Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Health Care Reform Means for Me

Today, was just like any other day. I got up, I went to work, I exercised, etc. However it is not just another normal day. Today 32 million people who were not insured, now have hope of becoming insured. This is amazing! As a public health professional it is not hard to guess why I would be an advocate of health care reform. I don't hide the fact that I think health care is a necessity, that everyone should have access to primary care and appropriate tertiary care (though I will not define what that means here). It has been a long year fraught with political tension, fear and misinformation. Fortunately, while misinformation may never die, in the end fear lost.

Through my schooling and work I have learned a lot about how health care works in America, why it is so expensive and what might be done to "fix" it. I am not naive enough to think that this reform bill is a cure-all, however it is a good step in the right direction. Now that it's done-although it hardly done with actual implementation and crazy lawsuits all ready being file- I hope that other measures to decrease health care costs will be implemented. There have great examples, one is close to my heart as it come from IHC in my home state.

I am a huge advocate of structural and policy change, but one thing that is lost in all the political debate is what health care reform means for me. I am not talking about the New York Times calculator that requires my income, marital and insurance status in order spit out how I am affected. I am talking about what personal reforms do I need make in order to help myself, my family and my community be healthier? True health is not just the absence of illness. I'll leave you to decide what health means for you, but I hope it has something to do with connecting with and helping others whether it is codified in law or not.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oakland Cemetery

Last weekend I visited Atlanta's historic Oakland Cemetery. I love cemeteries. They are ever so peaceful, even when they are located in metropolitan areas or right next to a MARTA station. A few friends and I took a tour of the cemetery that focused on symbols throughout the cemetery. Unfortunately, I didn't listen very well and can't tell you much about the symbols but I am pretty sure about half the people on the tour were Dan Brown wannabes doing research for a debut novel.

Oakland can boast of some prominent residents:) Margaret Mead, author of Gone With the Wind is buried in Oakland, as well as golf legend Bobby Jones, famous for his Grand Slam sweep, winning all four golf tournaments of his era in the calendar year 1930. Oakland also has numerous sections, I didn't make it to all of them and need to go back but I loved the Jewish section and it was the first cemetery I have visited with its own confederate section.

I thought this was a really unique headstone with apparently a lot of symbolism since our tour group spent a lot of time there. The cross, the wreath, the open book, even looking up all means something and someday I will look into it further.

Here's the resting place of the great Bobby Jones. As you can see his grave is littered with golf balls and on top there are lots of tees and score cards.

A grave in the confederate section being swallowed by the trunk of a tree. I don't dare touch on what I personally think that might symbolize for confederate goals.

The Jewish section was a bit like a metropolitan skyline- the tombstones tend to be tall rather than wide and were so many different heights. I also like to find names I like in cemeteries. Since previous cemetery jaunts have provided with me names for female progeny I focused on male names. Do you think a non-Jewish person can name a son the first name Cohen? I really like that name.

I don't think this one needs much explanation.

After we ate at the ever-so-appropriately named restaurant- Six Feet Under.