hand environmental degradation continuing, but at the same time, consciousness about functional integrative medicine and health creation increasing kind of rapidly. Which do you think is the more powerful long-term force?

Ruth Westreich: For me?

James Maskell: Yeah.

Ruth Westreich: The environment. The environment. If we don’t stand up and say we have to do something about our environment, we have to be in a position where our food is safe, where our soil is not destroyed, none of this really is going to make a whole lot of difference over the time. Because we are degrading at a faster pace than we are improving, in my opinion.

Jeffrey Bland: So, let me take that, because your advocacy comes through action. I mean, there are many of us that talk about these issues, and there are probably fewer that do things about it. And, the way that you, one of the ways, not the way, but one of the ways that you have done something about this—which I think is absolutely brilliant—is by what you call salons. And the salons, I want you to tell us what that is, but I think that that concept that you’re going to describe, it can be used in many different forms to create community activism and community awareness. So, tell us about your salons.

Ruth Westreich: Absolutely. I came up with this concept many, many, many years ago. And, I go back to, you know I used to enjoy reading about the 17th and 18th century French salons and how that changed policy, politically—that’s where the change happened. And I thought, “Wow, I can do that. I’m in a position to do that. I know the people; I have the resources.” And so, I started bringing people together, many years ago, into my home—I’m able to do this. I have a large home. I have people to help me do all of this—but, to have conversations of consequence that matter around the things. Like I just had one, and Jeff has been, he’s been to a number of what I call “dog and pony shows.” But he shows up for me. And, I just had one about two weeks ago about soil regeneration and what that looks like.

Ruth Westreich: I had 120 people. I had two of the groups I think that have been the biggest in this area. I had Kiss the Ground and I had Farmer’s Footprint, Zach Bush’s Farmer’s Footprint. I had farmers that came from Saskatchewan. I had a farmer that came from Saskatchewan that has regenerated 40,000 acres, 40,000 acres, came all the way from Canada. And, you know why he did it? To create community with other like-minded people. I had people from all over California, I had them from New Jersey, and we had a conversation. You come. We have a networking so that the appropriate people meet the appropriate people.

Ruth Westreich: We have follow up. We have of course, great dinner.

Jeffrey Bland: That is true.

Ruth Westreich: And, somewhat of a conversation about this, I never ever fundraise. I don’t allow it. You cannot ask for money at my house, that’s so inappropriate. But I believe that if I can present the kind of impact that I believe that I can present, you may want to get involved. And then we have a follow up to have that happen. So, we have an email, this is how we stay connected; they start blogs. I mean, this changes things and I’ve been doing it for 20 years.

Jeffrey Bland: And, I will absolutely validate this is an agent of a very positive change, having been a participant and observed how you orchestrate this, which is brilliant. Again, it’s a sign of your management expertise. And, I reflect back on a simple model of this, to my mother’s era when I was growing up with Tupperware parties. And, what are these all about? If you were to have these, because the way you do it, it’s very elegant, but it can be simplified where neighborhoods can get together and they can talk about local areas of their own environmental concern. Which then connects them into all sorts of things, into their water, to the air, or to the safety of their neighborhoods, to their food supply, to the health of their children. So, we start developing a ground-breaking kind of movement.

Ruth Westreich: Well, I’ve had the privilege of having a private family foundation and it has been in existence for 25 years now. And, I have so many success stories of the way that I have chosen to connect, to mentor, to collaborate.

Ruth Westreich: The one that comes to mind, that I absolutely love, is Moms Across America. They have been one of my grantees for many, many years now; she’s about six years old. She reaches, through a grassroots effort, 4 million moms a month—4 million. She started out with zero, started out with glyphosate herbicide; she has now branched out into things that are toxic, soil, all of this kind thing. Those are the conversations you’re talking about; those are the people that she reaches. She reaches average moms in very small towns, all across the United States, who go out and talk in parades, hand out flyers. I mean, that’s the way we’re going to have to do it, and it works!

Jeffrey Bland: When I try to capture, in essence, in reality, what Big Bold Health means, that’s an example, right?

Ruth Westreich: Yes.

Jeffrey Bland: It’s a big, bold idea, executed by a kind of courageous people who are, by the spirit of their energy, recruiting others to a similar theme that has a deep rooted, as you say, upstream effect on all people’s health. Whether they’re recruited into it or not, it’s going to influence positive with their health. And, now we start forming a movement, that’s Big Bold Health.

Ruth Westreich: For me, I think so. It can’t just be the them and the us, because that’s a recipe for disaster. And, we’ve talked about this many times—it’s unfortunate that Western medicine, allopathic medicine, is the best in the world. We could all need it, it’s there if we need it; that’s the place we start, we always start at the top. And, that’s not where we need to start. We do not need to start there with the most interventional, the most costly, the most invasive. We need to go back and let the body try and do what it wants to do naturally. Because, if it wasn’t good at doing this, we would not have survived as a species. But we have to get out of our own way and we have to remove those things first that are going to keep us from being able to have any kind of health.

Ruth Westreich: And, then we move up the ladder. But you know, the interesting thing is there’s the therapeutic order of healing, which our friends in natural medicine have put together, which I love, have it on my website. But there’s two things that run up and down that whole therapeutic order of healing: one is nutrition, the science of nutrition, and the other is palliative care. That runs up and down both things and can be applied at literally every stage. In fact, I’m very proud of a nutritional curriculum that is just being rolled out at the Institute for Palliative Care now at Cal State San Marcos, which is one of the only curriculum programs in the country for nutrition in palliative care and hospice care.

Jeffrey Bland: Wow, that’s fantastic.

Ruth Westreich: And, when I said this is what I wanted to do, they said, “Well, there isn’t anything like that.” I went, “I know. That’s the point.” That’s the point, because I believe that nutrition can have an influence on you and your body until you take your last breath. I know it can. And, I’ve seen it work in hospice—I’ve done so much work in hospice and I have seen people just about ready to cross over; the right nutrition can still be applied. Whether it’s a congee soup or whatever, whatever it is. We don’t have to give people end-of-life buckets of Ensure, it doesn’t have to be that way. So, I think we need to pay much more attention to all the things that work, all along, are the things that we need to concentrate on.

Jeffrey Bland: So James, can’t you revalidate why we felt Ruth would be the greatest voice of Big Bold Health? You can see how this is manifesting in this session.

James Maskell: The first time that I took a look at The Westreich Foundation website, I was like, this is my person, like everything that was involved there. I want to just ask you something that Jeff and I have been learning this weekend, as we’ve been interviewing people, all three of us, to all different degrees, have been involved in trying to get health creation delivered in the medical system.

James Maskell: And, one of the things I think we’re learning as we go through this, is although that has been absolutely necessary to set up, by restricting health creation to the delivery of healthcare professionals that are licensed and have been trained in a totally other form of medicine, and we’re trying to retrain them, we may have limited the capacity of health creation as a force. And, these Tupperware style dinners, with the exponential potential of sort of a peer-to-peer side, really seems to have, in my mind, a more exponential potential to move things along more quickly.

Ruth Westreich: Well, in all of the work, I understand how each one of these disciplines became a silo and why. Because they had to grow up in a silo in order to just exist. But then you reach a point where that doesn’t work anymore, then you have to start broadening it, you have to start thinking about collaborating. And, the idea, I’ve always … I’m going to offend some of my friends in integrative medicine. I’m so sorry, I don’t mean to do this, because I love you all. But when I started in the integrative medicine world, it was about whole person health; it was about whole person health. And, it’s ended up in many, many, many instances, being totally modality driven, because that was the entry point in the existing medical field. And so, I think we have kind of diluted it from what it was supposed be. And, I think that’s why you saw functional medicine, that you were so great at bringing about, and saying, “Hey, wait a minute. It’s a about function here. It’s not about modalities.” So, that’s how all of this happened.

Ruth Westreich: But what I see is classically trained, allopathic physicians are very good at what they know. Their knowledge has been limited to what they’ve learned in medical school and they are very reluctant to learn things outside of that because it’s foreign to them. It’s not reductionistic, okay, it’s about expansionism. And, then you start looking at it and you say, “Okay, now, now what’s going to happen in these next couple of decades?” And, if you utter the term decentralization, people want to shoot you, because again, they don’t understand that that’s not going to be a bad thing. It isn’t taking anything away from them, but it’s giving other people more choices and more access to the things. People have to be responsible for their own health; you can’t abdicate that to somebody else any more than you would abdicate the health of your children to somebody else.

Jeffrey Bland: Yes. I think that you’ve said so many things that are important and I just want to give one little vignette to your point about doctors’ training, and their comfort to move out of their training zone, and the medical legal risks that they might feel of doing that.

Jeffrey Bland: So, nutrition is a very interesting—as you said—universal concept, that I’ve yet to meet someone that hasn’t eaten some time. So, it’s a common theme, that and breathing, and drinking fluids—there are certain things, breathing, that are all kind of like characteristics that we all share. So, then I will say to a physician, in talking about this, “So are you engaged in doing a nutrition in your practice?” And oftentimes, if they’re classically trained, they’ll say, “No, no, that’s not in my bailiwick.” And, then I’ll say, “So, you do practice scientific medicine, right?” “Oh, of course I practice scientific medicine.” And, then I say, “Do you think that diet and nutrition has any bearing on the outcome of a person’s health?”

Jeffrey Bland: And, they’ll generally say, “Well, yes,” if they’re being honest, “it does have some effect.” And, then I’ll say, “Well, if in fact it does have an effect on people’s health and you believe in scientific medicine, wouldn’t you want to control that variable? So that in fact, whatever you’re going to do, whatever your surgery or chemotherapy or whatever it would be, is going to have a more kind of controllable outcome, a scientific outcome, because you’ve controlled a variable that we know causes influence on how a drug might respond in their body, how they’re going to heal from surgery.” And, when you, when you put it in that mode, I’ve often seen the eyes of these disbelievers go, “Oh, you know, I never really thought about it that way.”

James Maskell: How many people have you converted with that one, Jeff?

Jeffrey Bland: Well, you never really know about conversion, but you can see it in the questions they ask you, that at least it got their attention.

James Maskell: They caught the virus.

Jeffrey Bland: Yeah, I think that’s the virus that you put in there. They can’t escape from it once it’s there.

Ruth Westreich: Well, I will say one thing, that I was married, in my former life, to a gastrointestinal surgeon for 20 years, in Los Angeles. And, he was brilliant. He didn’t learn anything about nutrition in medical school, not one thing. So, it’s not his fault. The curriculum didn’t teach it; they didn’t. And, then we started learning, okay, well then there’s this whole dietetics association, which is the food pyramid, how it looks on the plate, how you take it in and put it in the hospital tray, and all this kind of stuff. That is not the science of nutrition and how, what you put in affects your body; it doesn’t have anything to do with it. And so, when you don’t know anything about anything, it’s very, very hard to put it together with, “Oh, I need this.” You know, I did have, I’m always trying to convince people in conventional medicine that there’s maybe a few things that they probably didn’t learn in medical school, especially if they’ve been practicing 20, 30, 40 years.

Ruth Westreich: So, I had one of my salons, I had like 60 docs—you were there, you were there. We had like 50, 60 docs there from all of the honcho places in San Diego. Two wanted to know more, two wanted to know more. And I mean, we’re talking some of the best known people in San Diego. And, it was because they just couldn’t imagine how they could learn it, how it could be applicable in their practice. They didn’t imagine that they could have the time to learn it, so they needed some kind of intermediary or practitioner as a helpmate, as a guide. And so, that’s what’s missing for them.

James Maskell: Absolutely.

Jeffrey Bland: And, I think what we’re saying in Big Bold Health, and you’ve actually said it already very beautifully, very, very gently, is that this revolution, or evolution, really, as James has called it, will occur from the soil up. And, it’ll occur through health care consumers, it occurs through moms, it occurs through the way children are being raised. And, that kind of a more organic—so to speak—movement will be the force of change.

Jeffrey Bland: In fact, that’s actually how healthcare has changed historically. Even going back to Semmelweis with the washing your hands during delivery of children, and the concept that he was purged from the medical society because this was so antithetical to the way they thought about it. It was by women and observations of nurses that ultimately got that pushed through; it wasn’t by the top down of the practitioners. So, I think we’re seeing a top down receptivity starting, but a bottom up push to really create this evolution of Big Bold Health.

Ruth Westreich: I think there’s another aspect to it, is that we’re getting to the point where there are conversations that we cannot have, right, and I think that’s a very big worry. I look at… you know we know that there is big industry, big ag. There’s another couple, I think there is now something called big philanthropy, and I think there’s something called big technology. And, the big technology could almost be the most troubling of all. And so, I think we have to be able to have those conscious conversations; we have to be able to do the research that’s going to inform how we take care of ourselves, and our children, and our planet. So, those are the things that I’m concerned about.

Jeffrey Bland: I think we can see why Ruth is the quintessential example of our Big Bold Health principles. So, James.

James Maskell: Yeah, thank you, Ruth, it has been wonderful to have you here. And, I think that this will spark a lot of conversation. And, one of the things that you said right at the beginning, I think is so true, is that health is different for everyone; it comes for different reasons. And so, you can go to Big Bold Health right now, tell us what health means to you. You can find out more about Ruth’s amazing work at her foundation website, which we’ll put in the show notes.

James Maskell: But thank you so much for being with us here today, it’s been an absolute honor, and I think everyone will have enjoyed it at home. And, use all of those big tech platforms to share this out. Thanks so much for watching. We’ll see you next time.

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You agree to be financially responsible for all purchases made by you or someone acting on your behalf through the Site. You agree to use the Site and to purchase services or products through the Site for legitimate, non-commercial purposes only. You also agree not to make any purchases for speculative, false or fraudulent purposes or for the purpose of anticipating demand for a particular product or service. You agree to only purchase goods or services for yourself or for another person for whom you are legally permitted to do so. When making a purchase for a third party that requires you to submit the third party’s personal information to us or a merchant, you represent that you have obtained the express consent of such third party to provide such third party’s personal information.

 

Interactive Features

 

This Site may include a variety of features, such as bulletin boards, web logs, chat rooms, and email services, which allow feedback to us and real-time interaction between users, and other features which allow users to communicate with others. Responsibility for what is posted on bulletin boards, web logs, chat rooms, and other public posting areas on the Site, or sent via any email services on the Site, lies with each user – you alone are responsible for the material you post or send. We do not control the messages, information or files that you or others may provide through the Site. It is a condition of your use of the Site that you do not:

  • Restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Site.
  • Use the Site to impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity.
  • Interfere with or disrupt any servers or networks used to provide the Site or its features, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of the networks we use to provide the Site.
  • Use the Site to instigate or encourage others to commit illegal activities or cause injury or property damage to any person.
  • Gain unauthorized access to the Site, or any account, computer system, or network connected to this Site, by means such as hacking, password mining or other illicit means.
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made available through this Site.
  • Use the Site to post or transmit any unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane or indecent information of any kind, including without limitation any transmissions constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability or otherwise violate any local, state, national or international law.
  • Use the Site to post or transmit any information, software or other material that violates or infringes upon the rights of others, including material that is an invasion of privacy or publicity rights or that is protected by copyright, trademark or other proprietary right, or derivative works with respect thereto, without first obtaining permission from the owner or rights holder.
  • Use the Site to post or transmit any information, software or other material that contains a virus or other harmful component.
  • Use the Site to post, transmit or in any way exploit any information, software or other material for commercial purposes, or that contains advertising.
  • Use the Site to advertise or solicit to anyone to buy or sell products or services, or to make donations of any kind, without our express written approval.
  • Gather for marketing purposes any email addresses or other personal information that has been posted by other users of the Site.

COMPANY may host message boards, chats and other private/public forums on its Sites and on other platforms. Any user failing to comply with the terms and conditions of this Agreement may be expelled from and refused continued access to, the message boards, groups, chats or other such forums in the future. COMPANY or its designated agents may remove or alter any user-created content at any time for any reason. Message boards, chats and other public forums are intended to serve as discussion centers for users and subscribers. Information and content posted within these public forums may be provided by COMPANY staff, COMPANY’s outside contributors, or by users not connected with COMPANY, some of whom may employ anonymous user names. COMPANY expressly disclaims all responsibility and endorsement and makes no representation as to the validity of any opinion, advice, information or statement made or displayed in these forums by third parties, nor are we responsible for any errors or omissions in such postings, or for hyperlinks embedded in any messages. Under no circumstances will we, our affiliates, suppliers or agents be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information obtained through these forums. The opinions expressed in these forums are solely the opinions of the participants, and do not reflect the opinions of COMPANY or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.

 

COMPANY has no obligation whatsoever to monitor any of the content or postings on the message boards, chat rooms or other public forums on the Sites. However, you acknowledge and agree that we have the absolute right to monitor the same at our sole discretion. In addition, we reserve the right to alter, edit, refuse to post or remove any postings or content, in whole or in part, for any reason and to disclose such materials and the circumstances surrounding their transmission to any third party in order to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request and to protect ourselves, our clients, sponsors, users and visitors.

 

Registration

 

To access certain features of the Site, we may ask you to provide certain demographic information including your gender, year of birth, zip code and country. In addition, if you elect to sign-up for a particular feature of the Site, such as chat rooms, web logs, or bulletin boards, you may also be asked to register with us on the form provided and such registration may require you to provide personally identifiable information such as your name and email address. You agree to provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the Site’s registration form. If we have reasonable grounds to suspect that such information is untrue, inaccurate, or incomplete, we have the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse any and all current or future use of the Site (or any portion thereof). Our use of any personally identifiable information you provide to us as part of the registration process is governed by the terms of our Privacy Policy.

 

Passwords

 

To use certain features of the Site, you will need a username and password, which you will receive through the Site’s registration process. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and account, and are responsible for all activities (whether by you or by others) that occur under your password or account. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security, and to ensure that you exit from your account at the end of each session. We cannot and will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to protect your password or account information.

 

Limitation of Liability

 

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL WE, OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES THAT RESULT FROM THE USE OF, OR THE INABILITY TO USE, THE SITE, INCLUDING OUR MESSAGING, BLOGS, COMMENTS OF OTHERS, BOOKS, EMAILS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES, OR THIRD-PARTY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES MADE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE OR BY US IN ANY WAY, EVEN IF WE ARE ADVISED BEFOREHAND OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. (BECAUSE SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN CATEGORIES OF DAMAGES, THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN SUCH STATES, OUR LIABILITY AND THE LIABILITY OF OUR SUBSIDIARY AND PARENT COMPANIES OR AFFILIATES IS LIMITED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY SUCH STATE LAW.) YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT WE ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF ANY USER. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH THE SITE, ANY MATERIALS, PRODUCTS, OR SERVICES ON THE SITE, OR WITH ANY OF THE SITE’S TERMS AND CONDITIONS, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITE AND THE PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND/OR MATERIALS.

 

THIS SITE IS CONTINUALLY UNDER DEVELOPMENT AND COMPANY MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, IMPLIED OR EXPRESS, AS TO ITS ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS OR APPROPRIATENESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

 

WITH REGARDS TO CONTENT RELATING TO HEALTH & WELLNESS ON THE SITE:

THIS SITE OFFERS HEALTH, WELLNESS, FITNESS AND NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION AND IS DESIGNED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONAL. DO NOT DISREGARD, AVOID OR DELAY OBTAINING MEDICAL OR HEALTH RELATED ADVICE FROM YOUR HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONAL BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE READ ON THIS SITE. THE USE OF ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS SITE IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

 

NOTHING STATED OR POSTED ON THIS SITE OR AVAILABLE THROUGH ANY SERVICES ARE INTENDED TO BE, AND MUST NOT BE TAKEN TO BE, THE PRACTICE OF MEDICAL OR COUNSELING CARE. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS AGREEMENT, THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE AND COUNSELING INCLUDES, WITHOUT LIMITATION, PSYCHIATRY, PSYCHOLOGY, PSYCHOTHERAPY, OR PROVIDING HEALTH CARE TREATMENT, INSTRUCTIONS, DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS OR ADVICE.

 

Termination

 

We may cancel or terminate your right to use the Site or any part of the Site at any time without notice. In the event of cancellation or termination, you are no longer authorized to access the part of the Site affected by such cancellation or termination. The restrictions imposed on you with respect to material downloaded from the Site, and the disclaimers and limitations of liabilities set forth in these Terms of Service, shall survive.

 

Refund Policy

 

Your purchase of a product or service or ticket to an event may or may not provide for any refund.  Each specific product, service, event or course will specify its own refund policy.

 

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the Internet infringes their rights under the U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that materials hosted by COMPANY infringe your copyright, you, or your agent may send to COMPANY a notice requesting that the material be removed or access to it be blocked. Any notification by a copyright owner or a person authorized to act on its behalf that fails to comply with requirements of the DMCA shall not be considered sufficient notice and shall not be deemed to confer upon COMPANY actual knowledge of facts or circumstances from which infringing material or acts are evident. If you believe in good faith that a notice of copyright infringement has been wrongly filed against you, the DMCA permits you to send to COMPANY a counter-notice. All notices and counter notices must meet the then current statutory requirements imposed by the DMCA; see http://www.loc.gov/copyright for details. COMPANY’s Copyright Agent for notice shall be annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com.

 

Assignment

 

This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of COMPANY and our respective assigns, successors, heirs, and legal representatives. Neither this Agreement nor any rights hereunder may be assigned without the prior written consent of COMPANY Notwithstanding the foregoing, all rights and obligations under this Agreement may be freely assigned by COMPANY to any affiliated entity or any of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

 

Dispute Resolution

These Terms of Use shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington and any dispute shall be subject to binding arbitration in Bainbridge Island, Washington. If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

 

Class Action Waiver

 

You may only resolve disputes with us on an individual basis, and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action. Class arbitrations, class actions, private attorney general actions, and consolidation with other arbitrations aren’t allowed.

 

The arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a class or representative proceeding or claims (such as a class action, consolidated action or private attorney general action) unless all relevant parties specifically agree to do so following initiation of the arbitration.

 

Severability

 

If any clause within these Terms of Service (other than the Class Action Waiver clause above) is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that clause will be severed from these Terms of Service, and the remainder of these Terms of Service will be given full force and effect. If the Class Action Waiver clause is found to be illegal or unenforceable, this entire Provision will be unenforceable and the dispute will be decided by a court.

Privacy Policy

Effective Date: March 2019

 

The following Privacy Policy governs the online information collection practices of BIG BOLD HEALTH LLC (“COMPANY,” “we” or “us”). Specifically, it outlines the types of information that we gather about you while you are using the www.bigboldhealth.com website (the “Site”), and the ways in which we use this information. This Privacy Policy, including our children’s privacy statement, does not apply to any information you may provide to us or that we may collect offline and/or through other means (for example, at a live event, via telephone, or through the mail).

 

Please read this Privacy Policy carefully. By visiting and using the Site, you agree that your use of our Site, and any dispute over privacy, is governed by this Privacy Policy. Because the Web is an evolving medium, we may need to change our Privacy Policy at some point in the future, in which case we’ll post the changes to this Privacy Policy on this website and update the Effective Date of the policy to reflect the date of the changes. By continuing to use the Site after we post any such changes, you accept the Privacy Policy as modified.

 

How We Collect and Use Information

 

We may collect and store personal or other information that you voluntarily supply to us online while using the Site (e.g., while on the Site or in responding via email to a feature provided on the Site). The Site only contacts individuals who specifically request that we do so or in the event that they have signed up to receive our messaging, attended one of our events, or have purchased one of our products. The Site collects personally identifying information from our users during online registration and online purchasing. Generally, this information includes name and e-mail address for registration or opt-in purposes and name, postal address, and credit card information when registering for our events or purchasing our products. All of this information is provided to us by you.

 

We also collect and store information that is generated automatically as you navigate online through the Site. For example, we may collect information about your computer’s connection to the Internet, which allows us, among other things, to improve the delivery of our web pages to you and to measure traffic on the Site. We also may use a standard feature found in browser software called a “cookie” to enhance your experience with the Site. Cookies are small files that your web browser places on your hard drive for record-keeping purposes. By showing how and when visitors use the Site, cookies help us deliver advertisements, identify how many unique users visit us, and track user trends and patterns. They also prevent you from having to re-enter your preferences on certain areas of the Site where you may have entered preference information before. The Site also may use web beacons (single-pixel graphic files also known as “transparent GIFs”) to access cookies and to count users who visit the Site or open HTML-formatted email messages.

 

We use the information we collect from you while you are using the Site in a variety of ways, including using the information to customize features; advertising that appear on the Site; and, making other offers available to you via email, direct mail or otherwise. We also may provide your information to third parties, such as service providers, contractors and third-party publishers and advertisers for a variety of purposes. Unless you inform us in accordance with the process described below, we reserve the right to use, and to disclose to third parties, all of the information collected from and about you while you are using the Site in any way and for any purpose, such as to enable us or a third party to provide you with information about products and services. If you do not wish your information to be used for these purposes, you must send a letter to the Online Privacy Coordinator whose address is listed at the end of this Privacy Policy requesting to be taken off any lists of information that may be used for these purposes or that may be given or sold to third-parties.

 

Please keep in mind that whenever you voluntarily make your personal information available for viewing by third parties online – for example on message boards, web logs, through email, or in chat areas – that information can be seen, collected and used by others besides us. We cannot be responsible for any unauthorized third-party use of such information.

 

Some of our third-party advertisers and ad servers that place and present advertising on the Site also may collect information from you via cookies, web beacons or similar technologies. These third-party advertisers and ad servers may use the information they collect to help present their advertisements, to help measure and research the advertisements’ effectiveness, or for other purposes. The use and collection of your information by these third-party advertisers and ad servers is governed by the relevant third-party’s privacy policy and is not covered by our Privacy Policy. Indeed, the privacy policies of these third-party advertisers and ad servers may be different from ours. If you have any concerns about a third party’s use of cookies or web beacons or use of your information, you should visit that party’s website and review its privacy policy.

The Site also includes links to other websites and provides access to products and services offered by third parties, whose privacy policies we do not control. When you access another website or purchase third-party products or services through the Site, use of any information you provide is governed by the privacy policy of the operator of the site you are visiting or the provider of such products or services.

 

We may also make some content, products and services available through our Site or by emailing messages to you through cooperative relationships with third-party providers, where the brands of our provider partner appear on the Site in connection with such content, products and/or services. We may share with our provider partner any information you provide, or that is collected, in the course of visiting any pages that are made available in cooperation with our provider partner. In some cases, the provider partner may collect information from you directly, in which cases the privacy policy of our provider partner may apply to the provider partner’s use of your information. The privacy policy of our provider partners may differ from ours. If you have any questions regarding the privacy policy of one of our provider partners, you should contact the provider partner directly for more information.

 

Be aware that we may occasionally release information about our visitors when release is appropriate to comply with law or to protect the rights, property or safety of users of the Site or the public.

 

Please also note that as our business grows, we may buy or sell various assets. In the unlikely event that we sell some or all of our assets, or one or more of our websites is acquired by another company, information about our users may be among the transferred assets.

 

Google Analytics

 

We also use Google Analytics Advertiser Features to optimize our business. Advertiser features include:

  • Remarketing with Google Analytics
  • Google Display Network Impression Reporting
  • DoubleClick Platform integrations
  • Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting

By enabling these Google Analytics Display features, we are required to notify our visitors by disclosing the use of these features and that we and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to gather data about your activities on our Site.  Among other uses, this allows us to contact you if you begin to fill out our check-out form but abandon it before completion with an email reminding you to complete your order.  The “Remarketing” feature allows us to reach people who previously visited our Site, and match the right audience with the right advertising message.

You can opt out of Google’s use of cookies by visiting Google’s ad settings and/or you may opt out of a third-party vendor’s use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

 

Facebook

 

As advertisers on Facebook and through our Facebook page, we, (not Facebook) may collect content or information from a Facebook user and such information may be used in the same manner specified in this Privacy Policy. You consent to our collection of such information.

 

We abide by Facebook’s Data Use Restrictions.

  • Any ad data collected, received or derived from our Facebook ad (“Facebook advertising data”) is only shared with someone acting on our behalf, such as our service provider. We are responsible for ensuring that our service providers protect any Facebook advertising data or any other information obtained from us, limit our use of all of that information, and keep it confidential and secure.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data for any purpose (including retargeting, commingling data across multiple advertisers’ campaigns, or allowing piggybacking or redirecting with tags), except on an aggregate and anonymous basis (unless authorized by Facebook) and only to assess the performance and effectiveness of our Facebook advertising campaigns.
  • We do not use Facebook advertising data, including the targeting criteria for a Facebook ad, to build, append to, edit, influence, or augment user profiles, including profiles associated with any mobile device identifier or other unique identifier that identifies any particular user, browser, computer or device.
  • We do not transfer any Facebook advertising data (including anonymous, aggregate, or derived data) to any ad network, ad exchange, data broker or other advertising or monetization related service.

 

General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR)

 

The GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and is intended to protect the data of European Union (EU) citizens. 

 

As a company that markets its site, content, products and/or services online we do not specifically target our marketing to the EU or conduct business in or to the EU in any meaningful way. If the data that you provide to us in the course of your use of our site, content, products and/or services is governed by GDPR, we will abide by the relevant portions of the Regulation.

 

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), or are accessing this site from within the EEA, you may have the right to request: access to, correction of, deletion of; portability of; and restriction or objection to processing, of your personal data, from us. This includes the “right to be forgotten.”

 

To make any of these requests, please contact our GDPR contact at annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com

 

Children’s Privacy Statement

 

This children’s privacy statement explains our practices with respect to the online collection and use of personal information from children under the age of thirteen, and provides important information regarding their rights under federal law with respect to such information.

  • This Site is not directed to children under the age of thirteen and we do NOT knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site. We screen users who wish to provide personal information in order to prevent users under the age of thirteen from providing such information. If we become aware that we have inadvertently received personally identifiable information from a user under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we will delete such information from our records. If we change our practices in the future, we will obtain prior, verifiable parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we also do NOT knowingly distribute such information to third parties.
  • We do NOT knowingly allow children under the age of thirteen to publicly post or otherwise distribute personally identifiable contact information through the Site.
  • Because we do not collect any personally identifiable information from children under the age of thirteen as part of the Site, we do NOT condition the participation of a child under thirteen in the Site’s online activities on providing personally identifiable information.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule

 

The US Department of Health and Human Services provides:  The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and other personal health information and applies to health plans, health care clearinghouses, and those health care providers that conduct certain health care transactions electronically.  The Rule requires appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information, and sets limits and conditions on the uses and disclosures that may be made of such information without patient authorization. The Rule also gives patients rights over their health information, including rights to examine and obtain a copy of their health records, and to request corrections.”

 

You acknowledge that our operation of the Site does not constitute the practice of medicine, and specifically does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Dr. Jeffrey Bland, PhD (the “Doctor”).  The information provided on the Site is for educational purposes only. 

 

Notwithstanding the fact that the Site does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and DOCTOR, our preservation of your personal health information shall be HIPAA compliant.

 

For purposes of this Privacy Policy, “patients” are those individuals who have secured the in-person services DOCTOR.  If you are a patient of DOCTOR, you will be provided with a copy of DOCTOR’s HIPAA Privacy Statement, which governs the information collection practices of patients’ personal information by DOCTOR.

 

How do we store your information?

 

Your information is stored at the list server that delivers the Site content and messaging. Your information can only be accessed by those who help manage those lists in order to deliver e-mail to those who would like to receive the Site material.

 

All of the messaging or emails that are sent to you by the Site include an unsubscribe link in them. You can remove yourself at any time from our mailing list by clicking on the unsubscribe link that can be found in every communicaiton that we send you.

 

Changes to this Policy

 

This policy may be changed at any time at our discretion. If we should update this policy, we will post the updates to this page on our Website.

 

Questions About this Policy

 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding our privacy policy please direct them to:

annettegiarde@bigboldhealth.com