By Rob Verkerk PhD, founder, executive and scientific director

I’ll be the first to say, we haven’t yet agreed on the best elevator pitch for the biggest project we’ve ever worked on. I’m referring to our blueprint for health system sustainability.

The trouble is, none of us at ANH-Intl are PR specialists. But so far, whenever we've had advice from PR specialists, we've been given wording that seems to short change us on the whole, big picture of what the blueprint is all about. so far, what we’ve seen from publicists have missed the mark — they’ve only told a small part of the much bigger, transformational story. With this back story, if there is anyone out there with a background in PR who also gets our work, is passionate about our mission, we'd love to hear from you. 

My most recent pitch would require an elevator journey of around 1 minute and a quarter. So it’s either a fast elevator with a few stops, or an oldie, possibly wood-lined, with both a hinged door and a scissor gate.

Here it is:

Imagine yourself in your community, with all parts of your body and mind perfectly balanced with your internal and external environment. You – at the centre of an ecological system – in perfect equilibrium. That’s the ultimate goal of our blueprint for health system sustainability. By combining know-how from natural ecology, sustainability and the latest biomedical science, we’ve developed an approach that’s all about creating health, not just managing disease that may have taken years to develop. It’s radical, yes. But we now need radical change if we’re to make sure current health systems don’t collapse under the burden of ever increasing pressures from preventable chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, anxiety, depression and many types of cancer.

What’s really different about our blueprint is that it focuses on health creation – also known as salutogenesis – not treating or managing disease. Health creation isn’t something that can happen in hospitals and clinics. It happens in the community, in your home, at your workplace, in schools, in all the places we spend most of our time. 

The model we describe in our blueprint isn’t about replacing existing systems of healthcare delivery, whether that’s a GP practice, a specialist consultant, a psychotherapist, acupuncturist or a personal trainer. It’s a system that lies over the top of these disease management and health systems. It’s about taking the pressure off existing structures of acute care so they can be less burdened and get on with doing what they do best.

Frankly, we’ve got a bunch of others too – they’re all works in progress.

But every now and then you speak to someone who helps draw things out of you.

That person for me was Ben Brown ND – a remarkable naturopathic doctor and practitioner, an exceptional lecturer, communicator and speaker on matters relating to natural health and functional medicine, and a friend.

Ben Brown ND



Rob Verkerk PhD    

Last week Ben interviewed me on his Positive Health Podcast and following is a link to our discussion. If you want to have a deeper understanding of what our sustainable health project is all about, why it might matter to you, as a citizen, a practitioner, or a company involved with natural health, try and find yourself a spare 47 minutes to listen to this podcast. 

You can download it to your device for listening at a convenient time. But unless your elevator breaks down, it's unlikely you’ll be listening to this podcast in an elevator!