Awards Banquet 2018-04-02T16:47:52+00:00

Awards Banquet

TUESDAY, June 12, 2018

Beginning at 6:30PM

Location: InterContinental Hotel, Great River Ballroom 2 & 3
Hosted by the National Health Freedom Coalition (NHFC)
Register now

The Health Freedom Awards Banquet celebrates achievements in the health freedom movement. This year’s banquet will feature keynote speaker Jim Turner.  To register for the banquet, click HERE.

Congratulations to the 2018 Health Freedom Awardees:

Health Freedom Awards Banquet
Keynote Speaker and Awardee

Jim Turner, Esq.
(Citizens for Health, Voice for HOPE, and The Transpartisan Review, Principal in the firm Swankin & Turner)

“AWARDED for” his decades-long dedication to and passion for the Health Freedom movement and for inspiring others to become health freedom leaders themselves.

BIOGRAPHY

Jim Turner, a principal since 1973 in the Washington, DC law firm of Swankin & Turner, represents businesses, individuals and consumer groups on food, drug, health, environmental and product safety regulatory matters. He served as special counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Food, Nutrition, and Health and the Senate Government Operations Subcommittee on Government Research. He was lead attorney on a successful petition to the FDA to permit legal U.S. importation and distribution of Acupuncture needles.  He lobbied successfully for the Organic Food Production Act and The Nutrition Education and Labeling Act, both of 1990, and the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).  He is a 1969 graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, served as a gunnery and nuclear weapons handling officer in the U.S. Navy, and wrote The Chemical Feast: The Nader Report on Food Safety at the FDA.

Mark and David Geier

AWARDED for” their courageous, successful legal challenges against the Maryland Board of Physicians.  Dr. Mark Geier won his case, brought against the Board, for breach of medical privacy and obtained $2.5 million in damages – half of which to be paid individually by the Board’s members and attorney.   David Geier won his case, brought against him by the Board, for charges of practicing medicine without a license.

BIOGRAPHY

Mark R. Geier received a BS in zoology, a PhD in genetics, and a MD from the George Washington University and is a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology. Dr. Geier was a research scientist in the Laboratory of General and Comparative Biochemistry at the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health for 10 years. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and an assistant research professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Uniformed School of the Health Sciences. Dr. Geier practiced clinical medicine for more than 30 years. He helped develop and provide genetic services, including high-resolution prenatal ultrasound imaging, amniocentesis procedures, high risk pregnancy genetic counseling for inherited genetic disorders, and genetic cancer risk screening to more than 25,000 patients and helped to evaluate and treat more than 1,000 patients diagnosed with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Geier was also laboratory director of Molecular Medicine, Inc for more than 20 years. He has coauthored more than 150 studies published in academic journals and medical textbook chapters and was an invited presenter at numerous prestigious academic conferences around the world. Dr. Geier is the co-founder and currently co-director of the nonprofit Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc and the nonprofit CoMeD, Inc. Dr. Geier was an accredited participant on behalf of the accredited non-governmental organization, CoMeD, Inc, at multiple intergovernmental negotiating committee meetings of the United Nations Environmental Programme to help prepare a global legally binding treaty on mercury, the “Minamata Convention on Mercury”, to help reduce global human mercury exposure and harm.

David A. Geier received a BA in biology and a minor in history from UMBC. Mr. Geier undertook graduate studies at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at the National Institutes of Health and at the George Washington University. He has coauthored more than 100 studies published in academic journals and medical textbook chapters and been an invited presenter at numerous prestigious academic conferences around the world. Mr. Geier is the co-founder and currently co-director of the non-profit Institute of Chronic Illnesses, Inc and the non-profit CoMeD, Inc. Mr. Geier was an accredited participant on behalf of the accredited non-governmental organization, CoMeD, Inc, at multiple intergovernmental negotiating committee meetings of the United Nations Environmental Programme to help prepare a global legally binding treaty on mercury, the “Minamata Convention on Mercury”, to help reduce global human mercury exposure and harm.

John Melynchuk,  California Health Freedom Coalition &
Kirk Bashaw, Sunshine Health Freedom Foundation

“AWARDED for” their leadership and quick action to amend California Senate Bill 796, amending the Naturopathic Physician law, to retain the protection of the traditional naturopath titles for CA.  They were truly instrumental in activating the CA natural health community to support their efforts so that the titles “naturopath,” “naturopathic practitioner,” and “traditional naturopath” remain in the public domain.

BIOGRAPHY

John is a professional homeopath.  He has run a thriving family practice in Palo Alto since 1994. He has extensive experience and he is well known for his effectiveness in treating children and adults with behavioral, developmental and neurological complaints including Autism Spectrum and Pervasive Development Disorders, speech delay, mental retardation, and cerebral palsy. The benefits of homeopathy can often restore health and the potential to become wholly functional, creative and independent. It is his particular delight to treat children. www.paloaltohomeopathy.com   John’s work is described in the book, Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, by Amy Lansky, PhD. This book describes homeopathy and how it cured her son of autism.

Kirk Bashaw has been involved in natural health for much of his adult life. Kirk is a Senior National Manager with Nature’s Sunshine Products due to his partnership in Bashaw Life Center. Kirks calls Fairport, New York home, but travels often to work in the Richmond, Virginia Office his parents opened some 30 years ago. Through many years of study Kirk has attained his certificate in Nutritional Counseling and his Doctor of Naturopathy from Trinity College of Natural Health. Kirk is also a Voice Bio Sound Therapist.

John Melynchuk

John Melynchuk

Kirk Bashaw

Kirk Bashaw

“AWARDED for” passing into law Maine LD 725, titled An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems.  With the passage of LD 725, which states that “a municipal government may regulate by ordinance local food systems, and the state shall recognize such ordinances”, Maine became the second state in the nation to allow consumers to buy directly from farmers and food producers regardless of the state and federal licensing and inspections that would otherwise apply.

BIOGRAPHY

After working 30 years as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Midwife, Betsy Garrold retired and began devoting herself full-time to writing and political activism focusing on food issues especially local farming and food rights.  An accomplished and energetic political activist with a solid history of achievement in the non-profit sector, she currently serves on several boards including Food for Maine’s Future, the Belfast Co-op and was recently elected Vice President of the National Family Farm Coalition.    She is a worker-owner at the Fedco Seed Cooperative.  During the legislative season she is a lobbyist in Augusta for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.  In her spare time she blogs at thepopulistfarmer.wordpress.com and homesteads at her farm, The Shire, in the dairy country of midcoast Maine.

Heather Retberg farms with husband Phil at Quill’s End Farm,  a small, diversified, grass-based farm in Penobscot, Maine,  where they raise dairy cows and goats, laying hens, broilers, and pigs.   The farm is conserved under the Blue Hill Heritage Trust’s Farmland Forever program and is a Maine Farmland Trust’s ‘Forever Farm’ ensuring its primary use as a farm in perpetuity. Heather home-schools their three children; she is the master of the Halcyon Grange working on collaboratively rebuilding agriculture infrastructure and cultural, historical knowledge about food and farming; is a lead advocate for Local Food RULES helping towns in Maine adopt local rules for local food; and serves on the board of Food for Maine’s Future.  She has pressed claims for food sovereignty and food freedom at the state capitol, drafting legislation and working toward its passage with legislative allies and opponents.  When Maine’s Department of Agriculture began re-defining small-scale family farms according to federal rules for processing chickens and selling fresh milk, threatening the family’s livelihood, a community farm and food rights advocate was born.  She is now looked to by people across the state and country as a leader in the fight for local control of local food systems.

Betsy Garrold

Betsy Garrold, President

Heather Retberg

Heather Retberg, Quill’s End Farm, Maine

Ohio Advocates for Health Freedom

CCDBlock Grant Effort :

Participating members include:

  • Tony DiBiaase

  • Bob Wise

  • Stephanie Stock

  • Donna Kazee

Individuals who contributed to the final resolution with HHS:

From Pennsylvania Medical Freedom Alliance:

  • Jeff Schott Pampa

  • Crystal Hunsicker Pamfa

From Ohio:

  • Michelle Cotterman

  • Maura Urchek

  • Megan Elder

“AWARDED for” their coordination of the Region 5 states in standing up to the federal Office of Child Care, which was attempting to condition receipt of federal funds under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 upon Ohio needing to do corrective action involving eliminating vaccine exemptions based on “conscience” from their existing law. Their successful resistance resulted in a determination by the Office of Child Care that states have flexibility in deciding how to address exemptions and that NO STATE would be under corrective action for exemption language.

BIOGRAPHY

In early March 2017, Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom (OAMF) was alerted that preschools were sending out letters that said reasons of conscience exemptions would no longer be accepted in the fall. Research over one very long weekend led us to discover that one region of the country (region 5) and specifically states that had both religious and philosophical exemptions (Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) had been targeted. These states had been given conditional approvals for Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds, provided they remove philosophical exemption language. Thirteen other states have philosophical exemptions, but they were not given the same conditional approvals or requirements! Our review of the reauthorized Act did not indicate any changes to exemption wording, and phone calls with the region 5 program manager confirmed that this was her discretion in interpreting the wording in the Act.

At that point, our group notified other states in that region and had been in contact with Pennsylvania Medical Freedom Alliance directors, one of whom is an attorney. Later in March that attorney, Jeff Schott, wrote a letter appealing to HHS to request that the conditions be eliminated and states in that region be allowed to keep their vaccination exemptions as defined in state law. Other state and national groups signed on, and Ohio sent a similar letter. In early April, the Office of Child Care sent a response stating that they had determined that states have flexibility in deciding how to address exemptions and that NO STATE would be under corrective action for exemption language. Letters were also sent to affected state agencies in charge of administering CCDBG funds, releasing them from the corrective action plans for that issue. This success story is about diligent detective skills and cooperation among state groups with varying expertise to effect a change that impacted multiple states.

To Register for the Entire 3-Day Health Freedom Congress Event or Purchase Special Event Tickets Click Here!