As part of our sponsorship of the 2017 Light City Festival, Kaiser Permanente convened change agents, innovators, yogis, and barbers for inspiring discussion at the HealthLab@LightCity on Monday, April 3. More than 150 people gathered for the day to explore emerging technologies and innovative practices that have the potential to affect the quality of life and health outcomes for all people, here and around the globe.
Kim Horn, President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, welcomed the audience and showed for the first time a video about a community park in West Baltimore. Maritha Gay, Executive Director of External Affairs and Community Benefit, emceed the entire day, bringing her infectious energy and enthusiasm to the day.
A wide array of topics, from technical innovation to trauma and violence were covered by tremendous speakers. One crowd favorite was “The Intersection between Health & Policing in Baltimore & Urban America” with Leana Wen, MD, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, and Kevin Davis, Baltimore City Police Commissioner. Dr. Wen shared a saying that summarizes the talk well, “Public health and public safety saved your life today, you just don’t know it.”
Jandel Allen-Davis, MD, Vice President of Government and External Relations for Kaiser Permanente Colorado, traveled to Baltimore to share River of Health. This artistic talk makes a case for creating more connected communities to better our health and lower the cost of staying well. It serves as a reminder that, as a country, we need to recognize that there are no silver bullets available to solve deeply rooted health and social issues. Addressing these will require multi-pronged approaches.
An afternoon panel explored innovative community-based projects that bring screenings and services to barber and beauty shops. Led by Shawnta Jackson, MPH, Community Health Program Manager at the Maryland Center for Health Equity, this panel included Troy Staton. Mr. Staton is the co-owner of New Beginnings Barbershop and hosted Kaiser Permanente for just such a program from December 2016 through March 2017.
There are still plenty of Light City events for you to attend. Check out the full schedule here.