A message from Patricia Mathews:
On Thursday, March 13, at 5:00 p.m. at the Kaiser Family Foundation building, Washington Grantmakers members have the opportunity to participate in a special networking reception and premiere screening of the opening episode of Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, a critically important documentary series on the root causes of poor health, illness, and disparities that will be broadcast on PBS stations across the country – including in our region – later in the month. As Chair of WG’s Health Working Group, I invite you to join us – especially if you don’t consider yourself a “health funder.” (Click for registration information.)
This series looks beyond physical causes of death and shows in very human terms how our income, education, residential location, race and ethnicity affect how healthy we are and how long we live. The series will undoubtedly generate a lot of discussion throughout our region. It will remind us that we must work “upstream” to create the conditions that create healthy communities and promote health equity while, at the same time, working “downstream” in the here and now to provide access to high quality, affordable, coordinated patient-centered community-based health care.
Addressing the complexities involved in creating healthy communities challenges us to integrate our work more effectively, expand our partnerships and be consciously more interdisciplinary. We expect this PBS series to help inform all of our work—regardless of our funding focus. WG members can look for more detailed information about the series and related activities in future issues of the WG Update newsletter
Patricia Mathews is the Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation.