Don’t boil the ocean often comes up in health care. We can’t do everything, or at least we can’t change every single piece of a complicated system all at once.
When we discuss areas of health care to improve, our goal of healthy, happy, and thriving Washingtonians can seem vast. Often, identifying a problem can be easier to build consensus around than the steps necessary to change a complicated system. The excitement around a burning platform can swiftly change to a crushing feeling of hopelessness, especially when barriers to change involve areas outside of health care.
Our health system is overwhelmed, and those who work in it are fatigued. We overcame COVID-19, one of the most significant challenges in our generation, only to be met by the greatest challenge in our generation — an equitable health system that truly takes care of the whole person. The inequities that we face today took decades and centuries to build and are embedded into the foundation of our health systems and even our DNA. The weight of this challenge is heavy. Yet, in my experience, individuals who go into health care are “compassionate doers” who thrive off challenges. Instead of looking at the entire ocean to boil, we boil a cup of water for us to drink. Let’s start somewhere we can commit to while recognizing more work to be done. What strengths and capabilities do we have that we can apply to address a need we are seeing? What can we commit to and work towards? We may not be able to boil the ocean today, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start building change.
One way to begin boiling a cup is by participating in Bree’s Health Equity Action Collaborative. Through the Action Collaborative, participants will receive tailored support in taking a chosen health topic from a desire to do more to develop a project plan they can be implemented within their organization. Instead of health equity feeling like a box to check off, the collaborative is designed to challenge participants to center health equity throughout the entire project planning process. Each meeting will have opportunities for participants to gain skills in implementation by engaging in learning presentations and discussions with peers. The action collaborative is open to individuals working within the healthcare ecosystem (QI teams, delivery sites, clinicians, purchasers, plans, etc.) interested in improving health outcomes while promoting equitable practices. We intend to host 2-hour monthly meetings from May through the end of the year. We ask that participants attend each meeting and have their health topic align with a Bree report guideline.
If you are interested in learning more about the collaborative, please get in touch with Emily Robson at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Emily Robson, DNP, RN