In the words of HealthConnect Fellowship Lead Mentor Rick Kozin, “Our vision for system change is driven by our values of the world as it ought to be. But, to successfully create this change, we must work in the world as it is.” As a result, advocates often face a tension between whether their vision justifies the tactics to achieve it. Here are a few ways HealthConnect Fellows have navigated the line created by this tension to make progress toward their ultimate goals.
Through strategic thinking, relationship building, courage, and persistence, central Iowa advocates are making incredible progress in shifting how our systems interact with and support children and families. The work is hard and long term but pausing to celebrate along the way helps acknowledge the progress that is being made. That’s why we are taking this moment to highlight just a few examples of the HealthConnect Fellows’ amazing work and to showcase what system change can look like. Check out how these efforts are improving the well-being of our kids.
As we enter 2021, many of us are wishing for peace in the new year. Wishing isn’t enough. To achieve peace, the noun, we need peace to be a verb. The Black Lives Matter movement tells us how to do this: No justice, no peace; know justice, know peace. The new year provides a fresh opportunity to ask why we have pervasive inequities and how can we best align our resources to promote communities that thrive both in health and economically. Here are three places to start our journey toward peace.
What if changemakers and stakeholders within systems were able to better understand the stages in the Cycle of Disfunction with Equity Work and counter with methods to push back on the reinforcing loop? Here is how I envision disrupting this cycle at each stage.
Developing a policy agenda is normally a combination of looking back and looking to the future. But a mentor recently asked me three questions that have challenged me to take a different approach to crafting my agenda and to think bigger and bolder about the change we can lead for Iowa’s kids. Here are those three questions and how I’m thinking through them.
Having a safe and stable home is the foundation to one’s ability to thrive, especially in today’s pandemic, and it’s critical to a child’s healthy development. Yet about 5,100 individuals are served in central Iowa’s homeless system in one year and advocates working to address homelessness expect those numbers to increase. To support families in overcoming tremendous difficulties and maintaining their well-being, we must more deeply understand what is happening, so we can think creatively and collaboratively about how to respond. HealthConnect Fellow Angie Arthur, executive director of Polk County Continuum of Care, shares these four things you should know about homelessness in Central Iowa right now.