Since 2015, Global to Local has played a key role in facilitating Communities of Opportunity’s (COO) initiative to create greater racial, health, and economic equity in SeaTac and Tukwila. This initiative is a collaborative effort by King County, Seattle Foundation, and partners dedicated to advancing community-based priorities and shaping policies to promote racial equity.
COO has provided funding to help the SeaTac and Tukwila communities implement projects that contribute to better health, safe and affordable housing, economic opportunity, and stronger community connections. As the local lead agency for SeaTac and Tukwila, Global to Local: convenes community-based organizations to determine local priorities and strategies; manages contracts with partner organizations that implement projects to advance community priorities; and coordinates internal and external communications for the local initiative.
In past years, the COO initiative has supported Food Innovation Network’s food system revitalization work, Congolese Integration Network’s efforts to improve social connections and housing stability in the Congolese community, and our Community Health Workers’ physical health programs at affordable housing sites.
This year, six organizations are partnering to drive change in SeaTac and Tukwila with COO support:
Building on the success of our past efforts, we are collectively working to:
- support workforce development, career pathways, and business incubation for immigrants and refugees;
- develop leadership workshops to empower community members to address local social, economic, and political issues;
- help community members register to vote and learn about the 2020 national census; and
- engage in problem-solving to prevent and mitigate the impacts of displacement of residents and local businesses.
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.
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.