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Sharon Homan, Pam Roesch, & Debra Wesley: “Community Health Counts” | Talks at Google

Sharon Homan, Pam Roesch, & Debra Wesley: “Community Health Counts” | Talks at Google


[MUSIC PLAYING] DEBRA WESLEY: We’re going to
get started with Dr. Sharon Homan, who is the president
of Sinai Urban Health Institute, who’s going to share
with us about why we needed data from the beginning. SHARON HOMAN: Great. And I want to introduce
our colleague, Pam Roesch, an epidemiologist at Sinai
Urban Health Institute who leads what’s called our HEAR
strategy– health, equity, and assessment
research strategy. So we’re super thrilled to be
here at Google with all of you, and I just want to express
our team’s great gratitude to all of our friends and
colleagues, your family, Miriam, who truly has supported
us for these 100 years. And we look forward
to another 100 years. So before we talk a little
bit about our two sister institutes, Sinai Community
Institute and Sinai Urban Health Institute, I want
to tell you a little bit about what we want to do today. But before I do
that, just really want to ground in our
mission, everything that we do in our two institutes
revolves around our mission. Our mission and vision
is so straightforward. It’s that our patients and
communities thrive in health. And just as Miriam
mentioned, the neighborhoods that we’ve served for
100 years are the stories of immigrant neighborhoods. In the south at
Holy Cross Hospital, Lithuanian Catholic families. In the Mount Sinai community,
Lithuanian and Eastern European Jews. And over these 100 years,
lots of different groups have moved in. One thing that they
shared in common are experiences of being
socially religious, politically marginalized, histories
of racial segregation, redlining, economic hardship. And just appreciating
that is so important to understand what we
want to share today, which is our research strategy, the
paradigm of translating data into action that
improves health, because if we’re going
to carry out that mission and we’re a safety net hospital
system with very little financial margin,
it takes a lot just to be treating those
trauma victims that we just heard about and taking care of
people who are under-insured. But for us to really
be about promoting the health of the
community, we want to do it in ways
that are measurable, that are meaningful, and
that are sustainable. And we believe the
only way to do that is to do it with the communities. But doing it with communities
that for generations have experienced the kind of
feelings of being something less than full participants
in society means that the first thing
in our research paradigm is building a certain
kind of trust. So many of you at Google
think about bringing products to market. And maybe you’ve used knowledge
management strategies, where you think
about at each level engaging your end users
and your consumers, and trying to build
a useful product that could go to market. And you think about at the
lowest level, you have the data and creating data lakes. And then you take that
through analytic techniques, and begin to develop
useful information that can help inform you about
bringing a product to market. And then that useful
information is converted to
actionable knowledge when you tie it in with
the knowledge of the food, and of the field, and trends. Similarly, at SUHI, we have a
knowledge management strategy. But really, we call it
a knowledge ecology, because at every step, it’s
a very relational process from the type of
data that we collect, how we collect that data,
how we use and prioritize our learnings to
what action steps that we take to work with our
communities to improve health. So what we’re going to
be talking about today is translating data
into action that improves health that’s built in
this paradigm, this knowledge ecology paradigm. But before we get started
on that, a little bit more about our institutes. And Debra, all yours. DEBRA WESLEY: Well, thank you. So I want to start by saying
on this day at approximately 12:00 noon on a Tuesday, I was
born at Mount Sinai Hospital. And I want to say that
I’m a proud baby boomer. [LAUGHTER] So I’m not telling you what year
it is, but I’m a baby boomer. [APPLAUSE] And I also want to say
that Mount Sinai was there to bring me into this world when
I would have been considered a high-risk birth, because
I was a breach birth. And [INAUDIBLE] time, I probably
wouldn’t be sitting here. But had it not been the fact
that they had physicians that were prepared for any kind
of condition, I am here today. I also want to say that
my parents migrated north from Louisiana. And many of my neighbors who– and we lived in North Lawndale. And my parents left Louisiana
as those who lived next to me for a better life. And I would say, as
Miriam, that the folks who helped create Mount
Sinai Hospital and the Jewish community
came to Chicago into North Lawndale for a
better life, no different. My memories of North
Lawndale was where we could go outside and play. We talk about Douglas Park,
where you could go and sleep at night. And the schools. I remember the red
light, green light game. Where we came out, it was no
question about our education. All of those kinds of things. So I have great memories of
growing up in North Lawndale. Fast forward. We’re here today. And let me just say this. When coming up in North
Lawndale and being raised by parents who
wanted a better life, there were certain
things that were non-negotiable from my parents. Education was non-negotiable. We had to get our education. During summer, we
had two options. Either go to school or work. Bottom line. We didn’t play. We had to get our education. So I decided I was going
to get my education. It was not acceptable
to bring a report card home with an average,
unless, my dad would say, did you do your best? And if my best was
a C, that was good. But if I could look
inside of myself and I couldn’t say that
that wasn’t my best, then we had to have
a conversation. And that was the same
for many of my neighbors in my community. Mount Sinai Hospital
represented a safety net years ago for our community. It was a place where we
knew we could get well if we needed to be well. When I left the West
side and came back, I remembered driving back and
forth, driving back and forth. And this is after
the riots, and things had changed in the community. And in the ’80s and ’90s, the
biggest issue in our community was the fact that our
babies were dying, that infant mortality was a
big issue in our community. And I don’t know
about you, but one of the things that is
totally unacceptable is to see an 11, or
12, or 13-year-old give birth to a child, because
from a clinical point of view, we’re going to make
sure that that baby is as healthy as possible. But the big question that– is why I love Mount Sinai– is we always said, what’s
going to happen to that baby when he or she goes home? It is not acceptable just
to give birth to the child and say, OK, mom, OK,
dad, have a good life. No. We got to find out what that
life’s going to look like. We’ve got to figure
out how we’re going to paint that picture. And being a part of Mount Sinai
and the kind of board that we have, they allow me to say– and I’ve been at Mount
Sinai for 32 years, OK? That’s a long time. And they allow me
to say, how are we, in addition to being able to
provide great medical care, how can we assure that,
beyond the medical care, how can we create
a way in which we have a strong bridge
between the community and the medical campus? So 25 years ago, Sinai
Community Institute was created. And for 25 years
this past June, we’ve been doing that faithfully. Creating programs and
resources for the community to make sure that
every baby that’s born has a safety net, that every
senior that’s in our community is protected, every child
that’s hungry that we know of is no longer hungry. All the resources
that we know we can provide, that
we’re providing it. That partnerships that we
create, that we’re creating it. That’s our job. That’s our responsibility. And that’s the beauty
of being associated with an institution like
Mount Sinai Hospital, like Sinai Health System. And so that’s my story, and
I’m going to keep telling it. [APPLAUSE] SHARON HOMAN: Debra, as
those needs continued to grow and I think the economic
conditions worsened in our communities, it
became clear that not just in addition to needing these
kind of supportive services, but that we had to
drive structural change, systemic change. And to do that, we
really had to document to be able to share the
story of health disparities. And I think that’s when my
predecessor, Dr. Steve Whitman, came about. Maybe you could
share a little bit about what Steve’s vision is. DEBRA WESLEY: Well, Steve
came at the right time, because while Sinai Health
System and Mount Sinai Hospital have been providing the types
of services throughout the years to really change the
lives and to help heal our community in a variety
of ways, one of the things that we weren’t
doing and we needed to do is to be able to
measure our outcomes to really be able to say how
we’re doing it, to tell our story
in a different way. And so by having Steve,
who’s very, very passionate about what we’re calling a
health disparity issues really bring it to the
forefront, he really put a different
angle on it, things that we really
didn’t think about. And so he– SHARON HOMAN: Yeah,
he really helped us understand how place and race
really matter in the equation. And I think it’s his
legacy that helped us be the Institute we are today. And when we look
at our team today, we have this incredibly
diverse group of scientists trained from
some of the best institutions– Notre Dame, Duke, University of
Iowa, University of Minnesota. So we have this rock solid
group of research scientists, and health educators,
program developers, effective communication people. And what we’re not is
a back shop operation. We’re definitely in the
forefront in the community working as leaders to develop,
and implement, and evaluate, come up with new
innovative solutions, high-tech, high-touch,
high community solutions that we hope can bring
about greater equity and improve health. But to understand
what we’re doing, we really have to understand
this idea of health equity. So one of the things
that we like to tell is, if you just go from where
we are here in the West loop and you think about just
going five miles west that we experienced a decrease in
life expectancy of 16 years. And that’s age-adjusted,
race-adjusted life expectancy. So we say that we
have this huge gap. What are those underlying issues
of economic depression, race, gender, immigration status? All of these characteristics
cause our communities to experience less health. And those health disparities
do more than just add burden of difficult
situations in homes– kids with unmanaged asthma,
uncontrolled diabetes– but it really erodes the
trust in our community that the rest of the City
of Chicago cares about them. And to turn this
around, we really believe that we have to
think systematically. And part of that
systematic change is getting at these
underlying health inequities and making those right. And Pam is going to share a
little bit about the language that we use your mind
equity and disparity. PAM ROESCH: Right. So at its heart, SUHI’s mission
is to achieve health equity across communities. So what we mean by health
equity is that all people, all communities have
access and opportunity to reach their full
potential of health. And terminology-wise, we
call health inequities these created barriers, those
structural systematic barriers, things like community
disinvestment, food insecurity, discrimination
that lead to one group persistently having worse health
outcomes than another group. And then we measure
those in what we call health disparities. So for an example of a
disparity we know of, African-American women who are
diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to die than
non-Hispanic white women. And that is not a
genetic predisposition. That is because of these
inequities that exist. And SUHI’s mission
is really to use data and innovative solutions
to try to bridge that gap and solve some of these
inequities that we see. SHARON HOMAN: I love the work
that my predecessor, Dr. Steve Whitman, did because he
really helped us understand the idea of health disparities. But to take action, we need
to think of tangible health inequities. Those things that get
in the way that we can remove those barriers. We can improve the transit
system at Mount Sinai so not only patients can get on
the bus and make it to Sinai, they can actually
get home again. We can find ways to get
grocery stores built in our community or other sorts
of Amazon/Google solutions to the issues of food security. But basically, when we talk
about removing these health equity barriers, we need to
think about three concepts. And these are the concepts of
space, power, and authority. Of course, space. We need conditions where people
can live, work, and learn. We need green space. We need grocery stores,
good transportation, effective policing,
safe streets. So that space, that
makes a lot of sense. Power makes a lot of sense. We need partners, business
partners, commercial partners, civic partners, ways that
we can move the needle on improving the
health conditions and eliminating
some of these health barriers, these inequities. But most important,
we need authority. And that’s not authority over. It’s the opportunity for
individuals and communities to be the author of
their own life and story. And this is really
at what’s root of our research model,
this idea that we create this platform of trust. And when we have
trusting relationships, we can effectively engage
our community members, and community
organizations, and partners, and beginning to look at
the data, make sense of it, prioritize what we’re
going to work on, find solutions that
can be really adapted to the particular
community and their needs. PAM ROESCH: So that leads into
one example of how we’re really doing this on the ground today. And this is our
Sinai survey 2.0. And so this is actually a
follow-up survey to a survey we did in 2002. And like that survey, it really
focuses on the social factors that influence peoples’
health– where they live, work, and play. So this survey was
conducted in nine community areas across Chicago. And many of these areas are
served by Sinai Health System, but we actually added
some other areas to get up our sample size
to do some racial and ethnic differences analyses,
particularly in Mexican and Puerto
Rican populations. Now, key to engaging the
community in this process was our community
advisory committee. So they saw use through
every step of the survey. They literally oversaw
the design of the survey, the administration of it,
and its dissemination. It was comprised of at
least two individuals from each of the
surveyed communities. And just an example
of what they did. So we came to them with a
list of 700 questions related to health, and they brought
us down to 500 questions, really tweaking them to
be culturally appropriate, and also to be the
most relevant questions for their communities. In addition, we had
them add questions. So we weren’t going to ask
about intimate partner violence, and they insisted we ask about
intimate partner violence. They wanted us to ask about
school closings in the area. And they also wanted
us to ask extensively about discrimination
in their communities. Now, as an epidemiologist,
in addition to the community piece, we also tried
to make sure it was a very rigorous survey. So we did partner with
the University of Illinois survey research laboratory to
build a multi-stage sampling approach so that we
could statistically estimate health outcomes and
factors by community area. And lastly, we did the survey
face-to-face in people’s homes in Spanish and in English, and
that was done very pointedly. It’s because we know that
typical survey forms– so online, telephone, paper– tend to miss some of the most
marginalized communities– low-income people and
communities of color. And it was an
incredibly important that this survey reached those
groups that are oftentimes missed in other survey forms. SHARON HOMAN: As well
as building trust in the community, yes. PAM ROESCH: Right, right. SHARON HOMAN: Great. So Pam is going to share
a few of the key results. And we’re going to
focus on three topics– post-traumatic stress
disorder, food insecurity, and neighborhood safety. And I just want to point out
as Pam describes the methods, both of the analysis
and the findings, but also how we’re going to
disseminate those research products, everything
that we tried to do, the prioritization of what
we are sharing with you even today, there are ways in which
we’re trying to build the trust and motivation of
our communities, and get their buy-in so they’ll
want to use these findings and results to help push
forward for a change in– motivation to change. And I know Debra, just
the past couple weeks, your group in North Lawndale
has been using these surveys to do just that and
some of our tools. DEBRA WESLEY: Yes. One is an organization
called the North Lawndale CCC, which is a community
collaborative that is a bottom-up approach. It’s an organization that was
formed by the community, where they wanted to come up
with a plan for what North Lawndale looks
like 50 years from now, because none had been done. And so they asked
me if I would serve as the chair of the health
and wellness committee. So what I felt was
important is, well, let’s find out what the
condition of the community is around health status. So what we did is we
took the data that came out of this study, and we
shared it with the committee. And the committee is made up
of community stakeholders. And from that, we
were able to come up with a plan that is
reflective of the data that was shared from the study. So it was really
a wonderful plan that actually will be unveiled
by the committee in November. SHARON HOMAN: And we’re going to
see that some of those findings are quite startling. PAM ROESCH: Yeah, right. So one of the things we found
and was quite striking to us was the immense mental health
burden in the communities, and particularly in
relation to PTSD. And so we asked respondents if
a health care provider or doctor had ever told them
that they have PTSD. And here you can see the
results of diagnosed PTSD. So they were
actually quite high. And we see in three communities,
we’re approaching about 1 in 10 adults having been
diagnosed with PTSD. And mind you, it was basically
an entirely civilian population that we were surveying. The important thing we know
also is that these communities have a lot of barriers to
health care, particularly mental health care services. So we asked a
series of questions about current PTSD
symptoms in the past month. And here we see the
results of that assessment. And so we find
that the burden was quite higher if we
asked about it in terms of current PTSD symptoms,
rather than requiring someone to go to a doctor to
report that they’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. And here you see men on the
left and women on the right. And in two of our
communities, we had about one out of four adults reporting
current PTSD symptoms, and just in the past month. So this was quite
surprising to us, but I know in some
dissemination activities, it wasn’t actually surprising
to our communities. And Debra, I know it wasn’t
necessarily surprising to you. So it might be good to
share some of your thoughts on these findings. DEBRA WESLEY: No,
it’s still a stigma, particularly in the
minority communities around seeking out care around
the mental health issues. And so that’s something that our
committee, we are addressing. As a matter of fact, we
just did a conference in two of our elementary schools
two weeks ago focused with our trauma informed
care with our youth, and it was
phenomenal, because we figured we need to start early
to deal with how trauma is affecting our children
and working with our youth as early as possible. We are walking around
with a lot of pain, and we need to figure out
how do we address that pain. PAM ROESCH: So in
addition to the outcomes, we also asked a bunch
of questions related to factors that might
influence health, and particularly social factors. So we asked things about police
encounters, discrimination, religion, social support,
neighborhood safety, and the list goes on. But one of the things
I want to cover that was particularly
poignant in these communities is food insecurity. And so for those
of you unfamiliar with food insecurity,
it’s a measure of access to not only affordable
food, but healthy, nutritious food. And we use the USDA’s
validated scale so that we could compare
it to other surveys across the country. And here you see
some of the questions and what they really get at. And in our communities,
we saw that all but one were well above the US
rate for household food insecurity in the past year. In fact, in three
of our communities, we were approaching one in two
households being food insecure. In addition, looking at
this by race and ethnicity, we found that our non-Hispanic
black households were three times as
likely, and our Puerto Rican and Mexican households
about two times as likely to be food insecure
as white households. So this was incredibly important
as a health care provider to see what our patients
were facing at home. A lot of our
providers are trying to get people to stay onto
complex medical schedules, get them onto prescriptions for
their different health needs, but it’s important to remember
that if you can’t get food on the table, it’s
oftentimes hard to meet those clinical guidelines. SHARON HOMAN: Yeah. You look at in our community,
North Lawndale, largely African-American community
where Mount Sinai sits. And as we see from the
statistics, about half of the African-American
families in those communities are food insecure. And you remember
back to what that meant that Pam shared with
us from the FDA instrument. This means they go
days without any food. And then I just
wanted to run that by at Mount Sinai the folks that
are in nutrition and dietetics. And I asked, well,
what’s the situation, particularly for
our patients that have complex medical
conditions or have come in for an emergency episode
related to their diabetes. I said, what is it like? And they said that almost
3/4 of our patients leave, and they leave with
a nutritional issue. They’re undernourished. They’re malnourished. They’ve been in the hospital. They’ve lost weight. And they go back, and they don’t
have a ready access to food. There are no solutions
in the community. There aren’t grocery stores. This is a huge issue. And I know, Debra,
it’s something you’re looking at as part of the
quality of life plan in North Lawndale. PAM ROESCH: Right. So this data was incredibly
important to guide our practice, to guide
our interventions. But one of the key
pieces of the survey was that we involved the
community along the way. And one of the key ways we did
this was in our dissemination. So one of our primary
dissemination methods were to coast community
forums with topics that were selected by our
community advisory committee, and get residents’
feedback on the context around these numbers. So these were roundtable
table discussions in English and in Spanish. We did a data training
at the beginning, where we communicated
to individuals how to understand the data. And then we asked,
does this resonate? What’s the context? And these were incredibly
important to us understanding the
different narratives across our communities. So I’ll give one example here. So this is the story of North
Lawndale and West Inglewood. So these are two
communities on the west and south sides of Chicago
about eight miles apart. And they look pretty
similar demographically. They’re about the
same size, and they’re both predominantly
non-Hispanic black populations. They also have quite low
median incomes compared to the city as a whole. And their clinical access
is pretty much the same. So beyond these statistics,
they were getting access to screenings at appropriate
times, et cetera. So your thought might be that
all of their other outcomes might be pretty similar,
or everything probably looks about the same. But we also asked about
these social factors. And one of the things we
asked about was safety. And we found that in North
Lawndale, about 16% of adults felt unsafe walking alone
in their neighborhood during the day, but that in West
Inglewood, it was one in three. So as the data people
we are, we dug into it, and we were thinking that it
probably was related to crime. But we actually found
that North Lawndale had higher rates of violent
crime than West Inglewood. So we weren’t quite sure what
was going on with the numbers, and we didn’t have
additional numbers to help answer these questions. And so we discussed
this at our forums. And overwhelmingly, this is what
we heard at our West Inglewood forum. So things like, it feels
like Inglewood is a target to just report the bad stuff. And the media has constant
images of violence, but people don’t see that. If we’re constantly
slammed with this image, we’ll be looking
over our shoulders, rather than reaching
out to each other. And so working in health
promotion and capacity building in this
neighborhood, it was incredibly important
to hear this message, because we don’t
oftentimes think about the media
and its influence on the factors that
influence health. And so in our
programming we’re trying to incorporate means
and levers to push back on this negative portrayal,
not only for the outsiders, but also for community
members themselves so they really understand
the assets that are there, because only by building up
that capacity, and that power, and that belief in
these communities will they be able to really
take control of their own future and health. SHARON HOMAN: This
takes back to what we said at the beginning,
that most important principle that we do this kind
of research so it gives an authorship, the
ability of the community being able to tell
their own story, and not having the
media tell their story, and to empower
communities to have real data, and qualitatively
and quantitatively to tell the story. PAM ROESCH: Right. Very true. And I’ll give one more example
of how we’re doing that. So this is a slightly
different story of North Lawndale
and Little Village, which is also referred
to as South Lawndale, just not to confuse anyone. And these two communities are
served by Mount Sinai Hospital. And one is directly
north on Ogden Avenue and one is directly
south on Ogden Avenue. So right next to each other. They do look strikingly
different demographically, though. So North Lawndale is
predominantly non-Hispanic black, and Little Village
is actually much denser population-wise, and then
also predominantly people of Mexican descent. It has a very large
immigrant community. Now, both of these
communities do not fare well in terms of
income, and hence, both do not fare well in
terms of food insecurity. So they’re quite high levels. And so Mount Sinai doing a
lot of work in the community may have the thought of, we
could just do the same approach in both of these communities. And some of the things
we heard at the forums would suggest that the
pathways to food insecurity were the same between
these two communities. So minimum wage issues, lack
of beneficial employment, really expensive
healthy food costs. But as we continued to discuss
with community members, we really found that the
narratives and the pathways were quite different. And so in North Lawndale,
people talked about how it was a physical food desert. There weren’t grocery stores. People had to go on
two or three buses or get additional gas
money to get to food. And we actually,
after hearing this, pulled up some numbers to
go with these statements, and it’s true. And then in Little Village, we
found a little different story going on. So as I mentioned, it’s a
large immigrant community. And what we heard
overwhelmingly there was that there’s resources
here, but a lot of people are fearful of accessing
them, particularly in the current
political environment. And so people were saying,
regardless of citizenship status, if a pantry
was asking for an ID, they would not go there for
fear of where their name would be listed going forward. In addition, there was a lot of
confusion about accessibility of food stamps. And this really helped
us because we actually have some numbers from
the survey on food stamps and on emergency food access. And it really helped us see
why these inconsistencies in our numbers were happening. And so this happened time and
again that we saw similar data, but we heard different pathways
at our community forums. SHARON HOMAN: OK. So we’ve showed the story
of some of our results, and we want to get those results
into the hands of different stakeholders, policymakers,
community members, community organizations
like Debra’s. And so we developed this really
cool dissemination strategy that Pam is going
to walk us through. PAM ROESCH: Yes. So to hit all of our
different stakeholders, we first came out with
a very large report on 16 different health topics. SHARON HOMAN: That was
perfect for our media release and getting it out
early to all the press. PAM ROESCH: Public
health professional. SHARON HOMAN: Very
formal and professional. PAM ROESCH: You all,
as data-minded people, might find this the most
interesting of the things that we released. And then the second thing we did
was go back to the community. So these were infographics that
had one piece of data on them. And what they really
tried to do was bring attention to a particular
issue in the communities themselves. And our community
advisory committee helped us decide what
topics would be discussed. And then lastly, really
for policymakers, aldermen, funders, people
interested in the areas, we released these
series of profiles. So all of this is available on
our website, along with videos. We didn’t want to belabor all
500 questions we asked here today, but you can find
information on a lot of them on our website. SHARON HOMAN: Great. So this gets us to moving
from usable information to actionable knowledge. So having a trusted set
of data and tools that can be leveraged to
support community efforts. What are we going to do with it? We heard some things. Debra already shared
with us things that we’re doing with North
Lawndale Collaborative. But then we found
a really cool thing that people want do with it. Another initiative of
Sinai Health System that Karen Teitelbaum initiated
is the Chicago Gun Violence Research Collaborate. And Debra and I have been very
active in this collaborative. And we did a lot of
community listening sessions. So how does the community want
us to help them really address this problem of violence? And here’s one of the
surprising things we heard. It was, help our youth stay. Help our youth get engaged. And we want our youth to know
that they can have research and data at their fingertips. Teach them to be
research activists. And so one of the things
we’re going to be doing is bringing in a cohort
of youth this summer. And they’ll learn things about
advocacy, and media, and use of data, and infographics. And we’ll begin to build the
next generation of Google researchers. So for you Googlers who are
thinking about how could you use some of the things
that we’ve shared, we say, involve the communities,
particularly the youth if you’re not
doing that already, and think about how you can
enhance your own research and bringing new products
to market by really this direct community
involvement, particularly being attentive
to some of the more disenfranchised communities. And then, of course,
sign up for information, and learn more about us. [CHUCKLES] And Debra? DEBRA WESLEY: Yeah. And I guess the last
nugget I would recommend– as you go into the community,
always take a step back and say, whose lens am I
really seeing this information through? Because that’s real important
just to be reflective of that, because we each bring our
own experience to the table. And so we want to
understand what experience we’ll
bring to the table and how we’re interpreting
that information, because the community
is very smart people. And we don’t need
to empower them, because they’re very much
empowered these days. So what we want to do
is work hand-in-hand with the community,
and just make sure that we understand the lens
by which we’re seeing them and they’re seeing us. SHARON HOMAN: Great. So you got a perfect
summary for us, Pam. Give it to us. [LAUGHS] DEBRA WESLEY: So we’re hoping
to leave you today with the idea that place does matter, that
the methods we use to understand those places matter, and
that ultimately in the end, our communities matter, no
matter where they’re from, who lives there, that we all
have the right to justice and to health. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] SPEAKER: As Google,
we have a lot of power to disseminate information. What are some things that
tech companies like us can do to help spread the word? SHARON HOMAN: Go ahead. Share with [INAUDIBLE]. PAM ROESCH: Why don’t
you go ahead, because I know it’s in your head. [LAUGHS] SHARON HOMAN: So
we have a dream. So we’ve done this
in three phases– the traditional kind
of research and then thinking about creative
ways we could disseminate. But about as creative
as we got were things like these infographics. And then we’ve also
created a little podcast and live infographics. But we don’t know how to
get it to the next level, how to get it out and
just be common parlance, and people using it
in the social media, and thinking about these
issues, and discussing them. So help how could you
help us with that? SPEAKER: Yeah, I mean, I think
the first thing is that we’ll post this talk on YouTube,
and I encourage you all to share it and post
it to your circles. [LAUGHTER] Yeah, but I think
that’s something that we, as Googlers,
should think about is that the people
don’t have resources, but also institutions like
Sinai don’t have resources like we have at Google, and how
can we get their message out? AUDIENCE: Was anything included
along the lines of drug abuse or opioids, which is a very
public thing right now? And did you look into
that, and research, and factor in as well? PAM ROESCH: Yes. So our first survey,
we actually didn’t ask about drug use
and substance use. But our community
advisory committee insisted this time that we do. Everyone was very
insistent about it. So we did ask about
substance use and drug use. We have not released
that data just yet. We’re in the process
of putting it together, because while we want to
be responsible about it, we need to make sure we
build a context around it so that we’re not reinforcing
a lot of stereotypes in our communities and for
the groups that we serve. But yes, we did ask
about it, and even some of our colleagues. So in addition, the
other dissemination form is we’re writing lots of papers
and peer-reviewed journals that I’m sure everyone in
the world wants to read. But we are doing some research
using some of that data. SHARON HOMAN: We hope to get
into the world of informing policymakers, and have had
some initial conversations with [INAUDIBLE] and others
to think about ways that are so critical,
like understanding the opioid epidemic, what
it means to our communities, and begin to use our data
to inform policy solutions. AUDIENCE: I’m curious
to hear more about what the response has
been from policymakers, and how they’re
maybe using the data. Are they denying it? Are they excited about it? And then my second question
is, there is already so many nonprofits and other
organizations on the ground that are doing a lot of work. And many of them measure their
success in their own way. And so I’m curious
how organizations that are already on the ground
take information like this. Do they embrace it, or have
you noticed that they’re maybe a bit apprehensive to it? PAM ROESCH: So the
policymaker piece– and Sharon or Debra might
be able to speak better– has been very
well-received generally. I mean, we have a
couple of policymakers that we work with all the time. We have been trying to get
more into the policy work and advocacy space, and
that’s a little bit slower. It’s not in our
usual wheelhouse, so we’re working with a couple
of local organizations on that. So more to come on how that
continues to move forward. And then the second piece is
actually one of the things that Sinai does incredibly
well, SCI does well, SUHI does well is we have
really great partnerships with the community-based
organizations in the communities
that we serve. And so they really
enjoyed having this data. It’s incredibly
important for them to pursue funding
to really highlight the needs in their areas. And oftentimes, the
numbers they’re collecting are specific to their programs. So these provide much broader
population level estimates that they really don’t have the
resources to get on their own in order to either say how
things might have changed over time, but also to pursue
additional funding and say, we need more
here to make more change. AUDIENCE: Hey, everyone. I wanted to say thank you so
much for the incredible work. For someone who grew
up in Little Village, it was interesting
to see the numbers. I was really astonished at
the similarities between North and South Lawndale, but
then it’s really interesting that taking the
qualitative approach you took to inform the
data-driven results help us get a better sense
of understanding. Something that we constantly
think about as data scientists or analysts is that
the numbers don’t lie, but we do miss part
of the story if we don’t take that other approach. So I really
appreciate that look, because growing up
in Little Village, there’s stuff to buy at every
corner from every little place. But you cross Ogden, and
it’s a whole different story. But you have the same
levels of insecurity, which was really, really astonishing. I just wanted to actually
offer a couple of resources. SHARON HOMAN: Yeah, great. AUDIENCE: Stacy Lindau over
at University of Chicago did a similar project on
resources in a neighborhood around women’s health
issues, and was able to get a group of teens to
run a program called Mapcore. And they actually
did a great job– DEBRA WESLEY: I have Mapcore. SHARON HOMAN: And
guess what, we’re recruiting from them for
that cohort next summer. AUDIENCE: Yes please. SHARON HOMAN: They’re going
to be the second generation. AUDIENCE: An
interesting thing that happened there is they formed
a better map of Woodlawn than we had at Google
by a large percentage. And that’s where we failed. And we kind of
wake up as Googlers to say we’re missing
some of these communities where we might not
spend enough time at, or not everybody has access
to phones, and et cetera. So it helps us
inform our tactics where we might be
missing things as well. And then the other one is
for the fellow Googlers here is any amount of time that we
want to volunteer or spend, don’t forget to log
your Google Give hours, because whether you
spend an hour helping flush out a report, or
share data on social media, or actually work on
the Mapcore project. SHARON HOMAN: Work with
the youth this summer, yes. AUDIENCE: And we’d love to host
them in the summer as well. We’ve done that with
different projects. So thank you. PAM ROESCH: Definitely go online
to see that additional report. Especially growing
up in Little Village, there is a lot more
information available. AUDIENCE: I just
wanted to ask you, having gone through
the whole process and being able to see
what comes out at the end, if you could go back
to the beginning and cheat, what’s one thing you
think you could do differently to get a more fruitful
outcome there? PAM ROESCH:
Ultimately, we did run into some recruitment issues. And so I am not an expert in
survey design or recruitment, really, but I do know
several of my colleagues. Just little tweaks we could
have made a little bit earlier on in terms of
getting our numbers up even higher than
they were I think would have been a key element. SHARON HOMAN: The other
piece is, I think, we used traditional
sample surveying methods when we worked with UIC,
and that the household was the sampling unit. And it made it really
difficult in some of the gated
communities, particularly in our control communities. But I don’t think
that the household is the best sampling unit. I think we’d want to think
differently about that. PAM ROESCH: It’s all the
balancing of all the positive and negatives of each
of the approaches. Just some combination
of those issues. So I think we’re really proud
and happy with our community engagement, but it’s more
of those technical issues that everyone who
does a survey has. DEBRA WESLEY: And I might
be off base, but what I was hearing, particularly with
the gun violence collaborative piece of it when he did the
listening tours, more and more communities want to be– they want to be a
part of the research. So it’s not where they
want outsiders coming in. There’s the whole trust factor. And so if we could do
what we’re planning to do, which is to train more
individuals from the community to be able to do
their own research, then I think that’ll
just change the narrative on that, because I know
there was a point in North Lawndale where the
numbers weren’t going where it needed to be. SHARON HOMAN: Even
with 10 callbacks, we were struggling in on– DEBRA WESLEY: Right,
it was struggling. And I think part of
it was folks like, I am tired of folks coming in
here asking me information, and not giving anything back. No more. That was what I was hearing,
and I’m not a researcher. And so the good thing is that
under Sharon’s leadership, folks are listening and honoring
what the community is saying. SPEAKER: OK, well, thank
you so much to our friends from Sinai Health Institute– Sinai Health System. [LAUGHTER] Various institutes. DEBRA WESLEY: My
birthday now, you OK? SPEAKER: Happy birthday. And thanks,
everyone, for coming. SHARON HOMAN: Thank you. PAM ROESCH: Thank you. DEBRA WESLEY: Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

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