2015 | 2014 | 2013 |
Working with communities to improve the conditions in which residents live, work and play is at the center of my role as a community coach. Community coaches—part of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaborative program between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute—work with communities to create their shared vision for health by reviewing the community’s needs and exploring potential partnerships and strategies that advance a culture of health.
Native American Heritage Month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories, and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native Americans. It provides an opportunity to educate all Americans about American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Tribes, to raise awareness about the unique challenges Native communities have faced historically and continue to face today, and the ways in which Tribal leaders and members have worked to conquer these challenges.
The Root Cause Coalition (TRCC) was created with the goal of harnessing the leadership power of health care and community organizations to launch strategies to create positive change, improve individual health and well-being and deliver sustainable results. The Coalition is a national non-profit that, with members that include Humana, Ascension Health, Dignity Health, Loma Linda Health, the American Hospital Association, Feeding America and others is dedicated to addressing the root causes of health disparities by focusing on hunger and other social determinants to reverse the epidemic of preventable health conditions. The Coalition was launched last October and co-founded by ProMedica and the AARP Foundation.
As a resident of the Tidewater region, I am aware of the unique challenges and health disparities faced by rural minority populations. These include food deserts, lower health care utilization rates, greater uninsured populations, higher mortality rates and access issues such as transportation and lack of medical facilities in rural communities (National Rural Health Association , 2016).
I teach a community health course to undergraduate students in the Health Sciences Department at Wichita State University. As part of their service learning project, they will create an asset map by using a Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping system. GIS is a sophisticated computer based system that stores and captures information based on the earth’s geographic location. This will help them to identify the positive attributes of a community by manipulating the layers in the GIS..