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.
We published an opinion piece for Devex last month that neatly summarizes our approach using our Community Health Worker program as an example of how programs evolve at G2L. With a focus on enhancing local voice in program development and implementation, G2L Executive Director Adam Taylor shares 3 key elements of success: hire and invest in local people, adapt solutions locally, and find donors who believe in community. He stresses the last element by saying “a community-led approach asks donors to also believe in the power of community, and invest in building community voice and participation.”
Read the full article at Devex.