Florida’s Collier County rejects CDC/NIH grant, logging an important win for health freedom

On February 14, 2023, the Collier County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously (5-0) to reject a $1.2 million-dollar grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including refunding the $167,000 that has already been spent. Although the grant was promoted as being for “health education,” the COVID-19 Extra Mile Migrant Farmworker grant appears to have been more focused on coercing those in poorer communities to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

And worst of all, in classic side-stepping of informed consent, the information provided about the shot made no mention of side effects or the fact that the jab does not even prevent the injected from contracting COVID-19.

Attorney Jeff Childers explained on his Substack, “the CDC’s outdated ‘education materials’ were indistinguishable from pharma marketing materials. In fact, it’s worse than that. Pharma is required by law to state their drugs’ side effects in their drug ads. But now they’ve found a way to get around that requirement: by having official U.S. government agencies do the marketing for them. It’s so simple!”

But after a presentation by health freedom advocates, “Collier’s commissioners saw right through the scheme, and appear to consider the CDC’s taxpayer-funded vaccine ‘educational materials’ are really just dressed-up pharmaceutical ‘false advertising,’” wrote Childers.

Naples Daily News reported that, “More than a dozen residents who support the Medical Freedom Sub-committee of the Collier County Republican Executive Committee attended the commission meeting. Many spoke of harms from the vaccine and deceptions by the federal government that the vaccines are safe.”

What was the grant intended to do?

Jamie Ulmer, president and CEO of the HealthCare Network (which administered the grant) spoke prior to the vote in support of keeping the CDC money. In a letter on January 23, 2022, Ulmer had assured the commissioners that the $1.2 million in NIH funds and educational materials were for educational purposes only and “…at no time are community members advised to receive care or to follow CDC guidelines such as getting vaccinated or wearing a mask” (emphasis added).

One of the health freedom advocates was Karen Kingston, a biotech analyst with over 20 years of experience. She wrote after the meeting, “I was given an opportunity to present a regulatory med-legal analysis of some of the COVID-19 materials provided by the NIH CHW [Community Health Worker] program (advocated by Mr. Ulmer as non-promotional), as well as the harmful effects of the COVID-19 injections.”

In addition to providing details about the safety signals that have been seen with the shots, she also showed that Ulmer was mistaken (or perhaps untruthful) about the purpose of the “vaccine education.”

“The NIH-funded materials clearly promote mask wearing and COVID-19 ‘vaccination’ for adults and children as young as 6 years of age,” stated Kingston.

“Commissioner Dan Kowal, a U.S. Army veteran and retired law enforcement officer, had noted that the CHW ‘educational’ materials only provided ‘favorable’ information and did not disclose the negative effects of the inoculations,” Kingston continued. “I emphasized that the CHW materials and objectives were in direct contradiction of the Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo’s recommendations against COVID-19 ‘vaccination’ of healthy male adults and children.”

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo has recently stated that he does not recommend COVID shots for young, healthy men. He has also sent a letter to the CDC and the FDA demanding that they inform the American people about the dangers of the jab. Ladapo: “Probably most every American would be surprised to hear the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines specifically are associated with an increased risk of appendicitis, Bell’s palsy, shingles (which can be severe), change in sperm motility and sperm function and sperm count. And most recently, we are finding that they are present in breast milk.”

Ulmer said his organization has been working with Boston-based Partners in Health on the grant’s mission to educate migrant workers in Immokalee about a variety of medical issues.

Some of the grant funding was used to hire and train six community health workers from the Immokalee area and send them to the migrant camps. Ulmer said the community workers speak the same languages as the migrant workers and can “connect with them on their health.”

Beth Sherman, who also attended the meeting and is part of the Medical Freedom Subcommittee, said Partners in Health has funding support from big tech companies and pharmaceutical companies.

Local activists stand for health freedom

Another subcommittee member, Scott Kiley from Marco Island, explained that the group had learned that the Collier County Commissioners accepted a CDC grant to provide health education and health care services to the underprivileged farm workers in Immokalee. “When we researched it,” said Kiley, “we found out that the people that were providing the health care were kind of like the who’s who of the globalists, funded by Big Pharma, funded by Bill Gates, funded by George Soros and … that it was a program to get injections into arms. That’s really, at its core, what it was.”

Sherman said the health care workers were testing the migrant farm workers and “if they got a positive COVID case test back, they got between $400 and $1200. … It’s incentive to drive up the case numbers, in my opinion.”

Subcommittee member Jill Kiley added, “We felt that they were coercing people into getting vaccines instead of giving them treatments that have been out forever. They weren’t handing out therapeutics in any way to help them, so we fought back.” When asked why, she said, “Because these shots are killing people, they’re injuring people. They were also targeting a specific population which happens to be the migrant farm workers that produce food for us. So that’s a real concern, too, in terms of how they’re affecting our food chain.”

“I don’t think we should be taking any money from the government,” said Sherman, explaining that there were strings attached to the grant. The county would be forced to follow directives from the HHS and the CDC. “You would have to do isolation, quarantine, and [any] current or future directives from the HHS secretary,” Sherman said. “We just wanted to cut all ties, wash the hands clean. We don’t want any involvement from the government or the CDC. They’re not an elected body and I don’t think the citizens of the county should have to follow any directives that they request.”

Standing up pays off

“And so, our group of activists came together,” said Scott Kiley. “We fought hard and we educated the commissioners. The commissioners came around and they agreed to send the money back. All of it. It was amazing. Not only did they agree to send the amount of money they didn’t spend back, but they agreed to even reimburse for the money they spent. It was a great victory and I believe that we woke up the commissioners to what’s really going on with the COVID injections.”

“Commissioner Chris Hall made a motion to return the $1.2mm NIH grant,” added Kingston, “which was seconded by Commissioner William McDaniel. All five commissioners unanimously voted to support the motion and return the funds.”

The victory didn’t happen overnight. It took many emails and phone calls over the course of a year. “It takes a lot of people voicing their opinions to make some traction,” said Sherman. “You asked what changed in our strategy and I believe I said we put on more pressure and publicity, which is true. However, at the exact time, a group of us did a 21-day fast and prayer. Hours and hours of prayer dedicated to praying for our commissioners. This is 100% God’s win!”



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:  Stand for Health Freedom says no to government overreach and yes to humans making their own personal decisions about how to care for their bodies. Looking to get involved? Take action here and tell your local lawmakers that you want choice when it comes to medical decisions, particularly vaccines.


Step Three: Knowledge is power. Know your rights! Stay in the know with SHF’s free printable resources on topics like the COVID mandates, the CDC’s immunization schedule, religious rights in health care, and more.


Jill Hines

Directory of Advocacy
A former banker turned homeschool mom, Jill Hines began researching alternatives to conventional medicine in 2010 and what she discovered changed the trajectory of her life. She corrected a worrisome health issue, and embraced a natural approach to wellness. Advocating for informed consent and parental rights became a full-time mission when she joined the board of the Georgia Coalition for Vaccine Choice and later became the co-director of Health Freedom Louisiana. Due to her advocacy efforts during the COVID crisis, Jill was one of 25 Louisianans selected by Central City News as “a hero of the constitutional crisis.” She was also presented the Impact Award for Outstanding Public Service from the government watchdog organization Citizens for a New Louisiana. Jill now represents hundreds of millions of Americans who experienced censorship due to the Biden administration's efforts to suppress disfavored speech as a plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit Missouri v. Biden. Jill holds a marketing degree from Louisiana Tech University and now passionately “sells” health freedom full-time. Serving as Stand for Health Freedom’s advocacy director provides an incredible opportunity to advance the growing movement to preserve the sacred right to refuse unwanted medical interventions for ourselves and our children without fear of retribution.
“We have lived through a terrifying societal, psychological, and medical experiment which afforded us a knowledge that our forefathers tried to impart and we can no longer ignore: Our freedom is tenuous. For our children’s sake, the time is now to take a stand for health freedom.”

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.”

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.”


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.”

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.”

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 Associate Director, Bailey truly keeps the organizational boat afloat. Working closely with our State Directors in each state, she ensures that SHF has calls-to-action for health-freedom 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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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