What does it mean to “lobby” and how can you do it for yourself? Policy decisions are made at local, state, and national levels that affect you every day. How can you be an advocate for the policies that matter most to you, your business, your family, and your health? Listen as Linda interviews Julie Vojtech, a health care lobbyist and natural health advocate. Her professional background, personal health crisis, and resource recommendations will help you to be an educated advocate for better economic and physical health for yourself and your employees.
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Linda J. Hansen: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen. Your host and the author of Prosperity 101 - Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course, and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.com. I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs.
My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity101.com.
Health care, we all talk about it and government policies surrounding health care affect us all. Freedom of Choice, access to affordable care, and the ability to treat the cause, not just the symptom are important to consider when developing health care policies. Today’s guest, Julie Vojtech directed public affairs and lobbied health care policies for the pharmaceutical industry for several years, followed by consulting for health and wellness companies. Julie helped to pass the Florida Cancer Treatment Act, which gave cancer patients equal access to oral and IV chemotherapy, while reducing out-of-pocket patient costs.
Julie also helped to pass legislation in Minnesota that allowed indigent patients access to free or discounted medications. It was the model that led to the national program, Partnership for Prescription Assistance. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and is certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Julie’s own life-changing epiphanies regarding holistic health and disease prevention have fueled a passion for public policies supportive of integrative and holistic health practices. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia and provides her consulting services to clients across the country. And with that introduction, I welcome you, Julie. Thank you for joining us today.
Julie Vojtech: Linda, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity to chat with you today.
Linda J. Hansen: You had an amazing career, which you’re still in the midst of, of course, but you’ve taken a few different turns. So, tell us a little bit about your background. I mean, you graduated with your Communications and Political Science degree and what came next?
Julie Vojtech: I worked in advertising for a few years and then I decided to go back to school and pursue Physical Therapy. And whilst taking courses in Biology and Chemistry and Physics and Math and academically, I was doing well and I was working as a physical therapy aide, I also had a chemistry instructor at that exact same time and I had him for several Chemistry classes. And I would go into his office and – to get help on my Chemistry lessons, and invariably, we would discuss politics at the end of our – after we finished talking about chemistry.
And after a couple of years of this, he finally said to me one day, “Julie, I don’t really think you’re cut out to be a healthcare practitioner.” And I was rather indignant about that and annoyed. And then he went on and he said, “What really lights you up is politics.” He said, “You have such a passion for politics. Why don’t you combine politics with health care and be a health care lobbyist?” And it just happened that he was the treasurer for a state senator in Minnesota where I was residing at the time, and he got me – helped me to get an internship with the state senator, which turned into a full-time job after a couple of weeks. And I worked for the Minnesota State Senate for quite a while and after that, then I started lobbying in health care. So, he was very intuitive and he was spot on the money.
Linda J. Hansen: So, you started lobbying basically for that health care industry. Tell us about that.
Julie Vojtech: So, initially, I lobbied health care issues for the Minnesota Pharmacists Association. And I did that for three or four years and I was working with the pharmaceutical industry lobbyists. Actually, quite often, we were opposing each other, but we still maintained a friendly, respectful relationship. And one of the pharma companies had an opening and they hired me. That started a career of lobbying for the pharmaceutical industry and lobbying, not only in Minnesota, but in numerous states across the Midwest, and then eventually in several states in the southeast as well.
Linda J. Hansen: Very interesting. And just for the listeners who may not be familiar with what a lobbyist does, could you explain what is the role of a lobbyist? I mean, there’s – people may have positive or negative ideas about lobbying or lobbyists. But actually, they fill a very important role in terms of representation to our elected officials, and it can be positive or negative. But could you illuminate that a little bit for our listeners –
Julie Vojtech: Sure.
Linda J. Hansen: – who may not be that aware?
Julie Vojtech: So, lobbyists – the role of a lobbyist is to protect and advance the interests of their clients at the federal, the state, and local levels of government. And we educate and communicate our clients’ interests to lawmakers, such as governors and legislators. I like to joke and say that we’re doing the Lord’s work. So, there is a lobbyist for everything and everyone, every profession, every business, labor unions, social issues, organizations, you name it. There’s probably a lobbyist that represents it.
Most people don’t have time to navigate government. They don’t know how to navigate government or they’re just not interested in it. And like it or not, government can have an enormous impact in our lives. And another joke that lobbyists tell is that kind of like a Thanksgiving turkey, “It’s better to be at the table than to be on the table.” So, in other words, it’s better to be at the table and engaged in the process or you risk getting carved up like Thanksgiving turkey.
And so, the entity that doesn’t have a lobbyist representing their interests might be sorry. Every piece of legislation – and this is my opinion, Linda, but I like to say that every piece of legislation is a mandate to do something or not to do something. And depending on your perspective, you might like it or you might dislike it. But I do think that it’s very important to educate yourself. Be aware of the government process, and at the very least, put in my little plug right now for voting. Get out and vote.
Linda J. Hansen: At the polls. That’s my plug for voting at the polls and not by mail. Yeah, that’s my plug, so – or at least hand deliver your ballot if you vote early. So – but that’s beside the point. But yes, every piece of legislation is for or against something, and lobbyists are involved. Now, when I was first getting involved with politics at 19, 20 years old, I learned how to lobby from my kitchen table. I realized that legislation that happened at the local state or national levels always affected me and I paid attention. And I learned how to be a lobbyist of sorts as an individual, which is something I hope to empower individuals to do. But you bring up a good point that we are affected by these laws and these regulations, all these things that happen no matter what industry we’re in, no matter what our walk of life, our socioeconomic status, our race, religion, anything, issues matter. And we can – we may be in an industry or in a business where we have a lobbyist such as yourself, but all of us need to be our own personal lobbyists, so.
Julie Vojtech: Absolutely, and I very much agree with you on that as a matter of fact, and I’ll take it a step further. A professional lobbyist is like a coach. And if you can just picture like a coach of a sports team – let’s just say like a football team – a coach can lead his or her team, but a coach cannot play the game by themselves. And it is so important to be able to have those volunteers to work with you and quite often you might hear the term, grassroots lobbyists, but it’s – it is vitally important to a professional lobbyist that they are able to call on their clients and members of an organization or a company to be able to help them out from time to time.
Linda J. Hansen: Right. It’s so true and that’s why you see organizations that sometimes have an activist side to it. They may have a separate organization that involves more activist activity or something like that.
Julie Vojtech: Yes.
Linda J. Hansen: But it is a multi-pronged effect and nothing really happens in a vacuum, shall we say?
Julie Vojtech: Right.
Linda J. Hansen: But individuals, companies, we all need to be very mindful of the policies that affect us and while you have worked in the healthcare industry, every industry has – is affected by legislation. So, for everyone listening, we want to say, you know, pay attention to what you’re learning from Julie and think about how it applies to you or your industry because so many of the things you’ll find in her story will relate to your own life as well, both personally and professionally. So, with that, and thank you for explaining the whole thing about lobbying. But let’s get in a little more to your story. So, you were lobbying with the pharmaceutical industry and you did that for many years, and you left your job, right?
Julie Vojtech: Yeah, I did. I absolutely love my work.
Linda J. Hansen: And tell me some things that happened in your own life that caused you to think through how you wanted to continue to pursue your lobbying career.
Julie Vojtech: So, a couple of major epiphanies and it involves taking care of my parents at the end of their life, and they died about seven years apart from each other. But what I noticed was that their lifestyle choices, particularly with my dad but to a certain extent with my mom as well – but lifestyle choices really affected the end of their lives, and choices that we do have control over. There are four main contributors to chronic illness and it’s smoking, alcohol abuse, a poor diet, and lack of physical activity. And those are the main contributing factors to chronic disease and chronic disease accounts for 90% of the health care dollar spent in this country.
But what I saw was just a really miserable end of life, for both of my parents. They both ended up in skilled nursing homes and what I observed there was so many of the patients – and again, this is just my observation – so many of the patients, they either had oxygen tanks because they were smokers or they were in wheelchairs, very obese, with a one or both of their legs amputated because they had diabetes. You know, you’d see these people and I just wanted to cry, and so much of this, we can control. But I, you know – and I don’t know that people are necessarily even fully aware of the – to the extent of what, you know, we can do to prevent disease or to even to reverse disease.
Linda J. Hansen: Exactly.
Julie Vojtech: And so, that was what really got my attention initially. It was just taking care of my parents at the end of their life and just seeing just a miserable, you know, end of life for both of them.
Linda J. Hansen: Yes. And so, that started to move your thinking towards these lifestyle changes that could be made, but you had a health crisis of sorts in your own life. Could you tell us a little bit about that?
Julie Vojtech: I did. I did. Thank you for asking. I was somebody who was blessed with excellent health my entire life. The only time I saw a doctor was once a year for my annual physical and that was it. I didn’t take prescription drugs. I didn’t take vitamins. I mean, I just – and I ran every day, I lifted weights, and you know, and I thought I had a healthy diet. And about five years ago, that changed and I ended up in the ER, three times within 11 months with excruciating pain. I mean, head to toe, excruciating pain. I mean, I – it didn’t matter if I was laying down, walking, sitting. It didn’t matter what I was doing. I certainly couldn’t run. I could barely walk to the mailbox. I mean, it was horrible.
And I saw every kind of doctor you can imagine and I was tested for everything from A to Z, rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme’s, lupus, everything. And all the tests came back normal, which is good, but nobody knew what was wrong with me and I had two different rheumatologists prescribe some very strong prescription drugs which I was familiar with because my mother was on, I mean, she died. I didn’t want to take those drugs, they also prescribed opioids. I didn’t want to take opioids. I didn’t want to spend my day all loopy and not able to function.
And what ended up happening was I started seeing a holistic doctor who suggested that I start – the initial suggestion was to make some changes in my diet, and try giving up gluten and grains and dairy, and processed sugar, which – going back to what I said a few moments ago, I thought I had a healthy diet. Well, I had a lot of sugar. I have a heck of a sweet tooth. I mean sugar is my nemesis and so, I had to make a lot of dietary changes. And when I made those changes, most of the pain was gone.
Linda J. Hansen: It’s amazing.
Julie Vojtech: Most of it, gone. It is amazing. But I mean, I was so close to going down the path of taking those strong prescription drugs, which – and, you know, for some people, those drugs are appropriate, but I just didn’t feel comfortable taking those when nobody could tell me what was causing the pain. I didn’t have a diagnosis and I just didn’t want to go down that path. And I saw the side effects that my mom experienced and I didn’t want to experience that.
And there’s a little phrase and the phrase goes, “If you have a plant and the leaves are turning brown, do you paint the leaves green or do you try to figure out what’s wrong with it?” Like maybe it needs water and it needs fertilizer. So, in other words, I didn’t want to just treat my symptoms. I wanted to figure out what was causing the symptoms and then treat the cause, which is what I did. The cause was I was eating foods that my body could not tolerate any longer. And once I eliminated those foods –
Linda J. Hansen: You felt great.
Julie Vojtech: – yeah, I felt great.
Linda J. Hansen: Yeah, it’s amazing what can happen and to people listening right now, you – maybe you’re familiar with dietary changes that you can make to improve your own health, if needed, or you know, maybe you’re familiar with holistic or naturopath, integrative health. However, if you’re not, please stay tuned to the end of the episode because we will recommend some resources and information for you that you might be like Julie once. You might be struggling with symptoms that are, you know, unexplainable. I know I had that in my own life at one point.
I, like Julie, was very, very healthy. I’ve run 12 marathons. I’ve done lots of half marathons. I love lap swimming, active, I just – and I felt also that I had a healthy diet. But what had happened in my life was that I also – I wasn’t in pain, like Julie mentioned – that like you mentioned, Julie, but I ended up with just severe fatigue and not being able to do my normal work at all and it just was debilitating after a while. We found out what had happened was I’d had a root canal that had not been fully cleaned out, shall we say? So, I had a very low-grade infection that was just destroying my immune system. And I won’t go into all the details, but it was taking a toll on my health. To sum it up, one of my daughters said she had started to mentally plan my funeral because she felt like I was that sick.
Now, I had been going to my traditional physician and my regular homeopathic, holistic physician was not available at that time and so, I was just going to my traditional doctor, and they could not find out what the problem was. It’s just like you. I had all these tests and there was no answer. And so, when I did finally find out what was happening, it was through an integrative physician and an integrative biological dentistry office that I feel like they saved my life, and I feel like for you, you can, you know, talk about your experience and it gave you your life back really.
Julie Vojtech: It absolutely did. Yeah, I am so grateful for the doctors, the holistic doctors, that I’ve been working with.
Linda J. Hansen: Well and just like in all life, it’s good to look at the flip side. And so, we are being told through traditional medicine which we feel – I want to make it very, very clear that both Julie and I do feel that traditional medicine – traditional medicine practices are important. They’re a very important part of our overall health care. However, we have both found, as have some of my other podcast guests – found integrative health care can be extremely beneficial because it takes in the whole person. And like Julie mentioned, we then have the ability to treat the cause and not just the symptom.
Your health improved because you were able to treat the cause. Now, that brought about a real awakening for you and that began to change the focus for your career. Can you tell us about that change, what you saw in policy? Because you were a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry, what did you see in policy that caused you to change and then become more active in promoting policies for holistic health and preventive medicine?
Julie Vojtech: Well, I mean, first of all, Linda, to your point, I think that traditional medicine and integrative functional medicine, naturopathic medicine, if you will. I think they complement each other and they go hand in hand. And I think it’s important for people to be their own advocate and to have choices, and to be aware that they have choices. Certainly, if I break my leg, I’m going to the emergency room. I’m not going to go to my naturopathic doctor for a broken leg.
But I would love to see in our country more of a focus on prevention. I mean, it just seems like we are so focused on getting people covered and controlling costs, and there’s not enough focus on prevention. And really a focus on what’s causing the problem, you know, what is causing these healthcare issues or problems? What is causing diabetes? I mean, what is causing cancer? There are so many different factors and I would love to see our country, our health care system much more focused on treating the cause and prevention versus just trying to treat symptoms and manage the disease.
And in terms of my work, my work now has changed and I am advocating for – to make holistic care much more mainstream and patient accessible. And it’s an education process and not just with elected officials, but really just with people in general. And after having lobbied health care for 20 years, I found out how little I actually knew when I had my own health crisis. And I was so close to going down the path of taking all these prescription drugs that – and I’m so glad that I didn’t. And I’m just so glad that I made those lifestyle choices. Not everybody’s willing to make those lifestyle choices. But I don’t know, I just – I don’t think there’s too many people who really want to take a lot of prescription drugs. I think there’s a lot of people who, if they had a choice, if they knew that they can make some lifestyle choices, they would at least consider it.
Linda J. Hansen: Yeah, I agree. I agree. And it’s, you know, people don’t always know about it, because our system just tends to promote what you talked about. We treat the symptom. Like you mentioned the plant, if the plant is brown when it’s supposed to be green,
we don’t just paint the leaves green. We try to figure out how to take care of the roots, make the plant healthier from the inside out. And that’s what we should do as individuals, make ourselves healthier from the inside out, not just do something to treat the symptom.
Now, I understand that there’s – like you said, it’s very, very important that we use all of this in complement with one another because, you know, there’s definite times and definite diseases. We’re not trying to tell anybody what to do with their own health care other than to be educated and to look beyond the immediate answers you may be finding that are not helping you.
And so, you know, you mentioned that it isn’t just elected officials who need to be educated through lobbying or government or public affairs efforts, its citizens as well. I’ll give an example and maybe you can address this. I know sometimes different supplements that people take that they find extremely beneficial. You know, there may be some regulatory restraints to those supplements or it may be that their insurance won’t cover them even though their doctor says they’re extremely beneficial. You know, if we’re talking B12, say for dementia patient or, you know, Vitamin D to help people, so much – calcium – there’s so many different things. And then the insurance laws get in there and what insurance will cover, what it won’t cover. People only have so much money. Can they pay for the supplements? A lot of times insurance policies will pay for the symptom reliever, but it will not pay for the cause preventer.
And so we need to think through those policy issues regarding insurance payments and that’s where individuals need to be their own lobbyists. We need trained lobbyists who understand integrative health and how this can truly benefit people. But this is all part of the big puzzle, and really, for people to learn more about their own health. So, you have something to add with that?
Julie Vojtech: Well, for – when you mentioned supplements, one thing that I want to add is that supplements are not all created equally. There’s quality fish oils and fish oils that are not so high quality. I use – it’s a website, ConsumerLabs.com, and that website provides some good insight on various supplements. And then I also, you know, will get advice from my doctor, as well, but yeah, supplements are they’re not all created equally. That’s for certain.
Linda J. Hansen: And one of the things about supplements, too, we do ask or recommend that you do talk with your health care professional about your supplements, because even though the commercials on the TV may say everybody needs fish oil, like you just mentioned, or everybody needs X. You know, your body may not needed. It’s just like Julie was talking about earlier, that there were some things that she was eating that were contributing to the physical problems she was having.
I have learned that our bodies are very unique and where fish oil is a really good thing, depending on how our bodies are working or whatever other things we may be dealing with physically, we may want to be very careful about the type of fish oil or how much, or when we take it just because of how we process different compounds. So, these are all things that we can find out and don’t just take things at face value. So, could you give that website again that people can learn about supplements?
Julie Vojtech: It’s ConsumerLabs.com.
Linda J. Hansen: Okay, that’s helpful. And if people want to learn more about the policy issues regarding their health care, you know, we can always go to, you know, Healthcare.gov or something, right? But that doesn’t always tell the full story when it comes to holistic or integrative health. What would you recommend they do for getting more information about natural health care?
Julie Vojtech: Well, there are – let me see, about three different websites that I could recommend. One is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Again, that’s American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. You could just Google that. And another one would be the Institute of Natural Medicine. Again, that’s the Institute of Natural Medicine. And a third would be The Institute of Functional Medicine. Again, that’s The Institute of Functional Medicine. And with all three of those websites, there’s like a place where you can look for a physician, a doctor in your state or in your region. You know, a doctor who is a naturopathic physician or a functional medicine doctor.
Linda J. Hansen: For the benefit of our listeners, could you explain the difference? You know, we go to our MD, like you mentioned a broken leg at the emergency room, or our family medicine doctor, our pediatrician, you know, all these doctors and specialists. I go to a dermatologist. I think that’s very important. But what would be the difference for the type of doctors that you mentioned?
Julie Vojtech: So, a – like for instance, I do see a naturopathic physician and he is much more focused on disease prevention and optimal health. I’m not interested in just coasting. I’m not interested in just being disease-free. I mean, I’m interested in optimal health and he considers the whole person. He identifies the root cause of an illness and he treats naturally with possible – with lifestyle modifications. And that’s not to say that naturopathic doctors don’t prescribe because they can, but that’s – they do less prescribing of pharmaceutical medications because their focus tends to be a little more natural.
Linda J. Hansen: Very interesting. Now, when we’re recording this, we’re coming up upon an election in 2020. Health care will be a big topic of conversation as it always is, not only in the election but moving forward as we develop policy. What would you love to see in healthcare policy to improve access to holistic and integrative care for everyone?
Julie Vojtech: I would like to see much more of a focus on prevention and more of a focus on holistic health care. People having more choices and coverage for those choices.
Linda J. Hansen: You brought up a good thing, coverage for those choices. With Prosperity 101, I’m always talking about, you know, the foundations of prosperity, policies of prosperity, and how to protect your prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I say that every episode. In order to be impactful, we also need our health and policies matter. Because the focus of this particular episode is not really specifically just like how to talk about things in the workplace, like sometimes our episodes are, this is really about overall health management, health care, taking care of the individual, the whole person. And so, when we think about employers and their relationship with employees or how they want to provide for employees to maximize their health potential, what would you recommend to employers, as not only they seek to help their employees just day to day, but also when they look at their health care plans? What should they be looking for in their health care plans?
Julie Vojtech: Broader choices of healthcare providers, choices that would include a whole list of providers, and maybe also incentives to the employee. Could be incentives to quit smoking. It could be incentives to lose weight, basically incentives to get healthier. Because I think that if employees are healthier, it’s going to save the bottom line for employers.
Linda J. Hansen: Yeah, most definitely. Those are some very, very good points. And so, for employers listening, the way that you can truly help your employees is to increase choice, give them access to health care that will help them to take care of the whole person, not just treat a symptom, but give them the options that can really help them be healthier, and encourage a healthy lifestyle. With your own example, of course, as employer, just like parents need to do it for their children, but also, Julie, you brought up some good points about having some sort of incentives.
I mean, I know companies that have sponsored 5Ks or they’ve sponsored weight-loss contests or different things that just encourage a healthy lifestyle. So, for employers looking at doing that, you know, please do and I’m sure the websites that Julie mentioned might give you some ideas as well. But as you think about your insurance policies, it’s really important to provide more choice. And if you can do that and advocate for that, we could truly create a movement where people have access to more holistic health options, and I think that would be great. So, that – it would save employers money, it would help improve the lives of employees and their families, and it would really be great.
Julie Vojtech: And I agree 100% with everything you just said, Linda. And I think also though that employers, you need to back up your words with your actions. And by that, I mean, if you’re talking – if you’re trying to encourage your employees to live healthier then let’s say, for instance, you’re an employer who maybe you provide a cafeteria. You need to provide healthy options in that cafeteria. You can’t be serving doughnuts and ice cream, and cookies, and everything and then tell your employees to be healthy. And you got to back up the words with the actions.
Linda J. Hansen: That’s a good point. And I know that sometimes these convenience foods that we often find in cafeterias are not the healthiest. They can, for some people, I’m not for everyone, but they can be part of a healthy overall healthy diet at times. But for people like you, that would really limit your choices. You know, I also avoid gluten. So, you just mentioned a lot of things in a cafeteria that I would never be able to eat.
So, when we can provide healthier options for our employees, that really does set a good example, and it helps to form habits. You know, we don’t form habits immediately and our taste buds don’t immediately switch from like what you mentioned, you were, you know, addicted to sugar in a sense, but I find as well that I don’t need those foods anymore. I don’t want them. It’s like the difference between how you want to fuel your body and you don’t always even know that you’re not being fueled well until you start to fuel it well, and you can feel the difference. And so, providing those options for employees is really important. And so, to all employers who are trying to do so, thank you. Because you have no idea how that may be helping not only your employees’ overall health but their job performance as well.
Julie Vojtech: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Linda J. Hansen: Right. So, we’re getting to the close of the interview here, but what would you say as a closing comment to any employers who want to help their employees understand how these policy issues affect not only their health but their job? Because you know, insurance costs, lobbying costs, absenteeism costs, all of this affect employers and companies? How would you suggest they relay this information to their employees?
Julie Vojtech: Maybe by getting employees engaged and finding out what’s important to employees. That’s a way to take an active role in their health care.
Linda J. Hansen: Very good point, very good point. It takes teamwork in a sense, to replicate.
Julie Vojtech: Absolutely.
Linda J. Hansen: Right. And, you know, when we can have, like you mentioned, some wellness programs and things, sometimes that brings in accountability. I know, some workplaces have a workout room or a gym or, I know, I was consulting with one company and they had an entire gym with a spin room, and they brought in instructors for classes three times a week. And I mean, it was amazing what they did to promote health and wellness right within the company. And they made it easy for the people to come and have an opportunity to work out and they show them that it’s important.
So, when employers can do that – I mean, not every employer can have a fitness room, I understand, but like Julie said, if you can bring into the conversation, your employees, you’re showing them that it’s important to them. You’re showing them that the policies that you’re dealing with in – with your healthcare policy as a company are important to the employee. And you know, really ends up, like I always talk about with Prosperity 101 increases communication, which increases employee engagement, loyalty, and retention.
So, when you’re communicating with employees and you’re helping them be healthier, you’re letting them know you care about their health, you care about the public policies that affect their health, that really creates a loyalty and helps to create a better employee and reduces absenteeism, too, which is better, like Julie said, for your bottom line, so.
Julie Vojtech: Ditto, ditto [Laughs].
Linda J. Hansen: [Laughs].
Julie Vojtech: You said it beautifully. I mean, I think it’s really important to get the employees engaged in the process, and have a communication in terms of what works well for everybody and what’s important. And you’ve got to make it easy. I mean, it has to be easy for – in order for people to want to be engaged and want to improve their health.
Linda J. Hansen: Exactly. And, you know, we talked before in the early part about being our own lobbyist, being a lobbyist for ourselves on issues that matter to us. We, in a sense, need to be our own lobbyist for our health, and we can be grateful for those like you who do advocate for healthier policies on the local, state, and national levels. But we need to pay attention to that and be an advocate for our own health, for the health of our families.
Julie Vojtech: Absolutely. It is so important to be your own advocate and to ask questions, regardless of what kind of a doctor you are seeing. I think it’s so important to go in there with a list of questions and truly understand. If you are being prescribed something, you need to understand what those directions are and why.
Linda J. Hansen: There might be other resources that could help you with fewer side effects, so – and everybody’s situation is different. And again, we want to make sure everyone knows we’re not telling you what to do to take care of your own health issue. We really recommend that you seek out a healthcare professional, but in the meantime, be thinking about how healthcare policy affects your daily life. And if you want more choice to choose a variety of ways to help yourself be more optimally healthy, then pay attention to healthcare policy and check with your employer about the details of their insurance policies. And if you don’t see something that allows for Integrative Health Care, then ask for it. It might be as simple – maybe no one ever asked. And so, employees can help educate employers as well.
Julie Vojtech: Absolutely.
Linda J. Hansen: Right. So – well, the time for our episode has come to a close, but I just am so grateful for the time you shared with us and sharing your personal story from your professional life as well as with the personal story of caring for your parents, seeing what they went through, and then having your own health crisis that awakened you to natural, holistic, integrative health care. So, as we close, do you have any closing comments?
Julie Vojtech: Linda, I just appreciate the opportunity to chat with you today, and hopefully, educate your listeners a little bit on holistic health care, and the importance of being engaged in the government process. Thank you very much.
Linda J. Hansen: My pleasure. My pleasure. Now, you do serve clients across the country, and you’re happy to talk to anybody who might want to be your client. How should people contact you?
Julie Vojtech: They can contact me via e-mail, J-U-L-I-E dot V as in Victor, O-J, T as in Tom, E-C-H at Gmail.com.
Linda J. Hansen: That’s great. So, would you like to just give that one more time for people?
Julie Vojtech: Sure. And I’ll also – I can also be found on LinkedIn as well. And on LinkedIn, it’s just my first and last name, which I’ll spell for my email address. J-U-L-I-E, Julie dot Vojtech. That’s V as in Victor, O-J, T as in Tom, E-C-H at Gmail.com, or again, Julie Vojtech on LinkedIn.
Linda J. Hansen: Okay. Well, that is great. And that is actually how we met on LinkedIn through a friend who felt that we should be connected. So, thank you to that friend and I’m glad that we were able to do that. But Julie, you provided some great insights for our listeners today and I hope that they will reach out to you.
So, listeners, if you are interested in healthcare policy, you don’t really understand what you’re learning, seeing, reading, please reach out to Julie and maybe she can help you find the path that works for you or for your company, but she is an expert. She’s been with the traditional side and the holistic side, and we just really appreciate that breadth of knowledge. So, with that, Julie, thank you so much for joining us and thank you for advocating for better health for everyone.
Julie Vojtech: Thank you, Linda. My pleasure.
Linda J. Hansen: Well, thank you and policies matter. So, for our health, for our economics, for our freedoms, so if we want health care freedom, we need to pay attention to healthcare policy. So, thank you for reminding us of that today.
Julie Vojtech: Thank you.
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