Building an ACH
Ms. Kitty Bailey, Executive Director, Be There San Diego, welcomed the group, and explained that part of the purpose of the meeting was to get to know each other which would lay the foundation for working together. Attendees introduced themselves and described their motivation for being at the meeting.
Kitty described an Accountable Community for Health (ACH) as the bridge between social determinants of health (such as childhood experiences, housing, and education) and downstream contributors to health (such as clinics and hospitals). By creating meaningful partnerships, an ACH seeks to increase attention on non-medical influencers of health to improve health, reduce disease, increase health equity, and generate long term savings by reducing the need for healthcare services. She talked about key components of an ACH including -
- Stewardship and Engagement
- Collective Action
- Data Sharing
She compared the complex healthcare system to the parable of the blind men all touching different parts of an elephant, each one thinking they understood the whole while only really touching one part. Similarly, we all see our own individual part of the system. To see the system as a whole, we need to see each other’s point of view. “We all bring different mental models, languages, context and experience to the table.”
Kitty talked about the opportunity we have before us to work together in new ways to build a desired future, starting with the power of a positive vision. We should embrace a “creative tension” between telling the truth of our current reality and contrast that to the powerful vision we create for our future.
By working together and building trust, even with our diverse histories, we can collaborate to improve the health of our communities.
Standing Stronger Together
Ms. Elizabeth Bustos, Director of Community Engagement, Be There San Diego, reminded us of the story of Isaiah, who as a teenager was cured of leukemia, but as a young man died on the streets from poverty, hopelessness and despair, as reported by his doctor. At the ACH kickoff meeting in April, many attendees were moved by the conversation about his circumstances; some were brought to tears.
San Diego stakeholders agreed that we’ve all met too many Isaiahs whom the system failed. Looking to the future, it will take all of us to save others like him. By working together as a community, we can “teach each other truths,” and help prevent Isaiahs by “curing the injustice as well as the disease.”
Creating a Shared Vision
What is our vision for an ACH in San Diego? That was the question stakeholders were asked to consider as each table imagined what success would look like five years from now. Each table included individuals from different organizations and locations along the upstream-downstream continuum. After small group conversations, each table reported out on its vision for an ACH in San Diego including media headlines in the year 2022. Headlines included the following powerful statements:
“Zip Codes No Longer Predict Life Expectancy in San Diego”
“ACH Initiative Has Eradicated Heart Attacks in San Diego”
“SDACH is Connecting Dots and Touching Hearts!”
“San Diego Community Reclaims Their Overall Wellbeing through ACH”
The visions created and shared by the participants will be used to craft an overall vision statement to guide the work of the ACH and will be presented at the next meeting on August 23 for additional discussion and refinement.
Date and Time
June 21, 2017 12:30 pm
June 21, 2017 02:30 pm