Tag Archives: employment

A Swift Kick In The Butt {Fun Friday}

Hallelujah, it’s Friday!!! Work was absolutely crazy this week. Obviously I know that protecting confidentiality is of the utmost importance, but sometimes I REALLY wish I didn’t have to abide by HIPAA regulations. You would not believe some of the things I see and hear with my cases. My friends Brittany and Caroline, who are also social workers, devised a plan for us to write a book called I Can’t Make This Sh*t Up. We can all attest to the cliché that truth is stranger than fiction.

Anywayyyy, on to some Fun Friday stories, pictures, and videos!


Let’s get this party started with a dog video. (I have a dog video problem.)

He is so perplexed by that fountain.

Next up is a “Lip Flip” segment from The Tonight Show. Have you seen this yet? This one with Jimmy Fallon and Billy Crystal is by far the funniest one to me.

I find it unsettling and hilarious.

Below is an amusing Calvin and Hobbes strip that I want to put up in my office.

pt6Ol1v

 

Sometimes we all need one. 🙂

Finally I want to share an NPR segment called, “Beyond Charity: Turning The Soup Kitchen Upside Down.” While charity is certainly necessary in the short-term, it is often not the best way to help people long-term.  Robert Egger, the founder of DC Central Kitchen, noticed that many of the individuals eating at local soup kitchens were battling addiction and facing incarceration in addition to dealing with unemployment and homelessness. Egger decided to take a “teach a man to fish” approach and created a culinary job training program, which teaches individuals how to cook and earn a food handler’s license. The individuals in the job training program help produce approximately 10,000 meals each day. About 5,000 meals are sent to local nonprofit organizations and another 5,000 meals are distributed to local, low-income schools.

My graduate school classmate Allison is starting up a non-profit with a similar model in Chapel Hill, NC. It’s called Made With Love Bakery. Made With Love Bakery is a “faith-based transitional employment bakery sharing the love of Jesus Christ with individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness, giving them a second chance at employment and equipping them with the training and support they need to overcome poverty.” You can find out more on the website or her blog.

Sheesh, I’m supposed to turn off the social work for these posts. What can I say? I love seeing people find creative ways to address social issues. It inspires me.

Have a great weekend!!

Health Equity {Social Justice Issue}

I am FINALLY posting another piece in my social justice series. I love social justice posts, but they take longer to write than most of my posts. If you haven’t read Food Deserts and Swamps yet, read this one first. This post provides a broad overview of the relationship between social justice and health. It helps explain my perspective on health and well-being, and sets the stage for future social justice posts.


Health Equity

What is health equity? 

Healthy People 2020 defines health equity as “attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally with focused and ongoing societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices, and the elimination of health and health care disparities.”

Health Equity

What is the difference between health equity and equality? 

Health equality focuses on fairness and involves equal distribution of health-related resources to all people regardless of pre-existing differences. Health equity focuses on people attaining the same optimal level of health, which often means that some people get more assistance or resources than others. Particular attention is paid to groups that have experienced major obstacles to health associated with being socially or economically disadvantaged. The image below is helpful for understanding the difference between the two.

equity

Source: theequityline.org

Unlike health equality, a health equity approach acknowledges that some individuals have a better chance of attaining optimal health than others. Therefore, the goal of health equity is to level the playing field so that everyone has the same opportunity to be healthy. An essential component of leveling the playing field and ultimately eradicating health disparities is addressing social determinants of health.

What are social determinants of health? 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), social determinants of health are “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.”

In simpler terms, social determinants of health include a person’s

  • socioeconomic status,
  • neighborhood,
  • employment conditions,
  • education,
  • access to healthcare,
  • race,
  • ethnicity,
  • sexual orientation,
  • gender,
  • and personal behaviors.

The video below illustrates social determinants of health by using “Chad” and “Jeff” as examples.

For another example, as I pointed out in my last social justice post on food desserts and swamps, people who live in low income neighborhoods or communities are less likely to have access to affordable and nutritious food. And as we all know, a healthy diet is absolutely essential for overall health.

Why does health equity matter?

Health is a basic human right, and it affects every part of our lives. While some factors of health are beyond human influence, we have the power to address the social injustices that lead to health disparities. By building on individuals’ strengths and mitigating the effects of social and economic disadvantages, we can work towards equal opportunity for optimal health and well-being.

Resources and Additional Information

Healthy People 2020

WHO – Social Determinants of Health

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