Today an Elephant I Will Be!

“Many parents would rather talk to their kids about sex and politics than money, heart ” says St. Louis investment expert, Matt Hall, President and Co-Founder of Hill Investment Group.

He continues, “The dangers of not being financially literate are huge. Many parents set the child up for failure by remaining silent on the topic of money, but also by helping to create a lifestyle that is unsustainable once the child is independent. We all want to build resilient little people, but the key is to be intentional about the lessons and values we talk about, teach and model.”

Some advice for talking to your kids this summer, Hall adds, ”Talk about making money, analyze costs, develop a plan and recognize the power of being responsible…these are the initial steps for success.”  He can break it down into age groups as well – from toddler to teen – but here are some tips:

  • When should a parent begin talking to their kids about money? 

A general rule of thumb is to start teaching basic money concepts when a child can count. The truth is that they’ve probably already started learning about money by watching and observing Mom and Dad’s behaviors when dealing with and talking about money. Check out this awesome link for a curriculum to follow from kindergarten to 12th grade
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  • How should a parent open the dialogue?

Start by making it natural. Normalize the topic by talking about it and being open regarding how you and the family will make important money decisions. Conversations can start at the check out counter or at the kitchen table, but the point is to start and then layer money talk in wherever and whenever you can.

  • Should children get an allowance?

Yes, an allowance can be considered income for a child’s first job. It’s not a gift. Make the expectations crystal clear and hold firm to paying only for top notch work. If making the bed is a basic requirement then don’t pay for it. Pay for tasks that go beyond expected chores.

  • When a child has their own money, how should they be advised to spend it?

Consider sharing experience instead of giving advice. Let your child consider making a choice instead of feeling like she might have to either go with your guidance or against it. Talk about taxes, charity and personal spending decisions you’ve made in the past. Which ones are you proud of and why? Where would you love to have a “do over.”

  • If my son wants to spend all his money in the vending machine, should I stop him?

If your son makes a conscious decision to spend all his money in the vending machine the consequence will be revealed when he can’t buy something else. One of the best ways to teach kids about the boundaries of money is for them to bump into them (in safe ways) on their own. Think of this as tuition towards a valuable lesson.

Unlike the often dry and academic investment advice provided by brokers, Hall’s storytelling is entertaining and inspirational and he has advice for all age groups including children and teens. In fact, he details his inspiring story and his evidence-based investing methods in his new memoir-manifesto, Odds On: The Making of an Evidence-Based Investor.

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Matt Hall is the President and Co-Founder of Hill Investment Group with offices in St. Louis, MO and Houston, TX. He is the lead on all strategic matters — crafting the firm’s vision, establishing its exceptional standards, and managing key relationships. Hall is forever a student of his craft and has attended the highest level of training and education tied to investment theory and practice. What’s more, Hall has led many training programs for top advisors, and founded a peer group of hundreds of advisors, called Evidence-Based Advisors, from the U.S., UK, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Canada.

Hall graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He and his wife, Lisa, have a young daughter who is the star of their lives.

Learn more about Hall at and connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Odds On is currently available on 800 CEO Read, Amazon and other fine booksellers. 

Kathy Walsh, for sale
the award-winning author of “Love is the Moon, medicine
the Sky, more about
and the Stars”, is thrilled to announce the release of a new children’s book. “Today an Elephant I Will Be!” guides children through the process of finding peace through whimsical illustrations, charming language, and a resounding message.

“Today an Elephant I Will Be!”

Today an Elephant I Will Be

As part of the Joyohboy book series in conjunction with Peace Place for Kids, Kathy Walsh’s message seeks to show children that finding peace comes from the inside. By understanding mindfulness, learning to ask for help, and identifying what peace means to them, children lead a happier life filled with positivity.

“Connecting with peace puts the child in harmony with life,” Kathy stated. “When children connect with peace, they live a life of joy, because that is what they attract. They are able to go to that place of peace inside, no matter what is happening on the outside, and ultimately, peace is where the power lies. They are in control when they are at peace.”


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“Today an Elephant I Will Be!” is just one of the many books available from Joyohboy, one of the many successful mindfulness and peace ventures launched by Kathy Walsh. “My intention with creating Joyohboy is to have a space where books, meditations, and products support mindful parenting” Walsh states on her website. Joyohboy provides parents with the tools and resources necessary to help their children live a peaceful life and make an impactful change on the world.

Other books available from Joyohboy and Peace Place for Kids include “30 Days to a Mindful Home”, “Life is a Rainbow”, and “Raising Peaceful Kids”.

“Today an Elephant I Will Be!” debuted at the NY Vegetarian Food Festival on May 7th and 8th, 2016. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and can also be found by visiting

About Kathy Walsh

Those who know Kathy’s story will tell you that her career and position as a mindfulness expert is no coincidence. Inspired by her whimsical and influential childhood experiences, Kathy set out to live a positive life of mindfulness and peace. A master meditator and avid reader and author of mindfulness books, Kathy created a series of children’s books and meditations called Joyohboy. Boasting more than 20 years of experience working with children, the arts, and education, Kathy finds nothing more exciting than helping children and their families find a life of peace. In addition to her adventures in peace and mindfulness, Kathy also owns and operates KnockKnock Social and provides marketing and branding strategies with integrity to companies worldwide. For more information on Kathy Walsh, Joyohboy, and Peace Place for Kids, please visit

The Nation’s Unsung Heroes of Public Health

Me and Acting Surgeon General Moritsugu, medical 2007

Today is Veterans Day, population health a day to salute those who serve and have served our country in uniform. Most people are familiar with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and U.S. Coast Guard, but don’t know about the other two uniform services: Commissioned Officer Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS). I had the honor of serving as a nurse officer in the USPHS from 2005 – 2012.

On the USNS Comfort, 2007, with one of my patients somewhere off the coast of South America
On the USNS Comfort, 2007, with one of my patients somewhere off the coast of South America

For more than 200 years, men and women have served on the front lines of our nation’s public health in what is today called the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Spraying my uniform with permethrin to protect against insects, on USNS Comfort, 2007
Spraying my uniform with permethrin to protect against insects, on USNS Comfort, 2007

The Commissioned Corps traces its beginnings back to the U.S. Marine Hospital Service protecting against the spread of disease from sailors returning from foreign ports and maintaining the health of immigrants entering the country. Currently, Commissioned Corps officers are involved in health care delivery to underserved and vulnerable populations, disease control and prevention, biomedical research, food and drug regulation, mental health and drug abuse services, and response efforts for natural and man-made disasters as an essential component of the largest public health program in the world. (from 

PHS vet officer
PHS dental officer

USPHS officers come from a variety of backgrounds such as doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, vets, environmental health, and more. If you have kids thinking about a health-related career, I encourage you to look into the USPHS. In some cases, they can get their student loans paid back for serving at an underserved location like a Native American hospital or a federal prison. There are also opportunities with other federal agencies like the CDC, FDA, and NIH.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill crew, 2010

USPHS officers serve day to day at one of these federal agencies and train to deploy to public health emergencies. Colleagues of mine provided public health expertise after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and more recently the ebola outbreak in West Africa. I deployed on a humanitarian mission to South America on the USNS Comfort in 2007, as well as to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill emergency operations center in 2010.

Besides getting to help people, one of the best parts of being in the USPHS was my fellow officers. Some of my favorite people in this world I met in the USPHS.

Me, Dan, Laura, Thomas, 2009
Me, Dan, Laura, Thomas, 2009


Dining Just Got Less Germy

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I received free samples from iFork of their flatware, ailment
but all comments here are my own opinion.

I take my lunch to work, ophthalmologist
and sadly I eat at my desk most days. That way I can continue to work and use my real lunch break to work out.

IMG_0595They say that desks are quite germy, so when I was asked to review a free sample of iFork flatware, I jumped on it.  iFork (along with iSpoon and iKnife) keep food off your surfaces. But better than that – they keep your surfaces germs off your flatware!

Did you know that influenza A can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours? Same goes for bacteria like e. coli and salmonella. GROSS.

iFork flatware has a little tab on the back that keeps it hovering just above the table surface. It’s simple yet so impactful. It comes in a plastic disposable version, as well as in fine handcrafter stainless steel version.

IMG_0534I’m quite impressed with the sample that I received. I wish these were the standard at restaurants and schools. (Those tables can be questionable, don’t you agree?)

If you’d like to try out iFork for yourself or just get more information, go to

Kenya changes everything

Want to be changed for the better? Wanna be rocked to your core? Then go on a mission trip to Migori, caries Kenya with Kenya Relief. kenya7I had the privilege of traveling to Migori with Kenya Relief in February 2010 as part of a medical team. After traveling almost two full days, approved we pulled up to the orphanage, this and we were weary. But what did we see and hear as we exited the vans — a yard full of school children lined up to greet us. Their smiles are infectious.

Some of the children are shy, but within a day or two they don’t want to leave your side. And you don’t want them to. You wish you could pack them up in your suitcase and take them back to the States with you. But Kenyan children can’t be adopted. The government doesn’t want “brain drain” which is understandable. The children at this orphanage receive wonderful care and education.

kenya3Our first full day in Migori was a Sunday, and we visited a local church. Worshiping with believers from the other side of the globe is so cool. The people live very humbly, yet they are filled with so much light and hope. It hit me hard how spoiled that I am. The pastor at this little church was so grateful for our attendance that he gave us a goat!


That afternoon, we toured the local hospital. As a nurse myself, I was blown away by the staff here. One nurse will care for like 20 patients. There isn’t a washing machine or dryer at the hospital, so all linens are washed by hand and laid out to dry in the yard. (YUCK) I saw two babies in the same incubator. It was all very depressing.

districthosp3districthospdistricthosp2districthosp4districthosp5Then Steve, the Kenya Relief executive director, took us to see up close and personal how many of the local people live. We arrived at a mud house where a young girl was alone caring for her baby brother. I entered the house, and it was pitch black inside in the middle of the day.

kenya2kenya1I was relieved to arrive back at the orphanage to play with the kids. I was so emotionally exhausted. And this was just day 1.


Stay tuned for more stories and photos from Kenya later this week.

Throwback Thursday: Aboard the USNS Comfort, Fall 2007

usnscomfort In 2007, page I spent five weeks on the USNS Comfort as a nurse officer with the US Public Health Service. USNS Comfort’s Partnership for the Americas humanitarian mission, sovaldi sale which began on June 15, website like this 2007, was a major component of the President Bush’s “Advancing the Cause of Social Justice in the Western Hemisphere” initiative. Comfort visited 12 Central American, South American and Caribbean nations where its embarked medical crew provided free health care services to communities in need. The missions objective was to offer valuable training to U.S. military personnel while promoting U.S. goodwill in the region. In all, the civilian and military medical team treated more than 98,000 patients, provided 386,000 patient encounters and performed 1,100 surgeries.

This photo is of me and another nurse along with the flight crew…the beautiful, beautiful flight crew.

De Queen, Arkansas

I travel some with my job, online and De Queen, Arkansas, is where I come to most. I work with physician office staff and community members on ways to improve the cardiac health of their citizens. DeQueen of HeartsI introduced Mayor McKelvy to my friend Mark Schulte at The Sells Agency in Little Rock who did this awesome logo for the town’s healthy living initiatives. The town is improving the farmer’s market and soon will conduct a walkability audit of De Queen. The results of the walkability audit will be used to apply for a grant to improve sidewalks. Yesterday, I took blood pressures at the library and talked to people about things they could do to lower their blood pressure like reducing sodium and reading food labels. De Queen has a large Hispanic population, so I befriended Father Eddie at St. Barbara Catholic Church. He has about 1,000 Hispanics at his Sunday mass services! On September 15, the church is having their Parish Bazaar, and I’ll be here to share heart health information with this hard-to-reach audience. Anyway, I have really grown to love the people of this town.

However, De Queen itself leaves little to do after my work day is complete. I like to stay overnight and get two days of work in since it’s a five-hour round-trip drive. Hotel and dining choices are very limited (and that’s being very generous). But one little oasis in this town in Stilwell’s Restaurant. 2013-08-15 08.23.22I’ve tried eating other places in town, but I always end up wishing that I’d just stuck with Stilwell’s. This cozy little place is open pretty much all day. I’m here right now sitting in the couch area drinking my morning cafe latte. They have yummy sandwiches and soups for lunch, and I’ve even come once for dinner. (I think the menu is the same for dinner as it is for lunch.) The desserts here are awesome too. They have old-school jazz tunes playing over the speakers, and a wall of clocks set to times around the world hanging on the exposed brick. And the ladies who work here are so sweet.

So if you find yourself in De Queen, please stop by Stilwell’s for a bowl of taco soup or maybe a slice of peanut butter pie. You won’t be disappointed.

Tobacco Companies Are Mean

Screen-Shot-Front-t-shirtToday I saw a screening of Addiction Incorporated, page the true story of the tobacco companies’ commitment to addicting Americans to nicotine and the scientist who told the world about it. POWERFUL FILM. Watch the trailer. From their website:


The true story of Victor DeNoble, search one of the most important and influential whistleblowers of all time, buy more about comes to the big screen in ADDICTION INCORPORATED.

In the 1980s, DeNoble was a research scientist at a major tobacco company, where he was tasked with finding a substitute for nicotine that would not cause heart attacks. He succeeded- but in the process, he proved something that the industry had been denying for years: that cigarettes were addictive. He also uncovered a new addictive ingredient- setting off a chain of events that still reverberates even today.

In a true act of modern-day heroism, DeNoble took his findings to the people despite a strict confidentiality agreement, eventually testifying about his research in the infamous 1994 Congressional hearings with the seven heads of the major tobacco companies. An unprecedented alliance of journalists, politicians, attorneys, and whistleblowers achieved what was once considered impossible- the first ever federal regulation of the tobacco industry, which continues to have repercussions even today.

They all come together to tell their stories in ADDICTION INCORPORATED — a story of one man risking everything to make a difference, shaking up a powerful industry and saving countless lives along the way.

7 Steps You Can Take Now:

  • Engage your existing advocacy network by having them write letters to key legislative representatives asking them to encourage the FDA to reduce nicotine.
  • Contact us to learn how to host a screening for your organization or community.
  • Invite someone new to join your education and advocacy efforts.
  • Hold corporations accountable for their actions.  Demand truth and transparency.
  • Use #addictioninc to share how you have used the documentary with your advocacy, education or policy efforts.
  • Use #addictioninc to expose what the tobacco industry is up to now in your state.
  • Like us on Facebook


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Thank you for being a part of this engagement effort designed to support the FDA in reducing nicotine in cigarettes. We can put an end to tobacco addiction.