Force for Health
|Why I am a Force for Health® Member...||
My daughters and their friends have been my greatest teachers as I learned what challenges face teens and how powerful they can be in changing the status of their own health and the situations that affect the health of others. I have seen them be. a force for health and a force for kindness in their own circles and also a labor force for their local or distant communities. That is why they are in my cover image in the portal here.
I co-founded this organization and serve as its medical director. In my life I often sense problems and seek ways to solve them. It’s like being a doctor and society is the patient. My technology solutions were successful but ahead of their time and too expensive to use or way ahead of where society was ready. We did telemedicine, surgical simulation, and online high quality STEM education beginning in the 1980’s, but the connection speed was too slow, the computers too expensive and not mobile, and society did not trust a remote connection or never heard of one.
Taking care of patients with horrible diseases was a rewarding experience. so was responding to disasters as a first or second line responder, and improvising on the spot and implementing solutions. I learned valuable lessons in dealing with extreme situations. When people are put into new and challenging roles, some need a great deal of help, and others step up and fill the gaps with exceptional actions and service. The trained professionals run towards the problems with great heroism. We see it with police and fire fighters but we were not surprised. What I have over and over again was teenagers and young adults and retired seniors filling the gap for their friends, families, and communities when any of them were overwhelmed. With a little bit of training and support, they became a force for health and stabilized the situation and helped move things to a recovery phase. They helped take survive, to staying alive, to thrive. I founded Force for Health to help provide the knowledge, skills and resources to help motivate and harness this under recognized and under utilized resource and have it become the service learning opportunity of a lifetime and the difference between disastrous outcomes or dramatic successes.
A lesson learned was that we need to be as healthy and knowledgable as possible in ordinary times so that we can be an asset in extraordinary times. The focus on obesity and addiction prevention, social determinants of health, and diversity issues is so important to having strong people and a strong society. I also recognize that governments and agencies often take too long to respond, or are influenced by political or budget issues that don’t support preparation, response and recovery fairly. That means, all problems are LOCAL and must have most or all of their solutions be capable of addressing them on a local basis. This only works if the local people can figure out. what to do and step up to help themselves or to selflessly rush in to help their neighbors.
In the past few years, slow motion disasters are what I and others are recognizing but we are not responding in ways that are making a large enough difference. We need to be stepping up and running toward the issues and on a grassroots level with the skills and resources we each have, we must chip away at the issues. With a world wide pandemic in an inequitable world, we are in the midst of the first simultaneously world wide local problem during an age of instant communication and limited resources. Now, once we stabilize ourselves and neighbors, we must extend our reach and realize our family and neighbors are everyone on Earth. With the eventual power of the Force for Health Network, and waves of confident empowered people, we can add to the knowledge available for free or low cost worldwide, and help spread the movement with media messaging, validated community solutions, and votes for the best policies.
I believe everyone can be a force for health for themselves and then do the same for others. I believe everyone must be personally responsible for their own health and contribute to making it a healthier, kinder, and equitable world for their neighbors, worldwide.
My parents inspire me. They came from immigrant parents from Europe. They valued God, family and country, and education. They sacrificed their own access to education, where their country and neighborhoods needed them, They served as medic in World War 2, a teacher at the neighborhood school, and a pioneering adoption social worker, and did not make a lot of money, but they stretched their resources so we could move to a school district and community for a good education. My father kept reinventing himself until he finally found his successful niche, and when he failed, we would take time off as a family and regroup. My mother delayed some important education milestones until after we all finished graduate school . All their money made sure my siblings and I could go to college as the first generation in our family to graduate and enter professions of education, law, medicine, finance and construction. They also installed in us a work ethic and a level of empathy and the confidence to innovate and try to make a difference. They also cared for the the neighbors in need, whether across the street in in the toughest neighborhoods of our city. Even now, my 95 year old mother goes to doctor’s appointments with family or peers to help make sure the right questions are asked and the the instructions are understood and followed. Their measurement of success was if their family and the world was better off because they were there. They were and are very successful.
|What would you like people to know about your community?||
This is a small college town in the middle of the State. There are beautiful hiking trains and also an historic campus and old buildings.
My Citizenship Health Factors
|Some of the factors that have been challenging for me have been...||
Isolation after moving to a town in at the start of the pandemic. It is hard to meet people or make friends when there is no social gatherings or events.
|Some of the strength of my community health factors are:||
Good public transportation, access to food and health care exist here. So does abundant education and entertainment opportunities.
|Some of the challenges in my community regarding certain health factors are:||
Some locals are deniers of the COVID crisis and are vocal about not complying with things such as social distancing and masks.
Some of the college students coming in, don’t seem to care about others, and assume their youth puts them at little risk for anything.
|I believe I can help improve my community's health by...||
Engaging local students as interns and trying to make the healthy decision the cool or easy decision.
Advancing the DREAM
|Advancing the DREAM - What it means to me||
I believe we must be sure everyone understands that the King Dream is not just about prejudice, disparity and equity issues in the past for African Americans but for all people. My European immigrant parents experienced it and some of my ancestors were killed because of it. We need to learn about the issues, events, horrors and successes of the past and then take our steps to advance the dream for all.
|My Action Pledge to Advance the DREAM?||
I will strive to minimize my ignorance about issues when a speak or act so that unrecognized biases are addressed and not perpetuated. We will build out advisory committees and review for all our content to be sure we communicating appropriately and fairly as we strive to educate and motivate.