Launching a Neighborhood Network

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in community development, community engagement, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Since I attended the Communities for a Lifetime meeting over a year ago (which I wrote about in a previous blog), I’ve been meeting with Jess Luce, Supervisor with the Communities for a Lifetime (CFL) Initiative, part of Dakota County Public Health, about ways to get involved locally in the initiative.  I jumped at the chance to help start a “Neighborhood Network,” a pilot project to try to bring a neighborhood together to strengthen social...

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Texas Tackles the Graduation Gap

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in achievement gap, education, research, social policy, Uncategorized |

I’m a geek, I admit it.  I like data, facts, information. Not for itself but for what it teaches us and how it can help us plan and improve social programs, policies and conditions. Case in point:  I just read a fascinating article about an ambitious experiment the University of Texas at Austin is embarking on to increase 4 year graduation rates. UT’s data team sifted through decades of student data looking for patterns associated with...

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Social Innovation Labs: An Experiment in Combining Elements for Change

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in community development, community engagement, nonprofit, Uncategorized |

Over the last couple of years it seemed that almost every meeting I attended included some kind of structured “conversation”.  There are several organizations facilitating these types of conversations – Art of Hosting, Open Space Technology, World Café, Heartland.  It was never clear to me what makes these conversations different from or more productive than any other conversation where group members seek to solve a problem or address an issue...

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American Heart – Part II

Posted by on Jul 29, 2013 in film, immigration, multicultural, public health, Uncategorized |

  After I saw the documentary American Heart (reviewed in an earlier blog post), it occurred to me that it would be interesting to show this film to recent immigrants and refugees – the subjects of the film.  I reached out to the director, Chris Newberry, and to people I knew at the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Refugee Health, as well as one of my clients, Vietnamese Social Services of Minnesota. We all put our heads together...

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The Human Heart

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in film, global health, health disparities, immigration, multicultural, public health, Uncategorized | 2 comments

I recently saw a wonderful documentary film called American Heart at the Minneapolis Film Festival.  I went to see the film because it dealt with an issue of interest to me – health care for refugees and immigrants.  While that was indeed the focus of American Heart, it dealt just as much with universal themes: end of life issues, family, resilience and how life unfolds in mysterious ways. American Heart follows three patients at the...

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An Experiment in Cross-Cultural Healing

Posted by on Apr 4, 2013 in health disparities, multicultural, public health, Uncategorized |

At the Diversity Rx conference, I attended a great session on “Listening to the Patient: how attitudes and culture affect the health care experience.”  One presenter, Linda Xiong, talked about a project she led to determine ways to address the problem of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) prevalence among the Hmong in Merced, California.  Chronic Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver...

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