“What if health systems were built around the needs and preferences of the people receiving care, not the providers?” asks Consuelo Wilkins, Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance. What if Nathan, a 34-year-old father and husband who works two jobs, could receive his health care in a place where he felt comfortable, not vulnerable, such as at the community center where he plays basketball on weekends?
A key piece of achieving this change to the health care system is partnering with community organizations. We must think about how we can earn their trust and be more trustworthy, says Wilkins. “That’s the only way we’re really going to get the system to evolve and get to a place where we can think beyond what our needs are as providers and health systems, and get on to changing the lives of our patients.” Trust, especially among the most vulnerable populations, is closely linked to whether people perceive that they are being treated fairly and that they will be safe — it’s not about how many degrees we have, rewards we receive, or the prestige of our institution. ….more