University of Washington School of Public Health

Opportunity: Get Involved with the Community at HEALTH EQUITY ORGANIZING

10/16/2017
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Mission

The Health Equity Organizing initiative brings together clinic patients, staff and members of their communities to identify and tackle local issues that affect their health and quality of life.

Strategy

Social and economic injustices contribute to poor health. Health Equity Organizing creates a space for people to talk about how those problems impact their lives...and how to change them. It draws on best practices in community organizing to build relational power, surface shared interests, and collevetively advance real solutions. It equips people to act on their own behalf as public leaders, advancing solutions that work for them...not what others think is good for them. Participating clinics include Country Doctor Community Clinic, Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center, and Odessa Brown Children's Clinic.

History

In 2016, medical residents at Swedish Cherry Hill began the initiative to build "power with" their patients in addressing health disparities in the clinics they serve. It has since been supported by the UW Health Equity Circle student organization and the IAF Northwest, an alliance of religious, education, health, labor and community organizations united to effectively bring about practical solutions to advance the common good. Some recent accomplishments won by IAF Northwest include bringing mandatory earned sick, safe, and family leave benefits to 40,000 uncovered workers in Spokane and helping pass the Best Starts for Kids levy that provides $68 million per year for prevention and early intervention programs that give all children the best chance to succeed.

Get Involved!

To learn about upcoming meetings or how to get involved, please contact us at clinicorganizing@iafnw.org or (206) 588-5016.