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Since 2010, residents of Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Family Medicine Department have successfully partnered with the Community Exchange TimeBank (CE) for a service day, where medical residents provide a larger-scale service for a CE member, enabling them to hear the member’s story and provide a service for a community member. Family Medicine faculty member, Susan Hansen, emphasizes the importance of non-clinical activities that encourage residents to bond with each other and serve their community. Susan says it "helps people discover and share their skills and highlight how individual assets, when taken together, form a richly diverse and caring community." After participating in the 2016 Service Day, first-year resident Erin Smith said, "I absolutely loved Service Day and felt it allowed for one to come full-circle in understanding… how to effectively give back in other ways (not just medicine), and how to become integrated into our new community in Allentown." - Community Exchange, Pennsylvania http://ow.ly/KkS4309ZrHe . #timebankingis #community #50storiesin50days #timebanks #story #timeasmoney #familymedicine
Reflection by Edgar Cahn
“Once the rockets are up,
who cares where they come down?
That’s not my department,”
says Wernher von Braun.
These words come from a 1950’s song by Tom Lehrer about the Nazi scientist who designed the rockets that rained death upon London.
That commentary brings to mind the response of all too many health care professionals when informed of the social determinants of health. These determinants account for 70% of the health of those patients whom they treat. That is how those professionals earn their living — but they are frequently prone to declare: “That’s not my department.”
Yet, it could be and should be.
When medical and health care professionals do undertake to make the social determinants of health their department, awesome documented changes occur.