Catholic Charities' Rob McCann on finding a "cure" for poverty

So much of what drives poor health outcomes is invisible to the health care system.  Our VP of Programs Kristen put together this graphic to show what lies beneath the surface of poor health: conditions that health care professionals often can't see.


Note where poverty is located -- at the root of the iceberg.

The interactions between poor health and poverty are complex and profound, as our partner Rob McCann of Catholic Charities discusses in his July 11 Spokesman Review op-ed.  Speaking from a social service perspective, Rob asks us to reconsider poverty as not just a social, but also a medical condition that we are looking to cure.

More and more in recent years, it has become very clear to me that poverty is, in many fundamental ways, a medical condition requiring a response that partners the best and brightest from the world of health care with our social services infrastructure.

We could not agree more.  Breaking down silos between social services and health care is the first step toward find a "cure" for poverty, since these silos are precisely what keeps these interactions under the surface as illustrated above.  We need more strong, cross-sector partnerships in order to truly effect change for our most vulnerable.  Thankfully, we are starting to see this happen:

We are starting to gain ground on poverty because more people are getting more care. Suddenly, I am happy to say that I believe a small shift has begun: the first of its kind that I have seen. This small shift is transformational and gives me the greatest hope for the future.

You can read the entire op-ed on the Spokesman Review website, or by downloading the PDF below: