Today is my last day interning at Global to Local, and my looming exit presents a bittersweet opportunity for reflection on an inspiring six months. This reflection is also a thank-you, because my time at G2L was defined by its amazing, welcoming staff who make South King County a better place every day with their hard work. Because I have been a communications and development intern, it seems appropriate that this post take the form of an internet-friendly list.
- Think Hard – A Promise Kept
When I first came on in our SeaTac office I asked my supervisor, Allison, to make me ‘think hard’ – not just make copies and run for coffee (which, coincidentally, I did very little of). She agreed. I quickly realized that such a goal was unavoidable, here – everyone was already thinking very, very hard about how to help the residents of SeaTac and Tukwila live healthier lives. My supervisor fulfilled my request without trouble – I felt that I was doing real work to be utilized by the organization, and stretching my thinking in the same way that the present staff already was.
- Great People, Great Work
I never expected to feel so at home in a professional setting as an undergraduate, yet the staff of Global to Local welcomed me quickly and warmly. They fostered the growth of my ideas, and encouraged me to stretch my thinking and work-processes in an environment where I had room to succeed and fail without the risk of negative repercussions. It became clear to me that the same mindset which was allowing their innovation as an organization was allowing my growth as an activist and student in the non-profit setting. They genuinely care about people. Additionally, they were supportive and kind to me.
- Something Different
G2L takes creative, thoughtful, unconventional approaches to healthcare that I consider to be of particular importance in today’s uncertain national health climate. They have left behind the fear of failure that pervades conventional health networks, allowing them to take risks that standard systems will not – to the benefit of the residents of South King County.
I am proud to have been a small part of this movement for innovation, and beyond grateful to the staff at Global to Local for making me a part of their team. It brings me great comfort to know that there is a small group of committed people working hard to pioneer new methods of improving health in our communities. I cannot wait to hear what they do next.
Medical Anthropology & Global Health
University of Washington
A new article from the Harvard Business Review makes a case for hospitals to prioritize cultural competency. The article speaks to the importance of social determinants of health and addressing an often wide cultural and socio-economic gap between doctors and patients that can adversely affect health outcomes.
Pointing to cultural competency training as an immediate and tangible step hospitals can take, 3 best practices are outlined as the first places to start.
- Be creative and expansive about addressing language barriers.
- Be alert for, and responsive to, mental health challenges.
- Be mindful of stereotypes.
Global to Local is hiring one full-time Community Health Worker and one full-time Operations Manager. Check out the descriptions and apply today!
Opportunities at G2L
In honor of International Women’s Day and in solidarity with Day Without Women, Global to Local is providing a paid day off for our female employees. This might sound like a small gesture, but if you take a look at our staff page you will realize that this really means our Executive Director will be working in an empty office on Wednesday. Yes, that’s right – until next Monday (when new-hire Jojo starts), we are an organization of 8 diverse women and a single man. While this is just one example of many where the non-profit industry is full of women, we still have a ways to go to achieve gender equity, even in the female-friendly non-profit realm. A recent study, Women in the Workplace finds that “women are less likely to receive the first critical promotion to manager – so far fewer end up on the path to leadership – and are less likely to be hired into more senior positions.” Women also receive “less access to the people, input, and opportunities that accelerate careers.” As a result, the higher the professional position, the fewer women you see and the more imbalanced our organizations. This is also reflected in our cultural lens of the feminine “to be” versus the masculine “to do” (feminine and masculine: not to be confused with man and woman).
These management qualities, summarized in the report, might be labeled ‘feminine’ and are embraced by remarkably few women and men alike but exist within us all:
- leading with the power of language,
- cultivating relationships, building teams that release the energy and potential of others,
- building an inclusive organization that “makes the strengths of their people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant”
In the words of Francis Hesselbein: “some might call this feminine management, others would call it the enlightened way that we all must lead.”
For every women and man in the world, I would leave you with this: Gender inequity hurts everyone: women and men of every race, creed, and affiliation. We are being given a great opportunity to bring balance back into the world and break free from the boxes we’ve imposed on each other and ourselves – let’s take the opportunity.
My challenge to you for the month ahead is to read up on gender equity (I’m even giving you a list of great reads to make it easy). Start learning about the long history of women’s rights, patriarchy, racism (yes, racism is deeply tied to feminism – both systems of oppression), and gender fluidity. Read up, start observing, then start a dialogue. Stumped for dialogue? Start with the question: what could the world look like if we started to value feminine qualities more?
If you can’t find time to read:
We are all very excited at G2L to announce that our Leadership Engagement Manager position has been filled! Please join us in welcoming Jojo Gaon to the G2L family. Jojo comes with much experience in leadership and art, including starting Youth Speaks, a youth arts and leadership development organization.
This position was created in response to several community conversations we hosted over 2016 that indicated the desire for more pathways toward leadership for underserved communities. The Leadership Pipeline program will be a collaborative process of bringing together key stakeholders to assess needs and develop solutions. Where our existing Connectors Program works toward training and employing community members to provide equitable community engagement, the Leadership Pipeline will be focused on equitable access to both civic and professional leadership opportunities.
From building the job description to the interviewing process, we have been all hands on deck – staff and community partners combined. Thanks to the whole team for your support on this process. We can’t wait to see Jojo in action!
We don’t talk much about our Jobs for Health program since our role at G2L was largely to facilitate partnerships and increase capacity for existing organizations (global health strategy #4: empower community based organizations). Lately, however, we’ve been making such exciting progress that we can’t help but share an update.
Jobs for Health is a pilot program between Upwardly Global and Highline College’s Welcome Back Center. The goal was to help skilled immigrants overcome employment barriers while educating decision-makers about skilled immigrants and helping them to adopt more effective and inclusive practices and policies. Jobs for Health specifically supports skilled healthcare employment, connecting immigrants with Swedish, HealthPoint, Providence, and Seattle-King County Public Health.
Now, here’s the really exciting part. Already this year, the program has seen 5 job placements of highly skilled immigrants and refugees with an average salary of $77,000 (global health strategy #5: link health to economic development). The effects of a program like this have already been proven to be far-reaching, influencing not just the job seekers but the employer, the economy, and society at-large. Read more about this exponential impact at Upwardly Global.
It isn’t a coincidence that Global to Local started just 13 miles south of downtown Seattle. Health has always been at the heart of Seattle, as Dr. David Fleming, VP of Public Health for global health organization PATH, explained last Tuesday. Early local inventions include the heart defibrillator, Doppler ultrasound, Sonar, and the wireless telephone (yes, cellphones are medical innovations too). Seattle has also become home to many of our nation’s heavy hitters in the global health industry, including PATH, Gates Foundation, Health Alliance International, UW Global Health, Washington Global Health Alliance, and many more.
It is the collaborative spirit behind our innovations that drive us to develop solutions to health disparities. In Dr. Fleming’s words, “we’re culturally wired to imagine, to be visionaries, to be partners. To innovate.” It is in this same spirit that Global to Local was formed almost seven years ago. From our very inception, we have represented collaboration across not just public and private sectors, but also the very communities we exist to serve. Spanning organizations, companies, experts, community groups, and professionals, we were created to design a sustainable model of care for communities in the US that face similar barriers and inequities to those our global health organizations serve overseas. We are proud to say that Dr. Fleming, along with PATH, has been with us since the very beginning and continues to be one of the ‘brightest minds’ he references us bringing together.
We’re partnering with The Prosperity Agenda and BECU to incorporate financial coaching and savings into the CHW health coaching (global health strategy #5: link economic development to health). TPA will be training the CHWs and BECU will be working with us to develop savings products, and possibly a lending circle. So excited for a site visit from Northwest Areas Foundation next week as they consider providing additional support to this program.
G2L first heard from Monica Davalos, a mother and long-time Tukwila resident, at a “Community Conversation” where she shared her family’s daily challenges with health. Monica’s common experiences has given her the insight that has allowed her to be successful in her role as G2L’s Latina Community Health Worker. Together with G2L, she channels the concerns and issues community members face and uses this platform to continuously listen and amplify the marginalized voices of others to bring better health to S. King County.
For more about Monica’s journey from community member to community health worker at G2L, check out: http://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/in-s-king-county-an-extraordinary-effort-to-bring-better-health/
Global health is premised on taking responsibility for all people in a given location—around the world, in the United States, and at all levels of income.
G2L is working with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Partners In Health, and others to build a sustained initiative to apply global health concepts across the US. In March we will be hosting our first conference, bringing together healthcare and public health professionals to present our framework for community-led health.
Grab a sneak peek at what’s ahead this March from Harvard Magazine. This featured article showcases the importance learning from global health in the US.