A Distinctive Style Magazine

Issue 16

Culture, music, art, creativity, photography, environmental awareness, new fashion, celebrity interviews, motion video, organic eating, holistic health

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CArL o. HeLvIe By Matt Kramer WANtSYOutO bE HEALtHY HAPPY ANDMEDIcAtIONFREE The difference between a bureaucratic administrator and a people oriented leader can be seen in the results. The bu- reaucracy provides marginalized service erring towards sustaining dysfunctional systems at the expense of the people that are supposed to be served. The top ad- ministrators will be well paid in spite of the fact that (1) the work environment is stressful and inefficient; and (2) the clients receive compromised or useless goods and services. The people oriented leader will con- stantly challenge bureaucracy, cutting fat, eliminating redundancy and fostering a culture of community and compassion by putting the needs of people above rigid guidelines, self serving agendas and grand- fathered parasitic systems. As a solution oriented thinker, Carl O. Helvie is a bureaucrat's nightmare; when necessary, he does not hesitate to bypass red tape and get things done. If his ideas about how to live free of prescription drugs throughout your life become popular, the pharmaceutical industry may also lose sleep (and profits) as a result. The good news is that overall; more people will be living healthy lives that are less stressful and more productive in satisfying ways. Helvie lives what he preaches; at the age of 78, he is one of the 11% of Americans above age 65 who live medication free. Helvie grew up in the small country hamlet of Natural Dam in upstate New 88 A Distinctive style . com York, not far from the St. Lawrence River. He graduated high school in 1950 and got a job in the stock room of the hospital in the nearby town of Gouverneur (named after one of the less well known signers of the Declaration of Independence). Curious and gregarious, he became friendly with the nurses and the hospital dietician and was informally trained to help prep patients for surgery. The experience was so positive, he enrolled in nursing school and began a life of service eventually earning a doctorate in public health and wellness and becoming an educator, author and activist for the public health sector. Helvie holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Nursing at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and received the Distinguished Career in Public Health Award from the American Public Health Association in 1999. A dream sparked a significant turning point in Helvie's life in 1974. In the dream, he received the message that he needed to get an X-ray. He had no symptoms but the X-rays revealed a spot on his lungs that was diagnosed as lung cancer. Reviewing his experience as a nurse, he surprised the doctor by refusing the prescription for surgery. The doctor responded by pronouncing, "You'll be dead in six months." A friend of friend at the National Can- cer Institute had success with a program that included laetrile, a raw fruit and veg- etable diet and an exercise program. Helvie began the regimen and incorpo- rated his own program of prayer, medita- tion and positive visualization. When asked about the controversy surrounding the use of laetrile, Helvie described how the body uses certain enzymes involved in protein digestion to work with the laetrile. In his experience, part of his pro- gram's success was due to following nu- trition guidelines. Eating meat or fish prevented those enzymes from being available for the laetrile. In due course Helvie was pronounced cancer free and has been cancer free ever since. In the 1990's, Helvie was asked to sit on the board of an agency serving homeless women. After two years of reviewing and making policy, he decided he wanted to be more active and began visiting the homeless shelter checking blood pressure and discussing health issues with the res- idents. He brought his students to help with the volume of people needing atten- tion and eventually obtained a grant to open a clinic and provide more consistent service. Until that time, most homeless people were not able to afford early treat- ment for their health issues and would wind up in the emergency wards when their condition became life threatening and required more time and more re- sources to treat. Developing an effective clinic became a community project. To extend the life of the grant, Helvie was able to get doctors to donate their services; the local hospital

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