15 By 2015

Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

New York City     An email came to me out of nowhere inquiring about ACORN International and our interest in partnering on global health care work. The good doctor and professor at Brown, David Egilman, knew our reputation and thought we might be able to do the field work while his outfit — GHETS, Global Health through Education, Training, and Service. The second coincidence was that we were both going to intersect in New York, so we met on a spring filled Saturday in Union Square half-way between his appointments and mine.

It was a relief to find a doctor who actually saw community health care as a holistic enterprise and understood that real prevention was linked to outreach in a modern day manifestation of the old barefoot doctors concept of so many years ago. It was exciting to spend some time really talking about strategies around prevention and total health care.

We ended up in a discussion of the disease based approach trumpeted by the Gates and others and the fact that the real numbers for saving lives were actually in the “simple” things like sufficient food, clean water, and the like rather than always in the exotic and specialized cures. Dr. Egilman introduced me to a new campaign that GHETS and others similarly inclined community health advocates in universities, hospitals, and elsewhere were advocating: the 15 by 2015 campaign (www.15by2015.org)

The objectives were simple. 15% of the health expenditures should be for community health by 2015. Get on line. Sign the petition.

We exploring how to create a sustainable partnership both in the US and globally to increase the health and well being of lower income families. Something good is going to happen here!