New director, new direction for the Marion Institute

Jan 30, 2019

MARION — New director for a new direction. That seems to be the Marion Institute’s formula for 2019, as it welcomes Liz Wiley back as director and looks to shift its programs to focus on health for the whole person.

The Institute will focus its mission and the programming that it runs around its bio-regulatory medicine program, which looks at health holistically and works to prevent diseases rather than treating them with medication. 

Behind that shift is a critique of the U.S. healthcare system, which Wiley says is “treating symptoms vs. treating patients. We think that healthcare is really about nutrition and good food and good environment and health and wellness on a whole scale, versus just an illness treated with a medication.”

For context, Wiley added that, “It’s a type of treatment that’s available in Europe, widely, but not in the United States,” Wiley said. Because the U.S. healthcare system operates so differently, “It’s really taking on the healthcare system in a way.”

Wiley explained that the new focus may seem like a change from the diversity of programs that the Marion Institute previously supported, it is actually a natural part of the evolution of a non-profit.

She explained that mature nonprofits can keep supporting the same things, or they can stop, if they feel their mission has been accomplished. “Our founders, Michael and Margie Baldwin, don’t want to stop,” she said. So they shifted focus instead.

That shift will not distance the Institute from the agricultural, spiritual, women’s rights and  social justice issues it previously supported, but will look at how all those things can contribute to health. 

“When we have good nutrition, that’s part of health, when our environment is clear of toxins, that’s part of health. We are still looking at social justice issues with wanting to make sure that bioregulatory healthcare is affordable, when without insurance covering it, it’s not,” Wiley said. 

The Marion Institute will continue to provide financial sponsorship to other programs who do not yet have their 501(c)(3) status under its Greenhouse program, regardless of whether they support health-related missions or not. Only the programs that the Institute runs will shift in focus to reflect its new goal.