Today one of my patients - also a friend - commented that it's been fun for him during our 10 years together to watch my transition from direct patient care towards more of what he describes as "public health." Even though I care for patients as a full-time clinical cardiologist, I'll admit that in my heart, I have begun to think of my patients also as people who are part of a broader community. How we build and feed that community directly impacts their health as individuals.
My patient is a social worker, and we noted that some of what mental health care providers try to accomplish in therapy is helping patients recognize their value, their worth. Once people remember that they have value, they sometimes change the way they behave. Once they realize that they are cared for, they sometimes start caring more for themselves.
This is the bedrock of Basecamp. We harness our values - respect, compassion, justice, excellence, and stewardship - to build communities. And in turn, our communities build value for their members. More value leads to better self-care, which can then be invested back to build an event healthier community. We call it 'healing it forward,' and I'm excited to see it in practice as our Heart to Start community volunteers at the Oregon Food Bank and the Oregon Humane Society, or our Women With Heart community seeks partners to provide free preventive care.
Turns out that public health is personal after all. It can actually be the most direct personal care that we can give. - JGB