Going Boldly Where No Community has Gone Before!
There is a well-known story about a young boy walking on the beach throwing starfish back into the ocean one by one. When an adult asks him why he is doing that since there are thousands of starfish on the beach and surely he cannot make a big difference to all the starfish, the young boy responds, “Well, at least I made a difference to that one!”
And so it is for the Tampa Bay Bold Goal: we come together to make a difference in the lives of the people who make up our community. At Humana, we have embraced a Bold Goal – that we, along with our community partners, will improve the health of the communities we serve 20% by the year 2020. We measure the progress of our Bold Goal by using the CDC-validated survey tool, Healthy Days. And, of course, one of the communities we focus on is right here in Tampa Bay.
As a physician and a new resident of the Tampa Bay area, I find myself incredibly excited about what we can do together to make Tampa Bay healthier and to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Moreover, as a physician with a public health degree who sees firsthand the commitment we all make towards achieving this goal, I am grateful to everyone who is a part of the process. Promoting a wholesale philosophical change in how we view health and healthcare, as well as how we view our own individual and collective responsibility to promote change is not easy and will certainly require a great deal of work to overcome the inertia of the status quo and doing nothing. We have seen what doing nothing gets us and we know that we can do better by working together to overcome the obstacles we find. It won’t happen overnight, and it may not affect everyone at the beginning, but certainly we will find that we are making a difference in someone’s life and, hopefully, making it better. Together, we make a difference for all by making a difference for one – just like the boy and the starfish.
At this time, I invite the community and our community partners to join us in our third Clinical Town Hall on October 25, 2017, at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa. The outcome of our first town hall was that the community came together to begin addressing the impacts of food insecurity and behavioral health issues on our collective health. While we haven’t solved these problems by any means, being aware is the first step towards finding a solution. And, more importantly, I see us continuing to keep the momentum going toward making a healthier Tampa Bay area. This is something we all want and certainly all deserve. And while there are other communities in both the state and the country who join us in this journey, I’m motivated, as they say on Star Trek, to boldly go where no community has gone before!
I look forward to continuing our work together to make a difference.
Albert Tzeel, MD, MHSA
Tampa Bay Bold Goal Health Advisory Co-Chair