October 17, 2008

We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For

On Tuesday I attended DCPCA's Annual Meeting--the theme for the day was "We are the ones we have been waiting for." What a great reminder.

Too often we sit around thinking about what we need to better serve our clients...who can help us? Who can provide what we need? Where can we get more funding? Often we identify things we need and then we look to someone else to provide them. But that's not always the best method...sometimes we need to remember that we are the ones we have been waiting for.

The day began with a rousing welcome speech from DCPCA Director Sharon Baskerville, community singing (that's right, I said singing) led Charles Williams from the Levine School of Music, and an inspirational keynote address by Dr. Marilyn Gaston, Co-Director of Gaston & Porter Health Improvement Center and former head of the Bureau of Primary Health under HRSA.

Bread for the City volunteer Dr. Nicole Lurie took the stage next to update us all on the state of the District's healthcare system. In addition to volunteering in our medical clinic (and being a recent Good Hope Award recipient), Dr. Lurie is a researcher at Rand...so she really knows what she's talking about! She stressed that the data is still preliminary--having only received most of it just last week--so I promised I wouldn't post specifics here yet. However, I will post a non-specific summary in my next post.

Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician from Unity Health Services, followed Dr. Lurie to discuss "Health Care Reform on a National Stage: The Single Payer Option." Dr. Zarr was representing Physicians for a National Health Program. Much of his presentation can be found on PNHP's website.

After the morning presentations we adjourned for lunch where BFC's own Dr. Randi received the 2008 Distinguished Caregiver Award (there will be a separate blog post about this too). Also honored were Ms. Katherine Freshley of the Meyer Foundation; Vincent Gray, Council Chairman; and Walter Smith, Executive Director of DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.

The afternoon included a series of stress-relieving exercises followed by a performance of "A Right to Care" by Sarah Jones. Unfortunately I was not able to stay for much of the afternoon, but my 10-minute chair massage was heavenly...

Thank you DCPCA for a wonderful Annual Meeting!

No comments: