Thursday, May 17, 2018

Bicycle Academy Meets UCLA Health

In preparation for a meeting with UCLA Health leadership (Johnese Spisso, Richard Azar, Nancy Jensen) we have put some words to paper to remind everybody of the larger picture: How active transportation and health in our communities belong together. And how our Health System should educate itself, and the community, about the impacts of too much driving and too little walking and cycling.

It is not  itemized agenda for a meeting. I'd call it the necessary background music for an attempt to find a path forward to help our Health System to recognize how active modes should become a part of its healing mission. We wanted to recap the large issues on paper so that in the meeting itself we can focus on the specific steps the organisation can take to move beyond the car bias which is still so well entrenched in our region. It is time to recognize the negative health impacts of such a bias and to reap the large health benefits which happen when active modes are properly supported. In the meeting we want to focus on small steps, measurable outcomes, specific projects, clear directions, both for staff and for patients. All this is complex enough, because it involves so many parts of a large organisation: Facilities, medical expertise, marketing, community relations.

But make no mistake about it, when a health system wants to change its attitude towards active modes, it will take some decisive leadership for the organisation to make the changes that are needed. Changes that will make sure that UCLA Health remains at the forefront of medical progress and community health impacts.

If you want to participate in this discussion, have suggestions for low hanging fruits that could be part of this program, or want to support our effort, please get in touch!

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