Meet the Recipients of the Second Annual “Susie Ellis Scholarship for Equity in Wellness”

The successful scholarship program that enables recipients to attend an annual Global Wellness Summit received twice the number of applications in its second year and doubles number of scholarships awarded to this year’s Summit.

This year, the Global Wellness Institute’s (GWI) Susie Ellis Scholarship for Equity in Wellness received an overwhelming response, with 215 applications pouring in from 61 countries, showcasing the heightened awareness and interest in global wellness equity. In light of these numbers, and to further support deserving individuals, the GWI is delighted to award four scholarships in 2023, doubling the number given in 2022.  

The scholarship fund offers invaluable opportunities for deserving individuals to participate in the Global Wellness Summit (GWS), GWI’s esteemed counterpart and the foremost conference on the wellness industry. This program serves as a bridge, granting access to individuals who may not have had the means to attend the Summit independently. This year’s Summit, to be held in Miami, Florida, US, from November 6-9, promises to be a transformative event, bringing together leading experts, innovators and influencers from around the globe. 

“Through their unwavering passion and dedication to the wellness industry, these scholarship recipients will no doubt make a profound impact and contribute positively to the global wellness community,” said Nancy Davis, GWI’s chief creative officer & executive director. “This scholarship lets us offer those who have perhaps dreamt of attending the Summit an opportunity to participate in conversations with global wellness leaders, exposing them to the topics and issues that are shaping the business of wellness now and into the future.” 

The establishment of the scholarship fund was made possible by the generous contributions of Katrine and Bill Formby, Rick Stollmeyer, Lynne and Victor Brick, and the Szekely Family Foundation. Since its inception, the fund has experienced remarkable growth through the annual live auction held during the GWS gala event. 

GWI relied heavily on input and guidance from two of its advisory board members, Hannah Messerli, PhD, and Nicola Finley, MD, to create a shortlist from the applicant pool. Subsequently, the GWS Board of Advisors voted, resulting in the four deserving recipients. This year’s recipients are: 

Rita Prasad-Ildes, co-founder of Australia’s World Wellness Group, formed with the mission of addressing health inequities for migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.

Jonathan Imperial, a senior advisor for the Queens Borough President’s Office. His role involves providing community wellness support to the largest public housing community in the United States.

Michelle Saudan
, the founder of Dubai-based Amanzi Wellbeing. Her platform, dedicated to expanding awareness of Africa’s unique wellness assets, achieves this through wellness retreats.

Theodora WarriorHealy, an Indigenous empowerment facilitator based in Canada, whose ultimate goal is to offer wrap-around care for Indigenous healing. 

The scholarship is named for Susie Ellis, GWS chair & CEO, who has been at the helm of the Summit and its sister non-profit organization, the GWI, since inception. Ellis expressed her excitement about the scholarship program’s growth, stating: “The doubling of scholarships awarded this year is a testament to the increased recognition of the importance of equity in wellness. We are delighted to support this exceptional group of individuals and provide them with a platform to contribute to the ongoing mission of making wellness accessible to all.” 

Learn more about the scholarship, including how to donate or apply, here.  

About the Global Wellness Institute: The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3), is considered the leading global research and educational resource for the global wellness industry and is known for introducing major industry initiatives and regional events that bring together leaders to chart the future. GWI positively impacts global health and wellness by educating public institutions, businesses and individuals on how they can work to prevent disease, reduce stress and enhance the overall quality of life. Its mission is to empower wellness worldwide. 

About the Global Wellness Summit: The Global Wellness Summit is an organization that brings together leaders and visionaries to positively shape the future of the $4.4 trillion global wellness economy. In addition to an annual conference, held at a different location around the globe, GWS also hosts regular virtual gatherings, including Wellness Master Classes and collaborative Wellness Sector Spotlights, and each year holds an in-person Wellness Real Estate & Communities Symposium. The organization’s annual Global Wellness Trends Report offers expert-based predictions on the future of wellness that are oft-quoted in the media. The 17th annual GWS will be held in Qatar, November 6-9, 2023.