Invitation from Wayne Jonas, MD to a Daschle/Health Care Community Discussion on a Wellness Initiative for the Nation (WIN)

Summary: On December 29, 2008, Wayne Jonas, MD hosted a Health Care Community Discussion as urged by HHS Secretary-designee Tom Daschle. The subject was a draft program for an ambitious, transformative “Wellness Initiative for the Nation” (WIN). Jonas and a group of colleagues have been working up this white paper, which includes an over-arching Wellness Trust, special provider certification, consumer tool kits, business tax incentives and more to “create a wellness culture and industry.” Click in to this article to see the key concepts. You can come in person or be wired in. Jonas is in touch with some key transition players. Daschle and his colleagues have said they will attend one or more of these Health Care Community Discussions.

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I am pleased to forward to Integrator readers, at the request of Wayne Jonas, MD, president and CEO on the Samueli Institute this wonderful invitation.


Sponsoring the Health Care Community Forum on Wellness

Jonas is likely the most significantly connected of integrative practice players in the nation’s power-center in Washington, DC. The former director of the exploration of complementary and alternative medicine at the National Institutes of Health, Jonas helped lay the groundwork which became the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He served on the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. As president and CEO of the influential Samueli Institute, Jonas has elevated the importance of Optimal Health Environments inside US hospitals and made great headway into promoting use of integrative practices by the US military. (See From Research to Practice: Samueli Institute’s Work on Integrative Medicine in the Military, August 7, 2008.)

Jonas has a passion for wellness and the wellness paradigm. He also knows that it is a wellness approach that is the connective tissue that links the best of integrative practices. He has lately been embracing this passion through a major effort to impact US healthcare reform. He’s created a
“Systems Wellness Advancement Team” (SWAT) which Jonas describes as a group “of leading health and
policy experts in comprehensive lifestyle self-care and integrative health care
practices, science, and policy
.”  Let me rephrase that: The goal is nothing less than to ensure that reform of US medicine actually take health and wellness into account. The project is huge and exciting. Some details are below. This is a great opportunity to help shape and be part of it on December 29th.

Key concepts for this well thought-out draft paper are noted below the invitation.


An Invitation from Wayne Jonas, MD and the Samueli Institute

Dear Colleague,

You are invited to participate in a Health Care Community
Discussion, requested by President-elect Obama and HHS Secretary-designee Tom
Daschle, to help guide wellness and integrated health care practices into the
next health reform effort.

  • TOPIC:  Refining a Wellness Initiative for the
    Nation (WIN)
  • DATE: Monday, December 29
    from 1-3:30pm (EST)
  • LOCATION:  Samueli Institute (Alexandria, VA) with
    national, toll-free, call-in line available
  • RSVP to or 703-299-4826 to
    receive the address or call-in number.


Wayne Jonas, MD

This meeting will be hosted by Wayne Jonas, M.D. and the
Systems Wellness Advancement Team (SWAT). SWAT is a group of leading health and
policy experts in comprehensive lifestyle self-care and integrative health care
practices, science, and policy. During this event, we will discuss the Wellness
Initiative for the Nation (WIN), a white paper drafted for guiding wellness and
integrative health care practices in the next health reform effort. Following
our meeting,  we will submit this
document to the Transition Health Policy Team for posting on  Senator Daschle is attending several of these
Health Care Community Discussions, and he and his team will review the information
we submit following our gathering. (More details on the process are available

Beginning on Monday 22 December, the latest version of the
WIN concept can be downloaded from
. This concept addresses strategies for creating human health and productivity,
saving costs and enhancing wellness with a concerted focus on core lifestyle
change and integrative health care practices. WIN proposes a national effort to
train wellness workers/coaches, create a wellness IT toolkit (an “avatar”) for
providing evidence based information on illness prevention and self-management,
and economic and policy incentives to create a wellness culture and industry.

The Samueli Institute is the leading non-profit organization
doing research on healing practices and currently conducts research with
hospital systems, schools and runs several major programs with the Department
of Defense and Veteran’s Health Administration on resilience, wellness, and
chronic disease prevention and management with behavioral and integrative
health care practices. These and other programs could be models for use in WIN.

This is a truly unique opportunity to contribute to a health
reform framework that is compelling, innovative and doable. Space is limited,
so RSVP as soon as possible to Maria Qureshi at or 703-299-4826 to
receive the address or toll-free call-in number. On behalf of the Presidential
Transition Health Policy Team, thank you for helping fulfill President-elect
Obama’s commitment to health care reform from the ground up, by participating
in this Discussion.


Wayne Jonas, MD

President/CEO, Samueli Institute


Key Concepts from the DRAFT Initiative

Wayne Jonas, MD and the Systems Wellness Advancement Team

The Wellness Initiative for the Nation (WIN) will align with overarching goals of the Blueprint and Healthy People 2010 (Increasing Quality and Years of Healthy Life and Eliminating Health Disparities), link to recommendations such as the Wellness Trust, a Federal Health Reserve, and the Institute of Medicine’s reports on health care quality, transformation and integrated medicine; and reflect the recommendations of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy.


HHS nominee Tom Daschle


The purpose of the Wellness Initiative for the Nation (WIN) is to prevent disease and illness, enhance health and productivity, and create well‐being and flourishing for the people of America. WIN can also prevent the looming fiscal disaster in our health care system. In fact, effectively addressing preventable chronic illness is probably our only hope for changing a system that costs too much and is delivering less health and little care to fewer people.


The primary recommendation is to create a Wellness Initiative for the Nation (WIN) within the new “independent agency” proposed to guide and oversee health reform in the new administration, as described in the recent report, The Health Care Delivery System: A Blueprint for Reform (the Blueprint). WIN will provide program analysis; develop policies, guidelines and curriculum; set standards; and establish incentives and mechanisms focused on prevention of key chronic diseases and the promotion of health through lifestyle change and integrated health practices. WIN will establish a series of evidence‐guided programs on prevention and wellness linked to policy changes that support the efforts in national health care reform. The initial step of WIN is to create a working group and coordinating office within a new health care agency, the sole purpose of which is to develop policies and programs for chronic disease prevention and health promotion through comprehensive lifestyle and integrated health care approaches with specific demonstrated effectiveness. Other specific recommendations are as follows:

1. Systems Wellness System

  • Create a national innovation network to continuously evaluate and translate effective prevention and health promotion practices into delivery tools and policy changes.
  • Create a learning community that evaluates and translates these innovations in lifestyle and integrated health practices into new settings and populations.

2. Health and Wellness Coach Training

  • Establish standards in comprehensive lifestyle and integrated health care approaches, and train individuals with qualifications to focus full‐time on prevention, creating health and healing and enhancing productivity and flourishing.
  • Facilitate any qualified and licensed health care practitioner or educator to gain specialist certification in prevention, health and wellness delivery, or attain sub‐specialist status for integrated health care delivery in specific settings and populations‐‐for example, schools, worksites, the military, health care settings, and long‐term care facilities.
  • Create a Health Corps to provide an army of young and older people that would learn and model wellness behavior and support delivery of wellness education and training by the coaches.

3. Health and Wellness Information Technology Toolkit

  • Create an advanced information tracking and feedback system (an applied wellness technology toolkit) for delivery of personalized wellness education, customized to each person’s level of readiness and stage of life.
  • Interface this applied wellness toolkit with electronic health records, for use by the public and the health and wellness coaches, practitioners, educators, the Health Corps., and the medical and health delivery systems.

4. Economic Incentives

  • Create economic incentives (through bundling, capitation and other methods) for individuals, communities and public and private sector institutions to create and deliver self‐care training, wellness products and preventive health care practices.
  • Establish intellectual property protection policies that reward wellness innovations using the latest technologies with evidence‐based and comparative cost‐value determinations.

Comment:  I have been in dialogue with Jonas about this initiative through a few iterations and had a chance for some input via a fine October evening when we were joined by another wellness proponent, Dan Church, PhD, president of Bastyr University,
and integrative community health leader Tom Trompeter, MHA, CEO of HeathPoint (formerly Community Health Centers of King County). This initiative realizes that we need nothing less than a Roosevelt era-type Wellness Trust to effectively counterbalance the force of our medical industrial complex. To promote wellness in our capitalist system, we need, as some of us captured in some Design Principles for Healthcare Renewal 8 years ago, “a thriving industry of health creation.”

It’s time to weigh in, help strengthen, and back this Wellness Initiative for the Nation. Let the Integrative Practice Community be leaders in pushing its enactment. This is the time. If you can’t make the call (I will be traveling that afternoon or would be on it) read the document on the Samueli Institute site and consider how you can help WIN.

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Written by John Weeks

Explore Wellness in 2021