December Newsletter

March 21, 2013
Equity + Health Connection
Watch It Now:
A New Film on the Equity + Health Fellowships
A new film documenting the work of the first group of Equity + Health Fellows tells the story of 18 men and women with a shared commitment to reducing health disparities in the Richmond Region.
The film, directed and produced by Daniel Bagbey of OVRBORD Media, is available on Richmond Memorial Health Foundation’s (RMHF) main website as well as the Fellowship website. It includes interviews with Fellows, Trustees, and President & CEO Mark Constantine, and features 10-year-old Kemarii Dewitt, a participant in programs at the Peter Paul Development Center, where E+H Fellow Damon Jiggetts is executive director.
The film will be used as a recruitment tool for the second cohort of E+H Fellows. Be sure to read our January 9 newsletter for more information on how to apply. You can also read essays and poems by the Fellows to learn more about the process and the impact that the Fellowship had on each of the participants.
In their essays, Fellows Sarah Bedard Holland and Antonio Villa captured the intensity and the collegial spirit of the Fellowship.
Holland wrote, “I always left a day with the Fellows exhausted, elated and assured. Exhausted from active and engaged listening and thinking (and talking!); elated because of the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts with this amazing group of individuals who have become friends as well as colleagues and partners.
“And assured, because I firmly believe that because of the work of the Fellows, the openness of RMHF staff and leadership, and the efforts of so many others in our area, Richmond will be an exemplar to other places that a segregated municipality, rich with resources, talent, and love, but scarred by systemic racism, poverty, and ambivalence, can become a region where there is equitable and fair distribution of resources and access to opportunities for health and well-being. Assured that Richmond will become a place where race and income are no longer factors in people’s health and well-being.”
In his essay, Villa shared his belief that the Fellowship program was created at the right moment to drive significant progress in addressing health inequities. He wrote, “My peer Fellows and I have a great motivation, because we do not feel alone. … I feel motivated with this measurable collective effort to pursue not only the improvement of health outcomes for our Hispanic community, but the holistic approach that RMHF Trustees wisely decided to lead with their Health and Equity strategic plan.”
Dr. Villa also shared his essay in Spanish:
“De igual manera mi participación en varios intentos de trabajo conjunto con personas de diversas disciplinas y sectores comprendí que no es una tarea fácil, sin embargo en el Fellowship no sólo pude confirmar que esta es una tarea compleja para todos, la cual requiere identificar puntos de interés común con metas, objetivos y estrategias claras para que de manera colectiva podamos modificar la realidad de las comunidades menos favorecidas. … No tengo dudas del éxito de esta iniciativa de la RMHF y además como catalizador de este proceso en la región de Richmond, liderando un proceso a largo plazo que incluye la participación de líderes de comunidades tradicionalmente marginadas.”
You can read complete essays and poems by the Fellows on the Equity + Health website.