Tag : system change
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.
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.
Advocates working to shift systems often face immense challenges: limited time, limited resources, too many roles, not enough influence. And in uncertain times like these, the challenges we’re working to address may seem so insurmountable that the idea of creating any kind of change feels impossible. These are the moments when we especially need to pause and recognize what we are accomplishing. Collectively, these wins add up to significant change, even if we don’t immediately recognize it. In the spirit of honoring our wins, we’ve compiled just a few examples of what the HealthConnect Fellows have achieved over the past few months. These achievements also highlight what system change can look like and the impact it has on the well-being of our children.
Prior to our trip I was exhausted and burned out, mostly from frustration about our country's tangled systems, but I’m now realizing there was something more underneath it all. My pattern is to try and pull lessons out of experiences when I start to feel overwhelmed, so here is what I've pulled out during my break away from Iowa.
As we have pushed for change in a new environment—an environment that continues to change by the moment—we have learned several lessons about how we do our work going forward. Here are my takeaways so far.
While many of us looked to systems we thought could guide us through COVID-19, we discovered that there were no systems where we expected to find them. What we are calling “system failure” is really system “expectation” failure. Advocates often work to shift systems to have the greatest impact on the most people, but we must consider whether there is a system to change in the first place and whether a system can create the change we’re seeking. Here are questions we should be asking.
For all children in Central Iowa to have equal opportunity for good health, greater attention and resources must be directed to addressing the fundamental causes of poor health for children and youth. These fundamental causes, or social determinants, of health are often largely impacted by public and private, organization, local, state and federal policies and practices.
The Mid-Iowa Health Foundation HealthConnect Fellowship strives to engage and build the capacity of key professionals working to improve social determinants of children's health, and help them grow as public policy change agents to improve children's health in central Iowa.
This HealthConnect Fellowship Blog is intended to share learnings from the Fellows and other national experts with our broader community of children's health advocates.