On June 23rd, leaders in asset-building and anti-poverty organizations worked together with leaders in public health agencies to host a one-day symposium on the growing connection between socio-economic status and health. This coalition of organizations, the Health-Wealth Connection Collaborative (HWCC), hopes that the symposium will launch a new movement for health and wealth equity in the Bay Area. The HWCC’s goals are to create a shift in how organizations, specifically those that work to alleviate poverty, and public health officials think about health and the causes of poor health, as well as to provide the structure for said organizations and officials to come together to make the connections between health and wealth building disciplines. In providing this structure, the Health-Wealth Connection Collaborative aims to propose solutions and formulate action steps for closing the health-wealth gap.
The coalition’s first event, the Health-Wealth Symposium, was its first step in realizing its objectives. The symposium brought together individuals from health, social service, and financial asset building organizations; public and elected officials; businesses; financial institutions; and the coalition’s funders. Guests listened to panel presentations on cutting-edge research about health-wealth efforts and outcomes and participated in small group discussions about the topics presented by the guest speakers. In the morning, participants discussed the issues their organizations faced when promoting health and wealth so that they could learn from each other about ways to better present this information. In the afternoon, participants brainstormed actions to begin to make positive changes. Participants noted the commitment they all had to their work in either the health or wealth industries but that all were very eager to engage and learn from those working in other fields.
The symposium focused on cross-organizational learning and sharing as well as collective brainstorming and ended on a positive, forward-looking note. Participants left energized to apply new strategies and ideas to their own work and to continue the conversation of the health-wealth disparity in our nation.
For more information on the Health Wealth Connection Collaborative and information from the symposium, visit the collaborative’s website.