As the old saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. I say, “Inspired by the example set by my parents, how could it?”
I grew up the daughter of a pediatrician, Harold Ford, who, in 1963, along with two other physicians, formed the first minority medical group practice in the state of Ohio. Together, over the course of 50 dedicated years, they served the community of greater Cleveland, caring for families across multiple generations. My father also worked to ensure that medical services be provided for chemically-dependent women and their children. And, in 1971, he was co-founder of the American Sickle Cell Anemia Association, where, along with colleagues, he pioneered awareness of this devastating disease.
At the other end of the spectrum was my mother, Muriel, a special lady whose gifts could not be measured in title or degree. A musician and lover of learning, she had a gift for creating beautiful life experiences for me and my three sisters – usually connected to the arts and culture. It was from my mother that I learned about inclusivity. Throughout my upbringing and beyond, Mother welcomed people from all backgrounds and cultures into our home. She possessed deep wisdom and she loved and nurtured all, endlessly – family, friends, strangers – and watched over everyone who ever entered her world.
My own education and professional inclinations took me in the direction of Talent Management and Organizational Development. I’ve strived to continue my family’s legacy of diagnosing human needs, determining root causes of unworkability in organizations, and working to equalize positive outcomes for all people, while supporting the leaders and professionals called to serve those in need.
About the HealthInclusion Community of Practice and Blog
In December 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services launched Healthy People 2020, which has four overarching goals:
- Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death;
- Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups;
- Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all; and
- Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.
Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) tracks approximately 1,300 objectives organized into 42 topic areas, each of which represents an important public health area. In addition, HP2020 contains the Leading Health Indicators, a small focused set of 12 topics containing 26 objectives identified to communicate and move action on high-priority health issues.
The Health Inclusion Community of Practice (HealthInclusionCoP) and Blog focuses on the 42 HP2020 topic areas through original and occasional Guest Blog posts.
A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. This definition reflects the fundamentally social nature of human learning. It is very broad. It applies to a group of engineers who learn how to design better specialty chemicals, or a group of civil servants who seek to improve service to citizens, or a group of healthcare professionals who seek to reduce health disparities and improve culturally competent care.
The Health Inclusion community helps our members connect, grow and prosper by providing unique education, thought leadership and best practices focused today’s important trends in health and wellness affecting health equity. Health equity is the absence of avoidable, unfair, or remediable differences among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically or geographically. Currently, most community members come from; corporate, health provider, and non-profit leaders and experts employed in the following three (3) areas:
Talent Management/Leadership Development: The latest content on employee and organization development that serve as catalysts for advancing diversity and inclusion. Best practices and trends for developing the next generation of diverse and inclusive leaders.
Diversity and Inclusion: Developing diversity and inclusion strategies, aligning diversity with business goals, how to achieve an inclusive culture, innovative employee resources groups, diversity evaluation & metrics and supplier diversity.
Health Equity: Healthy People 2020 defines health equity as the “attainment of the highest level of health for all people.” Health equity topics include; health disparities and factors determining health, how to reduce health inequalities, community health equity initiatives, preventive health and wellness.
The road to health care equality and inclusion is a challenging one with no shortages of issues to uncover, gaps to fill, and services to improve. Inspired by my parents’ legacy of service, I am motivated to continue to share and support efforts to develop healthy organizations, healthy people and healthy communities.