I got an email from the people I met with yesterday thanking me for sharing my project with them, and suggesting I might want to go to a meeting tonight--a community response to the large university hospital in town not renewing their Medi-Cal contract, leaving lots of people without primary care. I decided to go, just to see what was going in in the community.
It was a great meeting. Almost all the people the folks I met with yesterday suggested to me were there, as well as all sorts of other grass-roots health organizations working in the community. A arrived as an observer, but left as an active participant. It is so cool to see what people at the community level can accomplish.
I was surprised by how much I had to contribute to the discussion. I have a lot of experience in health care, and I also know how things work, and the politics involved.
I was lecturing today on kidney failure, and when I was going over the statistics, I highlighted certain groups who at are higher risk for developing kidney failure. A lot of it is related to hypertension and diabetes, to which these same populations are also susceptible. A lot of it has to do with access to preventive care services, or the lack of access, in most cases. I talk about this in almost every lecture I present.
This evening took me from the abstract to the real.