Saturday, June 1, 2024

It's "Heimlich Maneuver Day" - meanwhile Cincinnati's notorious Heimlich Institute continues to crumble

Today, our nation celebrates National Heimlich Maneuver Day - along with National Nail Polish Day, National Olive Day, and National Say Something Nice Day. 

As Sidebar readers know, the Heimlich Institute is a Cincinnati nonprofit which for decades circulated my father's deadly quackery: infecting patients with malaria to supposedly "cure" cancer, Lyme Disease, and AIDS; the Heimlich maneuver for drowning rescue, whose use resulted in dozens of poor outcome cases including children; the Heimlich maneuver to treat asthma and cystic fibrosis, and other frauds.

Therefore, in the spirit of National Say Something Nice Day, I have something nice to say about this vile enterprise. 

It's on life support.

From Letter from Henry J. Heimlich, M.D., published in the Winter 1998 issue of the Heimlich Institute's "Caring World" newsletter, here's some history (emphasis added):
The mission of The Heimlich Institute is "Benefiting Humanity Through Health and Peace." When Deaconess Associations Inc. invited the Institute to become affiliated and to move into the Deaconess Hospital complex, it brought together two organizations with the same goal – saving lives. Most meaningful for me is that the creativity of The Heimlich Institute research will now continue in perpetuity. Some say it will be for Cincinnati what the Pasteur Institute is for Paris.
From the same newsletter:

The work of one of the century’s most influential physicians will continue through a new partnership. In June, The Heimlich Institute became a member of Deaconess Associations Inc. Deaconess will assume responsibility for advancing and promoting the mission and vision of The Heimlich Institute in perpetuity.

Four years later, my wife Karen Shulman and I, along other determined critics, started chipping away at the dangerous scams being run out of the Heimlich Institute (HI), an effort that resulted in scores of mainstream print and broadcast reports.

Per this first-rate ABC7 Chicago expose by Chicago investigative reporter Chuck Goudie - in which "one of the century’s most influential physicians" hid behind my mother - by 2005 the HI was a shell; an empty office with no employees. 

Since then, it's been an "in name only" organization: no assets, no income, no nothing - except filing  near-blank annual IRS filings like this most recent 990-PF dated March 21, 2024.

In other words, "perpetuity" lasted less than seven years.

Here are the two remaining principals, my brother Phil Heimlich (a former high-profile elected official), and E. Anthony "Tony" Woods, the Cincinnati tycoon responsible for making the HI part of Deaconess Associations Inc. about 25 years ago.

Here's a good question.

Decades after the Heimlich Institute collapsed, why are they keeping this defunct organization alive, if only on paper?