Welcome to my 2020 year-end newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different stories and initiatives on my website and in my LinkedIn articles or posts. Join me in identifying and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community and healthcare redesign.
Shannah’s Insights and Reflections
Yearend of a year we could not have predicted and that will have impacts for many years to come feels unsettling. There are many opportunities to make fundamental changes that will promote health equity and upstream investments in living conditions. These could strengthen our country and communities if embraced and sustained. There is enormous work to be done if we choose to take a bold path, but the benefits would be worth it.
Two year-end inspirational highlights. The first is the story of Jack Geiger MD who sadly recently passed away. It shows that with determination, enabling improved living conditions as a part of the healthcare mission can and has been done in more difficult times than ours. In the early 60s he established and transformed community health centers in South Boston and the Mississippi Delta with a social medicine model that addressed social and economic needs.
The second highlight is community fridges to help feed hungry neighbors. The number of community-led stocked refrigerators has increased at least 500% in the past 8 months and the movement shows a combination of contributions and partnerships that include volunteers, restaurants, stadiums and financial donations coming together to make everyone better off.
Welcome to the March
2020 newsletter. You can find past newsletters with additional background materials, and different
stories and initiatives in my LinkedIn articles and on my website.
Join me in improving
and coordinating initiatives that advance health, health equity and community
and healthcare redesign.
Nothing in March is
business as usual and this newsletter is no exception. I gather my intel on
living conditions and health from google alerts. The first Coronavirus online
story that surfaced (based on my search terms) was on March 8th
about the first case in Kansas and that she was isolating at home. Just this
statement underscores how living conditions or social determinants will be part
of the fabric in which people manage through this pandemic. “Isolating” and
“home” are two fundamental factors for how individuals who test positive will
fair. Do they have a support network, albeit remote, that will help them
through this challenge? Do they have a home in which they can
isolate/self-quarantine, manage needed services and resources and avoid
There was no further mention in my alerts until a COVID-19 Q&A on the 20th and an article identifying protection for rideshare drivers. This article discussed helping drivers know if they have been exposed to the virus, particularly medical rideshare drivers who are critical for patients needing rides. Drivers are at greater risk for exposure from patients and in turn are potentially exposing others. The drivers may also want riders to wear protective gear that is increasingly difficult for even healthcare workers to get. Since that story the intersection of the pandemic and living conditions was regularly reported.