I love Spokane. My family and I feel blessed to live in a place that is filled with beautiful landscape, amazing people and an independent spirit that makes things possible. There is a secret sauce in Eastern Washington that makes our Accountable Community of Health work. We are not waiting to be told what to do; we are making it happen.
You see this in the building of much needed Housing First housing by VOA, Catholic Charities, the City and County (plus some super generous donors and finance folks). You see it in the collaborative ways that our community partner organizations come together for our weekly client management meetings.
You see it in our rural communities as they figure out how to solve their most pressing issues, often without the resources of the big city. And you see it in community investment strategies that are not perpetuating the status quo (way to go, United Way, City of Spokane and Empire Health Foundation for pushing us to be more strategic, innovative and impactful).
Why is this happening here? Our success can be partly attributed to our frontier spirit that permeates our approach. It is also because we have not always had choices—we have needed to take action to achieve the change we want in our communities.
I am grateful to be here in Eastern Washington, leading this important work. Better Health Together is not limited to implementing specific parts of health care reform plan. Instead, I believe, it is a social movement—dare I say revolution?—to make our communities healthier, more equitable and better places to live, learn, work and play.
This movement is not just about saving money for our health care system; it is a movement that
balances and respects individual rights to health and wellbeing with our collective responsibility to each other. This is a movement that implores us to change how we work as a community health system, to be more impactful and to behave in different ways. I am grateful for the chance to be on the front lines of this revolution with you all.