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Advancing the DREAM

Advancing the DREAM - What it means to me

I am the wife of a black man and the mother of black children and have felt the hateful spear of racism hurled at both by husband and children.  Recounting each and every story makes me nauseous, and yet I know, for a fact, that millions of minorities feel some type of prejudice and inequity on a daily basis.

Recently, we worked on a project for Ohio Medicaid, where we built an Learning Management System along with augmented and virtual reality designed for Medicaid doctors and service providers to challenge themselves to look at their own implicit biases, and to check themselves if they found themselves looking for improvement at all.  Cuyahoga County has had the highest infant mortality deaths in the country, where black babies are nearly two and a half times more likely not to make it to their first birthday.

This project taught me a ton on stress and the toxicity syndrome that has been carried down for over 400 years, marked by the first landing of the slave ship.  We all must understand the real history better, so we can all heal forward together.

We need to do better for everybody and recognize that not every body has equal and equitable access to things that could help improve their health and well being.  This is why I am so focused on Advancing the Dream for everybody.

My Action Pledge to Advance the DREAM?

I pledge that I will ALWAYS call someone out if they make an inappropriate or racist remark…always.
People need to understand that we do not live in a country that should tolerate this at any level, any more. When you stay silent, you are part of the problem. Speak up, know your voice and be part of the solution.

Basics

Name

Lucy

Last Name

Howell

Nickname

Coach_Lucy

Background

Organization

The Force for Health® Network

Bio and Background

I am a daughter, mom, wife and woman who is passionate about helping communities celebrate science, health and nature in their own backyards.

Why I am a Force for Health® Member...

I am passionate about connecting leaders in education, media, tech, science, population fitness and community preparedness to address gaps and disparities that exist for minorities and rural areas.

My inspiration

I have always been inspired by my mom…a passionate teacher of science who inspired the curiosity of 10’s of thousands of students throughout her career.

Location

Tucson, AZ, but San Fernando Valley girl at heart! 😉

What would you like people to know about your community?

Tucson, Arizona is a fabulous, innovative, diverse and kind community located about 90 miles north of the Mexico border, about 120 miles south of Phoenix, nestled between four mountain ranges.  We are considered a large Metro area, with 1M+ residents, with a small town feel.

Our Greater Tucson region, considered part of the Pima Association of Government, includes City of Tucson, the towns of Oro Valley, Marana, Sahuarita, Vail, Green Valley with strong community involvement from both native American Indian tribes, the Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O’dham.

We are anchored by the University of Arizona (Go Cats!), Pima Community College(Go Aztecs!), Raytheon, Banner Health, Tucson Medical Center and Carondelet.

We have 350+ days of sunshine a year, and we are known to be the winter training capital of the world, luring world class cyclists, runners and other types of athletes seeking great weather, laid. back lifestyles, great food and friendly people.

 

We have what it takes to be nimble and collaborative and believe that Tucson will score well in the V.I.P. Community L.E.A.G.U.E.S. Challenge in 2021, as a leading community supporting health and wealth opportunities for everybody, equally.

I love my town and look forward to sharing our experiences with the other community leaders around the globe.

My Citizenship Health Factors

Some of the factors that have been challenging for me have been...

Managing the demand between platform development and pure community outreach.  COVID has certainly played a role in disrupting natural, in-person connections, and in many ways, has actually facilitated more connections to take place, since travel is no longer required with everybody’s move to virtual, but I miss the personal interactions that make community involvement so powerful.

It's important for me to be part of my community's health because...

I’ve been an athlete for most of my life…for the first 40 years, at least, and I’ve always had a team player philosophy.  I truly believe that every “body” has a role, right and duty to practice the science of healthy citizenship and becoming their own force for health.  This includes:

Owning your own health
Seeking free, low cost, high quality resources
Reaching out to help others in need
Exercising compassion and empathy everyday

My healthy community “team” role, as it has always been with my previous favorite sports of volleyball(5-1 setter) and basketball(2 guard), has been one of assist and playmaker. I like to connect people and make others around me shine, which includes my community.  Tucson is a great place to live, and I admire our leaders for helping preserve and balance nature and growth, at the same time.

Some of the strength of my community health factors are:

Pima County is very focused on supporting healthy communities, and have active teams working in response to the Pima County Community Health Needs Assessment. Tucson also boasts of an impeccable hospitality reputation, hosting PGA events, the Arizona Bowl, El Tour de Tucson, the worlds largest gem show, always leaving visitors with special touch.

This is a town where everybody knows everybody, and the leaders are very accessible.  Since we are nearly 40% Hispanic and 90 miles north of Mexico, there is a strong Hispanic voice and economic impact that is often underlooked, but powerful, which balances our community into a diverse and thoughtful one, moreson than other communities I’ve seen.

We are the bi-national region and the bilingual, cross border opportunities gives us a unique position to help guide and frame health issues in a compassionate and bilingual manner.

Some of the challenges in my community regarding certain health factors are:

One major challenge is the decentralized status of public health focused initiatives in our community.  Everybody is in their own silos and there is limited connectivity between the business, healthcare, education and civic leaders to be effective.

There is a tremendous opportunity for better interagency collaboration to support resources for our teachers and schools.

I believe I can help improve my community's health by...

Supporting better access to health information, challenges and resources for every BODY to make healthier choices for themselves and their families