Today I want to give an installment on defining the purpose behind the healing farm project in Hudson.
A couple of weeks ago in the bulletin, I announced that the practice has developed a connection with a biodynamic farm and an exploration has begun for a healing farm project. A nonprofit has been formed to support the building up of farm projects with social impact and community wellness in mind. The farm had been shut down and so the building up of activity at the farm is truly in a start-up phase. Defining the purpose more and more is the first step as we look to get community involvement.
By way of introduction, I have a question I want to ask: What’s Mark Cuban so worked up about?
Have you heard about the Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Pharmacy? It’s a mail-away pharmacy offering a selection of generic drugs with totally transparent prices set at a rate to disrupt the economic status quo of the pharmaceutical and health insurance industry. Take this example: Two tablets of Albendazole (for pinworm infection) will cost $33 through the new Cost Plus online pharmacy (which doesn’t take insurance), while other pharmacies can charge up to $437.68 for the name-brand version of the medication.
What exactly is he trying to do with this new venture, which is just over 6 months old?
Cuban is a billionaire and tech entrepreneur; you might know him from “Shark Tank” or from courtside at NBA games in Dallas, where he is a team owner. He knows Business. His unabashed observation is that Big Pharma’s mission is compromised. His acumen reveals to him that the drive for profits competes with everything else happening in the pharmaceutical industry. He’s not happy about it either. His pharmacy model is not meant to make him money, he says. At least not remotely what he could make. He wants to make a point.
Cuban is saying that tying profit to medicine comes with a big price. We lose something. By disrupting that he hopes to get it back.
He cuts out the insurance companies as well, which Cuban is not too keen on either. “One of the greatest lies ever told to the American people is that insurance is a proxy for wellness… nothing could be further from the truth,” he says. They’re about payments, not health, he says.
What’s the Actual Point?
With this opinion in mind, an opinion that is not his alone, it’s no wonder that public confidence in health care policy has been falling for decades. The pandemic is not going to help that statistic. Some people might see a great victory for science when they view the last three years, but plenty of people see a more complicated, even disturbing, picture.
Regardless, the ultimate question is this:
Is the predominant story in healthcare a story about human ingenuity and insightbeing harnessed for the advancement of human health and for individual human growth and development?
Don’t we deserve that?
Or does the need for profitability spoil that ever so slightly? Or does it crush that entirely? There are advancements and good things, but it’s evident for all to see that the health of society is not the clear priority.
If health were a priority wouldn’t we make it harder for processed foods to be the cornerstone of the American diet? Wouldn’t we more heavily regulate the chemicals in foods, perfumes, cosmetics, and in society in general? We are not world leaders in any of this.
Imagine if healthcare science were free to ask any question it wanted instead of so often being used to position a sale. Shouldn’t science be free?
Alas, the majority of science is serving industry and not the human being, in my opinion. Profitability drives innovation and that’s all fine and good, but there is fallout. My ultimate conclusion from my experience as a doctor for twenty years is: Medicine has lost its soul.
In spite of the many good people and many good advances in medicine, it’s not living up to its potential. Overall, there is a disconnect.
So what now?
The next step is a simple one: to reject feeling dejected and to work to reconnect.
Now you have a glimpse of what’s at the center of the farm project: nurturing medicine’s wholeness and finding the connection to the soul of medicine.
With international colleagues, with whom I’ve connected during my studies in Germany over the last 10 years, we plan to build up a place:
- dedicated to medicine rediscovering healing for no other reason than the benefits contained in healing.
- to rediscover the awe and mystery in the workings of the human body and in illness.
- to acknowledge the left brain and the right brain need a seat at the table in medical education; intellect needs to be balanced by intuition
- to consider the human soul and its development when addressing health.
- to help medicine find its soul again.
Education for healthcare workers interested in learning about a future-facing humanistic approach has already begun there. Our international collaboration brings special German insights into healing using sound. In the future, we envision building up wellness activities and patient treatments there with the help of German therapists and others who go through the training.
Other activities outside of the main project in healing on the farm, like… um, farming, will be supportive of the main healing impulse there and act as an entry point. Nature reminds us of what we once knew about ourselves. We gain the first part of the connection we crave when we are in the natural world. We all can feel that. Furthermore, when we eat really healthy, well-raised food we are taking the first steps of reconnecting.
Those are my ponderings for this week and a further glimpse into what is being born in Hudson.
Thanks for tuning in!
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