A win for local sovereignty and health freedom

Florida’s Collier County passes health freedom bill of rights, a template for all.

Local sovereignty and health freedom are thriving in Collier County, Florida, where the Board of County Commissioners has passed a health freedom bill of rights. Fresh from taking a stand for their autonomy by refusing a CDC grant with strings attached, these freedom supporters took an additional step on April 11, 2023, by unanimously passing an ordinance to further protect health freedom.

Commissioner Chris Hall, who ran for his post because of government overreach during the COVID pandemic, brought this ordinance to the board. He said the mandates issued in the past few years were “a violation of personal liberty like I’ve never seen in my life in this country.” And although state laws enacted by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2021 already prohibit mask mandates and vaccine requirements, Hall said the ordinance ensures that “in case anything changes at the state level, we have liberties protected in Collier County.”

In addition to the ordinance, the board also considered a resolution, which passed 4-1. Hall said the resolution means, “As a commission board, we’re gonna have your back as the people. We’re gonna protect and secure your personal liberty.”

“There’s a difference between liberty and freedom,” Hall continued. “Any time [one person’s freedom infringes upon] another person’s freedom, that’s a violation of liberty. … Our rights are given to us by God. Our job is to protect and secure those liberties that are given to us and that’s what we hope to do with this ordinance and this resolution.”

The ordinance will prohibit COVID-19 vaccine mandates, mask mandates, quarantines, and vaccine passports. It also rejects health directives by the World Health Organization and other international bodies. The goal of the two measures is to protect individual freedoms by preventing a repeat of mandates, shutdowns, and quarantines in the future.

Despite claims bythe federal government and manufacturers that the COVID shots created at warp speed are “safe and effective,” it’s becoming clear that this claim is questionable at best. Although the drug companies knew these shots were not worthy of the glowing marketing they were given, patients were not told of the risks. Informed consent was trampled underfoot in the rush to “protect” us all from the COVID virus.

And now, people are injured and dying. This scenario perfectly outlines why health freedom is so important. We must protect our right to informed consent and the freedom to make our own health choices without coercion or mandate.

At the commissioners’ board meeting, many spoke in support of the ordinance and the resolution. Doctors, nurses, pilots, researchers, and parents stepped up to the podium to paint thepicture of why informed consent and the freedom to make health choices is so critical.

Scott Kiley, member of the COVID Tyranny Task Force, walked the commissioners through the points of the resolution. (See the provisions of the ordinance and the resolution below.) On the resolution’s first point, the right to no medical mandates, he said, “The use of a biological agent on civilians without informed consent is considered human criminal experimentation and is in violation of international laws that protect human rights, including the Nuremberg Code and the Geneva Convention.”

“Hospitals, doctors, and pharma companies often have no liability and huge financial incentives to push new medications,” Kiley continued. “This is an unacceptable conflict with mandating anything and in violation of our right not to be harmed, injured, or deprived of life without due process of law under the Fifth and 14th Amendments. Commissioners, it is our resolve to never allow this again by working toward no medical mandates.”

Explaining the right to no discrimination, Kiley said, “If we allow this nonsense to continue, they can mandate any treatment or procedure and humanity will be forced to comply. We must resolve to preserve freedom of choice without discrimination.”

Kiley encouraged the commissioners to pass both measures saying, “Collier County will be the beacon of freedom in all of Florida.”

 “Here in Collier County, you are at the tip of the spear,” said Ann Vandersteel, president, and chair of Zelenko Freedom Foundation. “You have the opportunity to lead the country out of the darkness and prove that we the people can make the best decisions for ourselves, that we the people, in fact, govern.”

Pilot Josh Yoder, who flies for a major airline, is the co-founder and president of U.S. Freedom Flyers. He stated that the institution of vaccine mandates caused “tremendous chaos” in the airline industry in late 2021. “As pilots, as you know, we are very focused on our health and we’re very reluctant to take medications or anything that could potentially violate our flight physical, harm our health, and therefore, harm our careers,” he said.

Many airline employees pushed back against the mandates. “We stood up in force,” said Yoder, “first with just a few people, then tens, then hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, across the industry.” They stood up and pushed back in the interest of preserving “individual liberty and freedom.”

Eventually, the airlines backed down, accepting religious and medical exemptions where they had initially threatened termination for noncompliance. “It’s because we stood up in force,” said Yoder. “They knew that they couldn’t afford to lose 20-25% of their workforce.”

Yoder went on to make it clear that the airlines didn’t back down “out of the kindness of their hearts.” But instead, “they did it because we stood together as citizens,” he explained. “Look at how this country was founded. Normal people who stood up to their government and they brought forth freedom. … And we’re now experiencing the benefits of that even today.”

The emergence of a pandemic was frightening for everyone. But mandating treatments of any kind – especially if they’re largely untested – is clearly not the answer. It’s critical to maintain bodily autonomy, informed consent, and health freedom moving forward to avoid another series of costly, life-altering mistakes. One way to do this is for everyone to stand up where they are and say, “Not here.”

Freedom begins at home – in the schools, organizations, cities, and counties where we live, work and play. We congratulate Collier County for paving the way for local leaders to take a stand for health freedom in counties across the nation.

Use their health freedom bill of rights as a template for your county. Ask your county commissioners to put a stake in the ground protecting health freedom in your area. As Vandersteel said at the commissioners’ board meeting, the goal is “local action having a national impact.”

It’s not about whether you agree with a certain treatment. It’s about having the option to make your own health decisions. Commission Chairman Rick LoCastro summed it up when he said, “I’m for choice. We are talking about rights.”

Steps you can take


Step One: Getting involved at the county level is so important. Need some help getting started? Check out our interview and action step with Sheriff Richard Mack. founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.


Step Two:Knowledge is power. Action is change. Take the Collier county ordinance and resolution to your city or county commissioners and work on passing health freedom policy at the local level. If your home is your castle, local government is the castle walls.

Ellen Chappelle


Ellen Chappelle serves as SHF’s resident wordsmith. A seasoned writer and editor, she’s enthusiastic about ensuring that our content is clear, concise, and inspiring.

Ellen is most energized by working on projects that transform lives. A truth seeker as well as a journalist, she’s disturbed by the lack of accuracy in today’s media and determined to help share fact rather than fiction. And having found greater healing with alternative approaches, she’s also passionate about preserving our freedom to make informed health choices.

Past projects include serving as regional editor of a dog magazine, color and trend specialist for a small cosmetics company, arts columnist, newspaper reporter, ghostwriter, and creator of website content for artists and small businesses.

With a degree in journalism and theatre, Ellen is also a performer. She enjoyed singing and dancing on a cruise ship and traveling with a national musical theatre tour, as well as recording industrial videos, television commercials, and radio voiceovers. She also creates handcrafted jewelry in wire, chain maille, and fused glass.

“Despite what some would have us believe, the fact remains that this nation was founded on biblical principles by people who wanted freedom to worship God and live their lives without government involvement. It’s never been more critical to fight for those rights.”

Chrissy Scott

Executive Assistant and Social Media Manager

A labor and delivery nurse with a lifelong passion for maternal and fetal health, Chrissy Scott left her job of 19 years after learning the truth about the harms caused by the medical system. In 2009, she was mandated by her employer to receive the H1N1 vaccine during her first trimester of pregnancy with her second child. She was assured that the vaccine was “safe and effective” for pregnant women, but her son was born with a kidney defect that could have been fatal. She didn’t connect the dots to vaccine injury until several years later when the declining health of her oldest son drove her to seek answers outside of allopathic medicine.

This personal journey ignited in her a new passion for truth and transparency in health care. As SHF’s Executive Assistant, Chrissy facilitates communication and local advocacy initiatives alongside Leah Wilson for their home state of Indiana. She also manages and creates graphics for SHF’s social media accounts and the website’s swag shop.

Chrissy earned her nursing degree from Anderson University and served her entire career at her local hospital. While she’s no longer a floor nurse, her five very active boys frequently test her nursing skills! She homeschools her children and has been co-owner of a successful home décor sign business with her sister.

“Parents, being the experts on their own children, are best suited to make decisions for the well-being of their family. To do this properly, they must be given full and accurate information and be free from force or coercion.”

Sayer JI

Director and Co-founder

Sayer Ji is a widely recognized researcher, author, lecturer, activist, and educator on natural health modalities. Among his many roles, he is an advisor to Stand for Health Freedom, a reviewer and editor of the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, an advisory board member of the National Health Federation, a steering committee member of the Global GMO Free Coalition, and the co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed Inc., a revolutionary scientific validation framework.

Most notably, Sayer is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, the world’s most widely referenced, evidence-based natural health resource of its kind. He founded the platform in 2008 to provide an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. Today, Greenmedinfo.com has more than a million visits per month, serving as a trusted resource on myriad health and wellness topics to physicians, healthcare practitioners, clinicians, researchers and consumers worldwide.

Sayer attended Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he studied under the notable American philosopher Dr. Bruce W. Wilshire. He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy in 1995, with a focus on the philosophy of science. His new book, Regenerate: Unlocking Your Body’s Radical Resilience through the New Biology, was released in March 2020 and is an Amazon bestseller.

“I truly believe that education will be our greatest shield against accelerating the erosion of civil liberties, including the right to bodily sovereignty, as well as the greatest catalyst for positive change on this planet moving forward.”


Executive Director and Co-founder

An attorney with a background in complex litigation and advocacy, Leah Wilson is passionate about children’s health and has researched and worked on child welfare issues for more than a decade.

The overmedication of children in foster care as a form of behavior management is what compelled Leah to become an advocate and foster parent. During her time as a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children, Leah witnessed the rampant use of psychiatric drugs among foster kids. She also discovered that, in addition to many extensive requirements, the state had a policy that all foster children and foster families be fully vaccinated, without exception. Through her involvement in law, health and the foster care system, it became abundantly clear to Leah that the single most important issue affecting child welfare in the United States is the practice of one-size-fits-all medicine via medical mandates. This motivated Leah to expand her advocacy beyond foster care to all children nationwide and to start Stand for Health Freedom (SHF) in 2019.

A graduate of the Saint Louis University School of Law, Leah holds dual bachelor degrees in political science and Spanish from Indiana University. In addition to her advocacy work with SHF, Leah is the owner and former operations director of MaxLiving Indy, one of the largest natural health centers in the Midwest. She is also an educator on holistic health as well as a sought-after speaker on issues ranging from religious rights to greening your home.

“Parental rights and religious freedom are God-given natural rights that cannot arbitrarily be taken away by government authorities. Parents are the single most important factor in a child’s success; I stand in full support of this sacred relationship.”

Sheila Ealey

Political Analyst

Dr. Sheila Lewis Ealey is the founder and former director of the Creative Learning Center of Louisiana, a therapeutic day school for children who are on the autism spectrum or struggling with other nonverbal intellectual disabilities. The wife of a former U.S. Coast Guard Officer, she is also the mother of four children. Her son was diagnosed with severe autism spectrum disorder at 18 months. He is now a young man and considered moderate and emerging.

Sheila and her twins were featured in the documentary “Vaxxed.” She has traveled extensively, advocating for medical freedom. She continues to educate disenfranchised parents about their fundamental rights to religious and philosophical exemptions, their ability to live sustainably on a limited budget, and the importance of nutrition and biomedical interventions for optimum health with autism. She also writes individual homeschool curriculums for parents of children with autism or intellectual disorders. Sheila is a trustee for the Autism Trust, USA, and on the board of directors of Children’s Health Defense.

Over the past 20 years, she has educated herself to use natural healing modalities for the body and brain. Her formal education includes degrees in communication, special education curriculum, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership in Special Education. Sheila serves as an assistant content advisor and political analyst for SHF.

“It is not the Constitution’s job to protect our liberties, as it is not a philosophical document but a legal one. Its purpose is to limit the powers and authority of our federal government in hopes of preventing an intrusion upon our unalienable rights. We are obliged to maintain our government within its limits.”

Mary Katherine LaCroix


Mary Katherine LaCroix became involved with SHF as a volunteer in 2019 when the religious exemption for childhood vaccines was at risk in her home state of New Jersey. She believes strongly that parents have the responsibility for their children’s health, education, and faith formation and that only they have the right to make medical decisions and manage their care.

She has worked in fundraising for more than 25 years at various educational, cultural, human services, and political organizations. A graduate of the University of Scranton, she holds a degree in History and English Literature.

Mary Katherine is thrilled to have this opportunity to work with and help grow SHF, believing that together we can achieve even greater impact in protecting our rights and caring for our loved ones. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children and large extended family, as well as volunteering to support the special needs community.

“Parents are taught that they must trust the experts. That’s what we did, until we learned that the experts can be wrong and don’t always know what is best for your child. Parents should instead feel empowered by their natural, God-given ability to advocate and care for their children. SHF is here to give them the tools to do just that.”

Valerie Borek


Valerie Borek is a passionate advocate for health rights and family privacy. A mother of two with degrees in law and biochemistry, she is perfectly positioned to lead SHF advocates through complex health-rights policy. Her work is guided by a love for American values, uncovering truth, and a passion for empowering others. Valerie has served as SHF’s policy analyst since 2021.

Valerie’s understanding of the value of freedom to make one’s own health care choices is not just academic. Health freedom has kept her boys alive and thriving. Her choice to have home births jump-started her advocacy for health privacy. Her eldest son survived a rare and deadly cancer because her family was able to navigate medical care while holding onto values that were sometimes at odds with recommendations.

Before joining SHF, Valerie specialized in health and parenting rights at her boutique law firm, especially surrounding birth and vaccine rights. She advocated for informed consent in health care and transparent food labeling in her state. She helped found the Birth Rights Bar Association and was honored to present their argument to the Delaware Supreme Court that midwifery is not the practice of medicine, in support of a trailblazing midwife.

“Health is the foundation of how we show up in this world to love, serve, and create. Americans are blessed to live in a country that gets stronger the more we protect fundamental rights, like informed consent and privacy, so individuals and families can thrive.”

Bailey Kuykendoll

Associate Director

Designer and visual marketer Bailey Kuykendoll began advocating for health and religious freedom and parental rights in 2014 after learning she was pregnant. A self-described skeptic, she’s not afraid to ask questions and do copious amounts of research to reach her own conclusions.

She’s also not afraid of hard work. As SHF’s Relationship Manager, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with health freedom advocates in each state, she ensures that SHF has campaigns for health-freedom-related bills and petitions on our website and across social media, spreading the word to encourage people to contact their legislators. She builds campaigns, graphics, website pages, and relationships.

Bailey earned a design degree from Harrington Institute of Design in 2008. She then served as a production assistant on several shows for HGTV, followed by working behind the scenes on the X Factor, small indie films, music videos, and documentaries. Bailey joined Health Freedom Florida after moving to the East Coast, becoming co-president of the grassroots organization in 2019. While at Health Freedom Florida, she successfully filed a state bill designed to stop discrimination based on your health status. She joined SHF in the fall of 2020.

“God placed a calling on my heart back in 2008 to be a part of something bigger for Him. Twelve years later, the opportunity came knocking to help others lean into their natural-born rights and take a stand for themselves and their families. I knew this is where I was called to be, and I have never looked back.”

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