My projects have examined the realities of bridging the health sector and communities. They’ve involved convenings, writing, research, and running a nonprofit.
December 2022 - December 2024
Exploring and describing how communities with power can pursue health equity by influencing the forces and systems that shape daily life
In this project, I am researching and writing about how communities with power can influence the forces, systems, structures and norms that shape the conditions of daily life. The work involves speaking with leading public health practitioners about how they work alongside communities, describing what community-driven public health looks like, and seeking to refine the discourse around the pursuit of health equity, especially in terms of structural change. This project is in partnership with the California Endowment and builds upon my previous work, including the symposium on community agency and health, the research into how public health might embrace community power, and the review of the medical evidence linking community agency and health.
February 2020 - December 2022
A look at the medical evidence to see whether having agency (A) and belonging (B) can change the conditions (C) in which we live
I explored the bio-medical literature to understand whether having agency and a sense of belonging make good health more likely. This work was in partnership with the California Endowment. In December 2020, we published a report on the link between community agency and health and in December 2022 we published a Policy Insight article in Health Affairs on how community power could dismantle policy-based structural inequity.
November 2017 - December 2018
With support from The California Endowment, this project examined how public health might use power building as a way to improve health
Delivered through my former nonprofit (Bridging Health & Community, Inc; see below) and in partnership with Collaborative Consulting, we explored how well public health understands the importance of community power to health, what is preventing the profession from embracing power-building as a health strategy, and what opportunities in the current landscape might help bring about change. The work included a detailed analysis of how change has happened in public health, including the role of narrative.
A two-day symposium in Oakland, CA, that explored how the health sector might work differently to better understand how communities define their health
Delivered through my former nonprofit, Bridging Health & Community, Inc (see below), and in collaboration with the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and MIT Community Innovators Lab, this symposium sought to showcase work illustrating how the health sector might need to change to respond to communities. Its major supporters were The California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and its editorial partners included Active Living By Design and ISAIAH.
August 2016 – December 2018
A two-year project to better understand how statutory systems in the UK fail those most in need
I, together with seven others, sought to truly understand why systems in the UK fail to understand or respond to those most in need. Through our work, including interviews of 34 community-oriented practitioners, we learnt of the need for greater parity between systems and citizens. Our analysis told us that some practitioners were already working this way, and would value being part of a community of practice. However, we found few funders willing to nurture such a community.
2014 - 2016
A highly-curated meeting of community-oriented practitioners willing to share the realities of their health-related work
Hosted by Loeb & Loeb in their Manhattan offices, these meetings are safe spaces in which community-oriented practitioners from different sectors are encouraged to share the struggles of their work with a view to learning from each other. Each meeting has about 20 participants and takes five months to prepare. There have been three to date (2014, 2015 & 2016) and more meetings are being considered. If you’re interested in participating, please get in touch.