Human Capital. What's in your fridge?

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“@RWJF_HumanCap: What does “creating a culture of health” entail? #RWJF’s Linda W Moore explores the ? on #HCBlog. What do you think?”

I am responding to this post as if this was the first time anyone had ever asked or answered this question. I am intentionally posting this before I see how others responded. I explain why later.

It’s important to recognize that sociologically, a health culture already exists.  And there already is a mainstream awareness that certain variables contribute to disparities within the population that prevent individuals from being healthy in the first place. However, differences in values and behaviors among poor people are just as great as those between poor and wealthy people.  

lt is easier for me to imagine creating a culture if I think in biological terms – as a nutrient rich medium created for cells to grow in.  Of course I am not thinking of actual groups of people in Petri dishes, that’s silly! I am using that definition because when provided the right environment, culture grows, right?

That rich growth medium can be only be developed after identifying what health culture characteristics already exist in the population. Next, if I were going to discuss the research process, I would start with cluster sampling. But since I am not, please fast forward past methodology, post data collection and analysis, and all that jazz. I am shifting into something more causal.

Did you ever open the refrigerator, see two good ingredients that don’t seem to go together at first but while you’re standing there, looking at those two familiar ingredients you see a an unexpected possibility? And it turned out to be so good? It was so good, you went to work the next day and started talking about? And you found out you didn’t invent it? I have.

When I read, “What do you think?” on the culture of health blog it was as if I was front of the open refrigerator door. I saw two good ingredients and an unexpected combination of two things I am familiar with.

The other ingredient: The Juvenile Conference Committee Program.

The Juvenile Conference Committee Program (JCC) is an early intervention / prevention program designed to divert first time juvenile offenders from further involvement with the justice system. This program recruits and trains members of the community, who then voluntarily work with these juvenile offenders- these kids-on a local level. Being aware of their local idiosyncrasies, their own culture increases the Committees’effectiveness to resolve problems within structured guidelines. Simultaneously, JCCs reduce demands on overloaded court calendars.

In order to fulfill its mission of creating a culture for health, the foundation might consider adopting/adapting an effective model used for many years in the judiciary system – the Juvenile Conference Committee. I am not referring to WHAT the JCCs do, but how they got THERE. How about something called Health Care Culture Committees (HCCC)?

Imagine HCCC! HCCC members recruited and trained to educate families, empower the community and encourage neighborhood collaboration. They would develop effective early intervention/prevention geared towards preventing their local communities from needing more health care by providing resources to live in more healthful ways.

Well, that’s what I think. Now that I have shared this, has anyone else ever used these two ingredients together?



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