During the last meeting of the semester, I was asked how I would carry what I have learned as a Kruse Scholar forward into my work. I have since reflected. What I will carry forward is not knowledge per se, but rather a skill. Continuing the practice we have done as Kruse Scholars to remain reflexive about healthy communities. It will always be important to ask “How can I create collaborations to build health communities?”
We were presented with case studies from different regions, we met professionals from all sectors, and we trained in Baldrige, a framework that spans various professions. Even the Kruse Scholar cohorts have been composed of unique and talented individuals with much to share because of their various backgrounds, and different perspectives.
Being a Master of Public Health student, much of my studies focus on population health. Much of our efforts target interventions that prevent disease or injury before they happen. The scholars from Augustana University and from the Master of Healthcare Administration also brought their perspectives into the discourse, and helped me get a greater picture of creating health. Through our interactions I had more angles through which I could define and understand health and healthy communities.
I have since remained curious about how to negotiate these different viewpoints. Currently, I am finishing up my thesis. Interestingly, I was drawn to a research question that echoes the many conversations about the healthcare systems.
Over the summer, I will be working with a local hospital to understand the patient experience. Why do some sick people not visit with this hospital, while others do? How can we best repair this rift between institution and community?
Health happens in communities, so ensuring the connection between community members and the institutions within their communities is essential. Being a Kruse Scholar peaked my interest in the healthcare system, and challenged me to connect with professionals across different sectors to work at creating better health for the whole community.
*Learn more about Misty Blue here