21 people attended the event on Saturday the 20th of March, although not all at the same time. We were delighted with your breadth and diversity of experience in the health care field, and the afternoon fulfilled our hopes for the start of something new and exciting.
After an introductory exercise to show us who was in attendance, we set the context for the event, which was "What does local sustainable health care look like and how do we create it? Next the group brainstormed by speaking out loud burning questions, passionate issues, great ideas. We wrote everything on the wall, and then, examining our input, we decided that there were three main areas of interest:
--A paradigm shift in how we look at health care has to occur -- from compartmentalized to holistic, from toxic to healthy, from heavily resource dependent to heavily inter-dependent and local or community based, from depending on the experts to taking personal responsibility.
--We need awareness raising and education to achieve this paradigm shift and a more preventative approach.
--Direct care or treatment with alternative sustainable healing modalities needs to be more available and affordable locally.
We broke up into three groups and brainstormed in these three areas of paradigm shift, education and treatment. Each breakout sessions met for an hour and 10 minutes and then presented their work to the group as a whole. After this presentation, participants listed the following priorities:
--A monthly educational/support program at the yoga center where people with health issues can come together to learn from each other and find support.
--Monthly cultural health event - where we would invite diverse and indigenous folks to share their healing practices.
--Mapping our community health resources - creating a directory of healing practitioners.
--Assessment of local needs and determining strategies to meet them.
--Up-scaling existing solutions - providing greater access to alternative healing modalities to more people locally.
--Moving ahead with a mobile health clinic
--Creating healing circles
--Story/telling: Recording healing stories and getting them out there - distribution
--A program that would nominate neighbors with good gardens and restaurants serving local and healthy foods and reward them with a creative rating/branding system.
These next steps were agreed upon:
We also discussed making sure that our meetings have a healing energy in themselves (in the nature of a healing circle), so that we are being the change we want to see.