The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) is the leading
national resource connecting people with vital solutions for reaching
a higher level of wellness. We want you to enjoy an enhanced quality
of life with vitality, enthusiasm, confidence and self-worth.
Creating wellness is an ongoing process. Wherever you are on this path,
AHHA (pronounced ah-ha) assists you to become more informed about the many
options available in the health care arena today. Then, you can explore
those that feel appropriate for you and your situation.
The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) is dedicated to
promoting the holistic principle of honoring the whole person (mind,
body, and spirit) and encouraging people to actively participate in
their own health and healthcare. AHHA compiles wellness resources and
shares these as a free, impartial public service.
Outside a hurricane lashed the small New England inn. Inside, the
boards of two national holistic medical associations huddled around an
easel, filling its pages with ideas on the state of the health field.
At this point, in September 1989, they agreed upon the continuation of
their mission--to encourage healthcare physicians and practitioners to
incorporate holistic principles. They also agreed upon what was
missing--a group to educate the general public on the power of the
holistic approach. Almost spontaneously, the name American Holistic
Health Association emerged. AHHA was born.
The group then turned towards Suzan Walter, president of one of the
associations, and Michael Morton, a board trustee, and challenged them
to create an independent nonprofit educational association to meet
Suzan felt a very personal commitment. Just two years before, she had
witnessed the powerful mind/body connection as it impacted a dear
friend dealing with advanced cancer. Surrounded with love and
excellent treatment, her friend initially was confident of his
recovery and made progress labeled "miraculous" by his physicians.
However, after he was influenced by people who believed cancer "always
kills," he lost hope and his treatments were no longer effective.
With only an idea and no funds, Suzan and Michael established the
American Holistic Health Association within two months of that stormy
September day. They outlined AHHA's mission, goals and organizational
structure, set up a line of credit (backed by Suzan's personal
assets), founded the first Board of Directors with educators and
healthcare professionals, and officially incorporated AHHA November
28, 1989. Their first educational piece was published in the spring
of 1990. This newsletter, AhHa!, focused on self-help and holistic
concepts. An issue from the following year won top honors in the
prestigious Newsletter Clearinghouse national competition in 1992.
The first AHHA Board of Directors consisted of Michael Morton, Ph.D.
(president), Suzan Walter, M.B.A. (secretary/treasurer), Janet Quinn,
Ph.D., R.N., Molly Vass, Ed.D., M.A., and James Gordon, M.D. Their
first decision was to make all AHHA materials available at no charge,
thus insuring access to anyone interested. This ambitious plan was
based on running the organization with volunteer staff, donated office
space, and small contributions from people nationwide. It worked!
The Omega Pointe Institute honored AHHA in 1995 with the Power Point
Award for "worthy nonprofits that get the most leverage with their
Through the years, AHHA has developed materials in direct response to
the needs of those who contacted the organization. Researching and
compiling databases of resources became a top priority. This data was
formatted and distributed initially as printed lists and later added
to the Internet.
Remembering the promise to educate the public on the holistic
philosophy, AHHA developed a booklet, Wellness From Within: The
First Step. It not only explains the holistic approach, it also
introduces the powerful point that one may improve health through
everyday lifestyle choices. AHHA also developed material defining
holistic health for numerous publications. In addition, AHHA worked
indirectly by guiding reporters of various media to valuable sources
for health-related stories.
In response to the public's interest in self-help, the Let's Talk
Health! monthly lecture series began in 1992. In 1999, AHHA converted
the in-person lectures to an online format, sharing similar
information via the "Featured Article of the Week" in the AHHA web site.
The early leaders of AHHA chose not to have a promotional budget. They
concluded that if what AHHA offered was of great value, then other
organizations would want to help spread the word. And they did! One of the
early key promotions was when the PBS series Healing and the Mind,
hosted by Bill Moyers, acknowledged AHHA in their Viewers and Teachers
Guides as a "valuable resource organization." Through the years,
books, magazines, newsletters, television and radio have had a hand in
promoting AHHA. The organization also benefited by referrals made from
local and national companies, institutions and organizations. AHHA
received wide exposure through a promotional page in The American
Holistic Health Association Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine by
William Collinge, Ph.D. (Warner Books). And in 1996 HealthWorld Online
generously created an AHHA web site. Today HealthWorld Online continues to
provide the server space as a gift to AHHA. AHHA president, Suzan Walter,
learned html, assumed the webmaster responsibilities, and totally revised
the site. In 2007 AHHA consulted with marketing, graphic arts, and programming talent, and totally revamped the appearance and functioning of the site accessible at ahha.org.
In 2011 AHHA got active with the social media movement. There is now an AHHA blog at AHHAblog.org, plus AHHA Facebook and Twitter pages.
Passing the twenty-three year milestone, AHHA has earned an impeccable
national reputation, and operates with the contribution support going to help people help themselves.
We are honored to introduce you to the following individuals who are currently serving on our Boards.
The current Board of Directors consists of Suzan V. Walter, MBA
(president), Gena E. Kadar, DC, CNS (secretary), Susan J. Negus, HHD (treasurer), Connie Bjerk, CGIT, RM, Herbert L. Jacobs, MD, FACOG, and H. Garrett Thompson, DC, PhD.
In addition, AHHA's prestigious Board of Advisors reflects the many facets
of healthcare; Daniel G. Amen, MD, Rev. Rosalyn L. Bruyere, Deepak Chopra, MD, William
Collinge, PhD, Alan Gaby, MD, Michael J. Kudlas,
DC, Emmett Miller, MD, Paul Mittman, ND, EdD, Christiane Northrup, MD, Donna A. Peters, PhD, RN, Judyth
Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, Bernard S. Siegel, MD, and Scott Tips,
With nothing to "sell," AHHA has the unique opportunity to be a
neutral clearing house for assisting individuals to locate resources
they need to enhance their own health and well-being. Honoring all
healing traditions and having no affiliation with any product or
service, AHHA can loyally serve the individual seeking assistance.
Linking people is a subtle but powerful service. The staff maintains
its unyielding zeal fired by AHHA's tangible networking successes. A
young woman with a rare condition discovered a little-known treatment.
A couple, told they could not have children, now holds their newborn.
A grandmother, offered no hope from her physician, found an
alternative therapy that cured her condition.
The demand for the impressive free AHHA resource lists keeps
growing as more and more people are waking up to the importance of
self-responsibility for the quality of their health. The AHHA web site at ahha.org averages about 14,000 users each month. AHHA is constantly expanding and enhancing the lists and articles available. As AHHA identifies new "voids" in resources, the organization
will continue to work towards filling them.
The AHHA Vision For America is people choosing healthy
lifestyles that create vibrant wellness and an enhanced quality of life.
Until this vision is universally realized, AHHA will continue to provide
a wide variety of wellness resources that empower the general public to
more confidently and effectively make their personal healthcare
The above was adapted from materials created by AHHA for the Orange
County at the year 2000: A profile of Today for the People of
Tomorrow© project; Sponsored by the Orange County Business
Council; Compiled by Elson-Alexandre, 6571 Altura Blvd., Buena Park,
CA 90620, (714) 523-8800, and is used with their permission.