— Chris Hopkins
It was a hospitalist position that brought Tayeb Al-Hafez to Miles City, but he didn’t limit himself to that work. It was great to see his excitement and his willingness to get involved with health issues in the region. He didn’t just complete his hospitalist requirements and then go home, instead he helped us improve health and wellness in the community.
My connections through my employer, Montana Health Network (MHN), are valuable to Global Health Equity Foundation. Many of the healthcare leaders that attended the Consensus Building Forums are members of MHN. At the forums there are opportunities to collaborate, and to gain wider market exposure very quickly. The Foundation’s goals and MHN goals sync well on a local level. We bring to the table different, but complementary, methods of achieving those goals.
The community-based health forums have been eye-opening. The forums generated some very good discussion, and I think we are to the point where work is going forward. It’s exciting to see. The number of talented people coming together to work on these projects is phenomenal. For example, GHEF’s focus on eastern Montana’s suicide problem has brought some very creative people to Miles City. Their talents have created an awareness of approaches that would not have been thought of otherwise.
The focus on eastern Montana’s high suicide rate created the biggest splash immediately following the forums. There are other urgent healthcare issues that will take center stage as we begin to work on those projects. One of the best outcomes of the forums an increase in involvement on the part of rural hospital CEO’s, nursing home directors, and other healthcare professions from areas surrounding Miles City. The Miles City community as a whole has been improved as a result of GHEF strategies. Creating contacts and generating awareness encourages the community to define problems and to work together on solutions. So far, community leaders have identified healthcare issues, and the forum participants are excited about working on some of these issues through various media channels.
Different media channels allow providers to contact patients, and to give them crucial information. Information is provided on a broader and more appealing level. Seeing rural American communities as having issues in common with other underserved populations sets GHEF apart from most global healthcare organizations. Global Health Equity Foundation is a good group to work with.