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A Message from NWI's Interim Executive Director, Chuck Gillespie

Monday, January 7, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Greetings, wellness leaders. My name is Chuck Gillespie and I have the privilege of being your interim executive director at the National Wellness Institute (NWI). If you want to learn more about me, check out my LinkedIn page, because today, I want to take you on a personal vision journey. I hope this helps you understand who I am and how I see where we need to go as an industry. 

Wellness is a term that has widespread name recognition. It is also a term that is seeking an identity. If I put 50 people in a room, I bet there will be at least 20 definitions. The person credited for using the term first is Dr. Halbert Dunn in the 1950s. This is why NWI has an award named in his honor. As I reflect on the many definitions and iterations of the word wellness, I continue to look at how Dr. Bill Hettler, Dr. John Travis, Dr. Jane Ellery, and others have kept Dunn’s core definition alive. 

Hettler’s Six Dimensions of Wellness, which is the basis for the NWI mission, is reflective of Dunn’s view of whole self. Travis’s Illness/Wellness Continuum is a great visual for how Dunn viewed wellness as a point of view, not as a point of health. Personally, Jane Ellery is the one who introduced me to Dunn’s definition and continues to expand that knowledge. 

Let me paraphrase Halbert Dunn’s definition of wellness:
“Developing human potential.   Within the environment.   To learn and grow”

Individuals must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to learn and grow intellectually. They must have a safe and positive environment at home (spiritual) and at work (occupational). Individuals must also have their physical health, their emotional well-being, and not be socially isolated. 

Our industry needs an organization like NWI to connect and collaborate with all facets of the world of health and wellness. We must provide the open forum for dialogue about how we navigate the evolution of global well-being.

I personally want to see NWI continue to:

  • Provide the best training, resources, and education for individuals to educate and train others.
  • Offer a forum for open dialogue and discussion about the evolution of wellness.
  • Interconnect wellness professions in academics, health-care, communities, fitness, nutrition, psychology, legal, diversity, clinical, spiritual, business, and the many who see wellness as a forum to develop human potential. 
  • Build coalitions with like-minded groups to expand research, metrics, and evidence-based programming in order to drive global change in policy and environment. 
  • Showcase best practices, latest trends, and the future.
  • Be the place where together, individuals join to learn and grow. 
  • Expand and evolve every one of these goals above. 

This is my own vision for the National Wellness Institute. Are you with us?