On August 23, 2017, Be There San Diego convened a group of stakeholders to continue the journey of leaders, partners and community working together to develop an Accountable Community for Health (ACH) and to achieve heart health for all San Diegans.
The North Star and First Peak on our ACH Journey
Ms. Kitty Bailey, Executive Director, Be There San Diego, welcomed everyone, and explained that the purpose of the meeting was to co-create a shared ACH vision to serve as our North Star moving forward, to get an update from Southeastern San Diego, and to discuss ACH governance.
Kitty reviewed the progress we have made to date on the grant as we end the first year of funding, and she talked about the four themes we heard from our first two stakeholder meetings. First, the ACH is bringing new partners together across upstream and downstream determinants of health. Like the parable about the blind men touching different parts of an elephant but not understanding the whole, we too are broadening our view to see the bigger system instead of focusing solely on our own part.
Second, we are using stories and narratives to engage the heart as well as the mind, and to create shared meaning. We heard the story of “Isaiah,” who was cured of leukemia but later died while living on the streets. We also heard from Dr. Christine Thorne about “Lydia,” a San Diegan with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure with a committed case manager who helped her address her health issues and reunite her with her family.
Third, Kitty talked about the creative tension between the current reality and a new vision moving forward. This idea can be demonstrated by a rubber band that is naturally loose but stretches to get tighter and tighter, a metaphor for the energy it takes to create transformational change. It is that tension between current reality and the future vision that creates momentum.
The fourth theme is that we have all demonstrated a commitment to inclusion, open communication, and relationships as we embark upon this journey together. We are going slow, building relationships, and letting ideas marinate. We have a high degree of self-awareness and reflection, and are willing to change at a personal level to move forward successfully. We have the courage to act without having all the answers.
Cardiovascular disease is the first peak we want to conquer on this journey. Everyone in the room has been impacted in one way or another by cardiovascular disease, whether through family members, friends, or even themselves. This is one of the reasons we are starting with this disease.
From the discussion at the Stakeholder Group Meeting on June 21, 2017, Kitty revisited the headlines the group anticipated seeing in the Union-Tribune if the ACH were wildly successful in 5 years:
“Zip Codes No Longer Predict Life Expectancy in San Diego”
“ACH Initiative has Eradicated Heart Attacks in San Diego”
“SDACH is Connecting the Dots and Touching Hearts!”
“San Diego Community Reclaims Their Overall Well Being through ACH”
Vivid Description of the ACH Vision
Stakeholder Group participants used a poll to react to a series of 10 statements that vividly described the ACH vision crafted at the last meeting in June. For each statement, participants rated on a scale of 1-5, “How important is this to the work of the SDACH?” and “How likely is it to resonate with colleagues in your sector?” The goal was to co-create a “vivid description” of the shared ACH vision, which is lengthier and more detailed than a vision statement.
In the discussion that followed, meeting participants talked about the importance of terminology and clearly defining terms. For example, words we use in public health may not resonate with the community at large, but these are the people we want to reach. We may want to get feedback from community members about what wording resonates with them. Stakeholders provided feedback on the concept of a “bridge” with communities. Since “bridge” implies separation between two groups, we may instead want to refer to it as “coordination.” We are trying to create a bridge between health care, communities, and people’s homes, but this concept may not have come through adequately in our words. Some feel “multi-cultural” only applies to people of color, so we may need to use a more inclusive word.
“I didn’t sense the word “collaboration” or “care” or “love”. There are a lot of people in different communities suffering in silence. We aren’t only trying to move data. We’re trying to show people we care.”
Stakeholder Group Participant
Date and Time
August 23, 2017 12:30 pm
August 23, 2017 02:30 pm