global / local

local hospital helps the King County poor using health care strategies gleaned from sub-Saharan Africa. Do I understand correctly? We’re one of the 50 richest counties* in America, allegedly the world’s most prosperous nation, but if you’re sick / poor you might as well live in Botswana?

Well. The full story is that an executive-level RN at Seattle’s Swedish Hospital will be training community health workers for neighborhoods in Sea Tac and Tukwila. These health workers will connect down-and-out folks with appropriate medical care plus services that help connect the dots, like transit passes, legal assistance, even microloans.

Integrating services is a slick thing to do, for two reasons: 1) it works, and 2) because health depends on more than access to good medical care. Better shelter and nutrition worked wonders for Paul Farmer’s tuberculosis campaign in Haiti, for example. Can it work here in the most literate city in America? Sure sounds promising. So stay tuned.

* as determined by personal per capita income

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