Hidden Strengths of Vulnerable Populations – Strength Beyond our Walls – Presentation

Yesterday (also on National Doctor’s Day), I was treated to a refresher dose of Keith McCandless’ (@KeithMcCandless) liberating structures, as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (@RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows event called “Strength Beyond our Walls: Improving Transitions in Care and Empowering Patients Using Technology.”

RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows- Strength Beyond our Walls 53170RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows- Strength Beyond our Walls 53170 (View on Flickr)

Here’s the happy, savvy determined group, in action.

I was asked to participate by doing a 7 minute “shift and share” with the topic being the hidden strengths of a vulnerable population. That wasn’t hard to put together 🙂 .

My slides are below. The quote on the first slide is from Mother Teresa, whose organization ran an HIV care facility in Washington, DC, that was at one time protested by neighbors who believed that HIV could be transmitted through the air.

Strength Beyond Our Walls : Hidden Strengths of Vulnerable Populations from Ted Eytan, MD

I started the 7 minutes with a 4 minute video produced by the World Bank (if the video doesn’t display on your mobile device, you can view it here):

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…to illustrate the impact of isolation and social exclusion. In health and health care, people and groups suffer exclusion, sometimes purposefully with devastating consequences. History not remembered is bound to be repeated.

The hidden strength in this case is easy to find – transformational leadership, of the kind I rarely see in the medical profession.

I’m thinking of selflessness, humility, dedication, brilliance, and inclusion. This is both on the part of the people in the LGBTQ population as well as their care providers (doctors, nurses, social workers, attorneys). They are not just good clinicians/professionals, they are the best clinicians/professionals in the world.

They innovate every day with zero resources and an intrinsic drive to produce health. They are the people other humans want to be around, including me.

More photos from the day yesterday. Thanks for learning and leading!

Special thanks to Lisa Salazar (@lisanow) from the Vancouver School of Theology, for sharing early results of her data about the strengths of the transgender population.


This was such an awesome event, as one of the RWJF Nurse Fellows, I cannot say enough about how much I learned from the process, including the interviews with consumers who shared thier stories of strength and innovation before the summit so we could share them with the amazing group who gathered to share thier wisdon in DC! Thanks to all for your participation!- Marni


So delighted to experience it with you and the team. I gleaned several insights about leadership and respect. Thanks for being with me/us,


Ted Eytan, MD