The mission of St. Luke's Health Initiatives (SLHI) in Phoenix is to improve the health of people and their communities in Arizona, with an emphasis on helping people in need and building the capacity of communities to help themselves.
SLHI provides the infrastructure for a number of communities of practice. I facilitate the Civic Engagement Community of Practice. Leaders engaged in systems change work co-create innovative ways to promote civil discourse through all sectors and levels of Arizona communities, and collaborate to leverage training and knowledge, and share practices, tools, and techniques to work more efficiently and effectively.
I serve as a consultant for SLHI’s Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP). I’ve helped TAP teams:
- Create Cultivate South Phoenix (CUSP), a collaborative coalition. CUSP promotes the wellness of families and children in south Phoenix by supporting and leveraging the efforts of a broad range of organizations with a shared vision of improving the natural, built, and social environments.
- Identify common ground and develop a shared vision for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Arizona state office and local affiliates. The groups engaged in organizational and community dialogues to refocus and revitalize efforts.
- Conduct research to support development of a resource directory targeted to the needs of female veterans in Arizona.
- Develop an organizational infrastructure and set priorities for a behavioral health peer and family coalition.
- Create and launch a Maricopa County oral health alliance (MOLAR).
- Develop an alliance initiated by the People of Color Network to create a program plan for a peer/family-run enterprise to enhance behavioral health services provided to culturally diverse transition-age youth and adults.
I have contributed to three SLHI Arizona Health Futures publications, whose purpose is to unravel an important health policy topic of relevance to Arizonans; provide a general summary of the critical issues, background information and different perspectives on approaches to the topic; tap into the expertise of informed citizens; and suggest strategies for action.
The Future of Primary Care
"Goodbye, Hello—Framing the Future of Primary Care: An Arizona Perspective" provides a venue for a discussion of how primary care is organized, practiced, and rewarded within a larger fragmented, specialty-driven "non-system" of care. "Part One: The Primary Care Parade" (December 2009) examines definitions, history, trends in health access and health status, the Arizona primary care workforce, and the current practice environment. "Part Two: Bending the Possibility Arrow" (January 2010) considers the future of primary care and offers recommendations. I facilitated focus groups that gathered information for these publications.
"Balancing Act: Ethics in Health Care" (August 2008) examines applied medical ethics. This collaborative project included SLHI; a team led by Bruce D. White, DO, JD, at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center (Phoenix); and David Altheide, PhD, Regents Professor in the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University. I conducted formal interviews with leading experts and others suggested by their peers as knowledgeable about, and experienced in, ethical dilemmas in medicine, and four focus groups consisting of ethics committee members, physicians, nurses, social workers, clergy, and administrators/counselors. These providers represented private practice, hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospice, and related institutions. The research resulted in a proposed agenda to address ethical dilemmas and the moral distress faced by healthcare providers.
"Mind, Mood, and Message: Pathways in Community Behavioral Health" (January 2005) identified core issues in 15 areas: healthy communities and resilience; mental health statistics; culture, race and ethnicity as they relate to mental health; depression, mood disorders and suicide; anxiety disorders; stress and mental health; emotional disturbances in children and adolescents; complementary and alternative medicine; loss and grief; substance abuse; integration of behavioral health and primary care; behavioral consequences of chronic health conditions; rage and violence; employee assistance programs; work/life solutions and workplace productivity; and grandparents raising grandchildren. After a comprehensive literature search, I conducted qualitative and quantitative research with English- and Spanish-speaking community experts, consumers, and providers. Research findings led to the development of an 11-point agenda for the future and a successful public forum.