Global Wellness Institute Launches The Wellness Moonshot Challenge at Global Press Event

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The Richard P. Woltman family kicks off fundraising drive to fuel the fight against preventable diseases with $100,000 donation

The GWI announced The Wellness Moonshot Challenge, a new initiative which will raise funds to support The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease.

COVID-19 brought to the fore the need for a powerful, collaborative force to educate people about prevention and inspire them to take control of their health. This is no longer optional—it is mission-critical, and I’m honored to be part of The Wellness Moonshot Challenge...

The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower wellness worldwide, today announced The Wellness Moonshot Challenge at a global press event. The new initiative will raise funds to support The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease, which brings the issue of preventable, lifestyle diseases to the forefront of GWI’s research and education efforts.

The Wellness Moonshot Challenge received its first donation of $100,000 from the Richard P. Woltman family. GWI Chair and CEO Susie Ellis announced that GWI Board of Directors’ member Richard P. Woltman would also act as fundraising chair for the project. Woltman is chair emeritus, Girard Securities Inc., and a financial industry leader and philanthropist committed to the health and sciences industry.

“COVID-19 brought to the fore the need for a powerful, collaborative force to educate people about prevention and inspire them to take control of their health,” said Woltman. “This is no longer optional—it is mission-critical, and I’m honored to be part of The Wellness Moonshot Challenge and to lead the fundraising effort. This is something I have long believed in and supported, and I know that the Global Wellness Institute will make a difference.”

Ellis also noted Richard Carmona, MD, 17th U.S. Surgeon General, a member of the GWI Board of Directors and founding member of The Wellness Moonshot project, will serve as co-chair for the challenge. Jessica Jesse, founder, CEO and creative director of BuDhaGirl and creator of The Wellness Moonshot Calendar: A Year of Inspiration, will serve as honorary chair for phase one of the project.

Addressing media and guests at the press event, Ellis said, “Never in my lifetime has there been a more critical moment to stand up and take action to raise awareness of the importance of largely preventable chronic diseases. We are calling on companies large and small, private and public foundations, universities and individuals to sound the clarion call and unite in this crucial mission.”

The Centers for Disease estimates that 69% of all deaths globally each year are the result of preventable disease (2017) and that the global cost of largely preventable chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and more) could reach $47 trillion by 2030 (World Economic Forum, 2017).

The Birth of a Moonshot
Inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s famous “Moonshot” that challenged the United States to “go to the moon,” the GWI launched The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease in 2017 at the annual Global Wellness Summit. Today, this ambitious project to achieve the monumental goal of eradicating preventable disease is supported by a host of global business and media partners, including more than 1,300 companies and organizations that impact 150,776,738 individuals.

The Wellness Moonshot has also formed strategic partnerships with leaders in China, India and Israel, expanding the global reach of the mission.

In 2020, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic focused new attention on the impact of acute and chronic preventable diseases on the immune system.

“The pandemic makes the collaborative work inspired by The Wellness Moonshot perhaps the most important endeavor undertaken globally in this century,” said Ellis. “My greatest hope is that the legacy of the wellness industry is that we stood up at the most difficult time in our lives and took a giant step forward in accomplishing this moonshot together.”

About the Global Wellness Institute: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the global wellness industry and is known for introducing major industry initiatives that bring together leaders to chart the future. Through its five pillars of wellness—research, initiatives, roundtables, Wellness Evidence and The Wellness Moonshot: A World Free of Preventable Disease—GWI positively impacts global health and wellness by educating public institutions, businesses and individuals on how they can work to prevent disease, reduce stress, and enhance the overall quality of life. Its mission is to empower wellness worldwide.

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