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Access Through Action Discussion Guide

This 22-page discussion guide, Access Through Action Dialogues, describes a five-meeting series of dialogues in Miami Dade County for the Health Care Access Summit Series #1 via the Human Services Coalition of Dade County. This dialogue series was adapted from the discussion guide, Thriving Communities, which was developed by Everyday Democracy (formally the Study Circles Resource Center) and the Northwest Area Foundation.

From the Intro

Access_Through_Action_imagePeople in communities in Miami Dade County want to live in a place where they have access to quality affordable health care. People talk about health care in different ways. But when they talk about health care, one thing that always comes up is access in our community. Health care access issues are everywhere. It may look different in rural places than it does in cities or suburbs. But there are things about health care access that look the same in all these places. Access to health care may look different to each of us. A single parent might view access to health care as an unaffordable luxury. A senior who enjoyed health care while employed may be overwhelmed by the added burden of paying for health care after retirement. Some people may struggle to understand the complicated forms required to access some health care programs. A person who has health care through her employer may not worry about access for others. People new to the United States may not trust our institutions, or they may be worried that their immigrant status will affect their access to health care.

This discussion guide will help us talk about the kind of health care access we want to see in our community. No community is doing well when some of its members are denied health care. If we work on increasing access to health care, we can have a better community. And, by working on making the community better, we can improve access to health care. These two important tasks go hand in hand. Access to health care affects us all. Even wealthy parts of the community may struggle with health care access. We need to share our vision of what kind of community we want. We need to take action to change things so that we all can thrive.

The manual gives a break down of the five meetings and how they will lead to action to address the health care access issues in Dade County.

Meeting One: Get to know each other, talk about how we are connected to the issue, and begin to look at barriers to health care access.

Meeting Two: Create a vision of a community where everyone has access to health care and talk about what the health care system looks like in this community.

Meeting Three: Talk about why there are health care access barriers in this community.

Meeting Four: Talk about ways to reduce or eliminate barriers to health care access.

Meeting Five: Talk about the assets in our community and talk about how to make our ideas from Meeting Four happen.

This discussion guide was part of a larger civic engagement effort of multiple agencies within Dade County, to improve the community’s access to health care. In 1998, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched a nationwide initiative called, “Community Voices: Healthcare for the Underserved” and Miami was one of thirteen sites. The dialogues sessions described in this manual, in addition to the overall contribution of over 700 community members in similar dialogue processes; would become the recommendations for the Miami Action Plan (MAP) for Access to Health Care. Download the PDF below.

Resource Link: Access_Through_Action_Manual

This resource was submitted by Everyday Democracy via their Issue Guide Exchange.

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