Meet Joy Stephenson-Laws | Healthcare Attorney and Proactive Health Advocate

We had the good fortune of connecting with Joy Stephenson-Laws and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joy, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?

The notion that you must have the classic three, five or ten-year business plans. In my view, this static approach all but sets you up for failure, especially in today’s dynamic business environment. I say this because often people become so enamored with, and committed to, their business plans that they often
don’t see when it is time let go of something, change course, and move on to the next thing. We all have great ideas that don’t always turn into something great.

I am not saying that having goals is not important. Without them, we would have no idea where we want to go with something. I don’t sail but I usually enjoy watching it. Why? With this sport you almost never follow a straight line to get from Point A to Point B. The same is true of a business. We need to accept that we don’t control outcomes. We can only control our efforts in doing the best job we can every day while keeping our ultimate goals in sight. If we do this, and we surround ourselves with the best possible team, the rest will take care of itself.

What should our readers know about your business?
I am a healthcare attorney and the founding and managing partner of Stephenson, Acquisto & Colman, the healthcare industry’s premier litigation law firm. I started my law firm in 1989 with three people and it has grown to nearly 100 people, many of whom have been with the firm for well over 10 years.
We are also happy to have a San Diego location in Carlsbad!

Chiltonic is an extension of my healthcare passion. At Chiltonic, we incorporate the philosophy of Proactive Health Labs (pH Labs for short), a nonprofit I founded in 2012 to give people the information and the tools they need to proactively protect their health. This philosophy is to prevent disease before we have any symptoms or, in the case of chronic diseases, more effectively manage them. We should not wait to get sick before taking steps to protect our health. With Chiltonic, the goal is to identify those health care and wellness modalities which can safely treat pain and help us feel and look well. I collaborated with a group of doctors to write Minerals: The Forgotten Nutrient, Your Secret Weapon
for Getting and Staying Healthy because I realized many people confused minerals with vitamins and failed to appreciate the importance of these nutrients.

I am proud to be on the Board of Directors at Interfaith Community Services here in San Diego. It is a nonprofit which provides food, housing, employment, healthcare and other emergency resources for local people in crisis.

In addition, I am the Honorary Consul for Jamaica in Los Angeles. To tell you a little about me, I was born and raised in Jamaica. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had an interest in health and what I could do to stay healthy. I probably got this from my brother, a cardiologist. My mother, who was extremely proud of my brother, encouraged me to become a doctor as well. I had originally planned on following my brother’s path, but toward the end of my college
studies, I realized that I was more interested in practicing law than medicine. So, I continued to law school and found a way to combine my interest in the law with my passion for healthcare. I can tell you that both my mom and my brother were quite happy with my choice!

Over the more than three decades that I have been in healthcare, I must have reviewed more than 50,000 medical records. One thing that struck me was that had most patients known how to stay well, or had their diseases been diagnosed and treated before symptoms occurred, they could have enjoyed much better treatment outcomes. This belief was reinforced by my personal experience of losing loved ones, colleagues, and friends to diseases which, had they been diagnosed early enough and treated more effectively, could either have been controlled or cured.

I clearly saw that the better educated people are about how to proactively protect their health, the more benefits of a healthy life they will enjoy. These include a greater sense of well-being, enhanced performance of daily activities, more energy, disease prevention, and a speedier recovery and better outcome from any medical treatment they may need. And being more educated also allows people to better partner with their healthcare providers in making choices about lifestyle and healthcare management. I always say that an educated patient is a healthier patient.

I also saw that taking care of our health meant more than simply going to the doctor for an annual physical, taking vitamins or prescribed medications, eating a healthy diet, and exercising more. It also meant knowing how to manage one’s health, checking to make sure that all the steps someone takes are working and checking that their body is getting all the critical nutrients it needs.

Being proactive also means always being curious about the wide variety of therapies that exist today, such as cryotherapy, red-light therapy, lymphatic drainage, and therapeutic massages available through Chiltonic, that complement and can enhance other steps you are already taking to protect your health.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I met many of my friends through golf so any “best time ever” would have to include a round (or more) of golf at one or more of the many beautiful and challenging golf courses we have here in San Diego. I am lucky to be able to quickly access the golf courses at Aviara, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas Ranch and
the Bridges.

I also am an avid hiker (are you seeing a trend here with outdoor activities?), so my out-of-town guests already know to bring good hiking shoes. Living in Southern California, we are blessed to have literally hundreds of miles of hiking trails offering a variety of terrains ranging from mountainous to flat, and
from costal to inland. It is a great opportunity to clear the mind and give us a chance to really enjoy each other’s company. Perhaps we would start with the Bataquitos Trail in Aviara where they could enjoy hiking and beauty. Torrey Pines is another of my favorite hiking trails.

Some of my friends enjoy cycling and when they visit, I take the m to Cyclebar, Hillcrest for an exhilarating experience on the bike.

Another activity my guests enjoy while visiting is good food. My favorite spots include Goodanya, Chicks Natural (Encinitas) as well as the restaurants at the golf courses.

Finally, as my friends know, no visit with me is complete without a visit to Chiltonic for a chill experience. Cryotherapy and/or red-light therapy provides that recovery we all need after hiking or a game of golf so we can feel relaxed and ready for a good movie at one of the two Cinepolis luxury cinemas in Carlsbad.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I know it may sound trite, but that person would be my mother. She was my greatest influence and made it clear to me from an early age that education was the only ‘trust fund’ she would be leaving me. Her untimely death from preventable diseases like diabetes and hypertension influenced my curiosity about wellness and led to my education in the healthcare industry. I even dedicated a book I co-authored to her – Minerals: The Forgotten Nutrient, Your Guide to Getting and Staying Heathy .

From my mother, I acquired my curiosity and passion for learning – a passion that I still very much have and that accounts for my being a voracious reader. She also taught me that the key to getting ahead and accomplishing our goals is a combination of education and good, old fashioned grit and determination. Her belief in the importance of education can been seen in the mission and philosophy of my health-related companies – Proactive Health Labs, Chiltonic, Cyclebar at Hillcrest and the Law Firm.


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