This post is cross-posted on the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health blog.
Sometimes you can’t take people passionate about walking anywhere, that is, unless you are interested in changing everything, then you should go with them everywhere 🙂 .
Thanks to community colleague Khadijah Tribble (@TribbleME) and fellow organizers, a group of nurses, doctors, law enforcement professionals, and other civic leaders walked in Washington, DC’s Ward 8.
If you don’t know what is meant about Ward 8, not to worry, the blog way-back machine will bring you back to my very first meeting with Khadijah, where she walked us through her community (see: The People of Washington, DC’s Anacostia are Building a Culture of Health ).
What I love about yesterday, though, is that Khadijah instructed us to not focus on what wasn’t right with the community as we walked it. Instead, she asked us to focus on its beauty. And there’s a lot of beauty.
We were joined by a team from Seattle, including my physician colleagues Rosemary Agostini, MD, and Kim Holland, MD, who are community health evangelists as part of the magical health system of the future, Group Health Cooperative (@GroupHealth). They’ve been doing a ton of work to engage people around walking in their city, and have engaged collaborators in the Seattle Police Department, who also joined us.
And that’s when our learning experience went to the next level…
In true Rosemary Agostini fashion, she engaged a group of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department officers in Congress Heights to talk about community and engagement and safety. As you can tell from the photographs, it was a meaningful, authentic conversation.
On the way back to Ward 6, I got to learn about how community engagement and crime fighting work together to support a healthy community.
As it was said to me, “you don’t get information from people when you arrest them, you learn by engaging them.”
As usual, I see a lot of similarities to medicine and health care – disease fighting (or disease pre-emption) + member, patient, community involvement go a long way to understanding what creates health, and what prevents it.
I was really impressed by what I saw, by all the people involved. I obviously love learning, and I love learning how similar our perspectives are when it comes to ensuring that every person and community achieves their full potential. What is health care here for, and law enforcement, and civic leaders, and …. 🙂