December Learn-in: Building Care Economies

December 8th – 6:00-7:30pm

When we think about what it takes to make our community healthy and well, we typically point at the hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacies, and insurance that provide direct care. While important, these systems of healthcare do not necessarily encompass the breadth of community needs and in many ways are driven by administrations that focus more on profit than making us whole. So, what if we start to think about a broader care economy that centers on what it takes to make communities thrive? What would it mean to think about how daycares, home health care, doulas, mutual aid, and all the other daily tasks contribute to our health.

Building on VASEN’s previous Learn-in’s, this event brought together voices from around Virginia that not only center community well-being, but are seeking to build new systems of care. 

Speakers will include:

Barbara Hirshorn: Barbara is a social gerontologist focusing on developing initiatives that build community resource capacity for older residents or that promote civic knowledge among people of all ages.  

Garrett Nunley: Garrett has been developing Care Appalachia, an initiative to work with parents, families and childcare providers to research and design ways to improve the quality and accessibility of childcare resources 

Jess Mullins: Jess will share her experience with Lonesome Pine Mutual Aid, a network providing community meals, supplies and other mutual aid resources in Southwest Virginia

Joe Fields Johnson: Joe is a primary care doctor with Dandelion Health where they take pride in providing clear and convenient primary care with transparent pricing, anchored in dignity.

References and Resources

Barbara Hirshorn Points –

  • We need to consider peoples life course
  • Home has always been the center of health care and we are seeing a return to people wanting to have care in the home.
  • Care Economies need to consider both the role of the patient and the care worker

Care Appalachia Points –

  • Care takes a village
  • Economic change = care change
  • Care is a gender justice issue
  • Care is not a choice
  • Care means addressing stress and trauma

Joe Fields Johnson Points

  • We need to recenter health in the community and reverse institutionalization
  • Care is a relationship built on trust and dignity
  • Care need to center the patient and make sure they an comfortable

Jess Mullins Point

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