On April 12, 2017, Be There San Diego convened stakeholders from across sectors to introduce the concept of an Accountable Community for Health (ACH) as a way for these partners to develop a shared approach to addressing the full spectrum of factors that affect community health and well-being.
Power of Partnerships
Ms. Kitty Bailey, Executive Director, Be There San Diego, welcomed the group and thanked everyone for taking the time to participate in this important conversation. She described the opportunity before the group – the opportunity to come together to make a lasting difference in the health of our communities. By forming an ACH and bringing together multiple sectors, organizations, interest groups, and community members, San Diego has the potential to unleash the power of partnerships to tackle the underlying contributors to preventable disease.
To better understand who was in the room and why they came, Kitty polled the group. Responses indicated:
• Participants represented healthcare, social services, education, housing, business, county government, the faith community, law enforcement and foundations.
• Half of the participants identified as upstream (e.g., policy, government agencies), a third as midstream (e.g., environment, housing) and the remaining downstream (e.g., medical providers, chronic disease) or unsure.
• People were excited about the possibility of greater alignment,
collaboration, creating thought partners, impact, discovery, teamwork, equity, and collective impact.
Dr. “Nick” Yphantides, Chief Medical Officer, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, welcomed everyone on behalf of the County of San Diego HHSA and the Board of Supervisors. He commented that he was excited about working with a group of “T-4 Social Venture Capitalists” – individuals willing to invest their time, treasure, talent, and tenacity in their community. He discussed the County’s initiative, Live Well San Diego, and how he looked forward to collaborating with participants to make a collective impact on the community. He then introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Robert K. Ross of The California Endowment.
Power of Inclusion
Dr. Robert Ross, CEO, The California Endowment, provided an overview of today’s political landscape. He commented that in the recent election, the narrative of exclusion trumped the narrative of inclusion. “This election laid bare the tearing of the nation’s civic soul.”
Dr. Ross commented that narratives can either strengthen communities or do enduring harm. He encouraged the audience to create a positive narrative based on authentic inclusion, grassroots participation, and advocacy.
He called for the inclusion of community members who bring enthusiasm, compassion and new ideas to our work. They can be our voices and our allies. He challenged San Diego to stand up its own version of health reform and to become an example to the rest of the country – to “go as far as we can see, then see how far we have come.”
Power of Community Solutions
Ms. Stacy Becker, Vice President, ReThink Health, provided the audience with a national perspective on how the ACH model works and what other groups are doing in communities across the country. Rather than limiting care to a doctor’s offices, this model encourages people living in a certain neighborhood to gather together and figure out how to fix health and well-being in the broadest terms considering both health and non-health factors. Once communities select one or more health issues to focus on, they create “accountability” by measuring whether their ideas worked.
Ms. Becker described how the ACH model encourages multi-sector partnerships including, for example, health care providers, public health, faith communities, education, law enforcement, and others. She outlined key challenges as well as what a successful ACH might accomplish. By working together, the goal is to improve coordination between agencies, resulting in better health for people living in a defined geographic region. Ms. Becker recommends looking for ways to fund these types of activities for the longer term rather than relying solely on grants.
Taking a Journey Together
Dr. Anthony DeMaria, Chair, Be There San Diego, talked about Be There San Diego (BTSD) and its audacious goal of making San Diego a heart attack and stroke free zone. He described the group’s collaborative efforts with the County and other partners in implementing programs in Southeastern San Diego (SESD) to improve the heart health of the community. According to Dr. DeMaria, San Diego is famous for coming together for the good of the community. With the leadership in the room coupled with community support, he affirmed his confidence that this new effort will succeed.
Kitty next spoke about BTSD as a launching point to build an ACH that would “unleash the power of partnerships” to eliminate heart attacks and strokes and then create a lasting infrastructure for future shared goals. She talked about her own personal narrative of what motivated her to work at the systems level to address social injustices and other societal challenges.
She explained that for people to have true health we need to look outside the four walls of the doctor’s office at things like physical activity and having access to healthy foods. The promise of the ACH partnerships is to link together everything that contributes to health and wellbeing.
Kitty described the opportunity before the leaders in the room - to come together to tackle the underlying contributors of preventable disease, making a lasting difference in the health of residents whose health is at greatest risk. San Diego is one of six California communities funded in the state to test the ACH model, and the pilot is funded for a three-year period. Kitty expressed that she does not have the whole project figured out, nor does she have all the answers. She welcomed community input and issued an invitation to the leaders in the room to join her on this journey.
Date and Time
April 12, 2017 12:30 pm
April 12, 2017 02:30 pm