The Present

1. How is Healthcare Operating Today?

Lack of evidence based approach

High incidence of Alcoholism and Diabetes – esp among native Americans

Asthma is increasing – related to changing air quality from mining, dust, vehicles

Dysfunctional Behavioral Health system

Dysfunctional Oral Health system

2. What Currently Exists that contributes to sustainability?

Sponsors of the Conference on the Health Effects of Climate Change

Evidence based practices

Education and Personal Responsibility (eg. Personal wellness training, integrative medicine)

Tucson Wholistic Chamber of Commerce

St. Elizabeth Health Center

El Rio Community Health Center

Marana Community Health Center

Co-Housing movement

Tucson Integrative Health Professionals (breakfast group)

3. What Current Practices are at odds with sustainability?

Insurance company policies

Food industry

Crisis oriented care / Lack of Wellness philosophy

Reimbursement based on Procedures rather than education/health maintenance

Dwindling Primary Care Base

The Vision

1. What is the overall benefit in becoming sustainable for healthcare?


Wholistic Philosophy (rather than crisis or prevention – secondary)  integrating physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual

Evolutionary (healthy food > exercise > sense of community > healthy maturity)

Healthier Habitations (indoor environments)

Service Orientation rather than Profit Orientation

Empowering the Individual – personal responsibility for their health and wellness

2. What activities, businesses, practices, regulations, incentives, policies, collaborations don’t exist today that can lead to sustainable healthcare in Tucson?

While there are many primary care providers, both conventional and alternative, in Tucson, there is lacking a model of coordinated, service oriented, wellness based, integrated network of providers.  Our vision is the development of  such a network using a multi-disciplinary approach.  This dovetails nicely with discussions and testimony happening at the federal level upon a background of health care reform.

The current culture of fast foods and processed foods is insidious in our community and this contributes to the load of suffering.  Additional educational efforts that are from an independent source are needed.

Last November the First Annual Conference on the Health Effects of Climate Change was offered.  It will be important to build on the momentum of this effort.

3. Identify realistic projects and activities that the health committee can spearhead during the next few years.

(see attached description of the model)

Support for trans-fatty acid ban in Tucson community

Education (pamphlets and/or demonstration projects on wellness to include topics on “Real Food”, healthy habitations, and natural health and healing)

Support the effort for a Second Annual Conference on the Health Effects of Climate Change.

4. How do these group projects and activities address the core problems of sustainability Tucson is facing at present.

Create a model of care that can be duplicated in other communities  which features cost effectiveness, “best of all worlds” methods for sustained wellness, coordination and integration of providers.

Decrease the “inflammatory burden” on the public so that the community wellness index increases.

Increase the public awareness of healthy living which decreases heath care costs in the long run.

Increase the awareness of the professional community and serve as a catalyst for organized responses to the looming health impact of climate change.

One comment on “Health and Healthcare Sketch Plan

  1. I note that there is no mention of the higher incidence rates of environmentally related illnesses (chronic fatique syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, fibromylgia, electromagnetic hypersensitivity and other diseases and conditions) that seem to becoming more prevalent in Tucson.

    I belong to a group called HEAL, which has a chapter in Tucson and have heard the many stories they tell about how their environmental health problems can be disabiling to the point that they are unable to function well in everyday life. Many people move to the desert for clean air and space. Due to environmental toxins, from synthetic chemicals in the air, water, food and soil, and from electromagnetic radiation from the proliferation of wireless digital sources, may of these people are not able to maintain good health.

    There are a few medicine providers, primarily integrated or alternative helth professionals and caregivers there to help them but unless the source of the condition is cleared up, it is hard to protect health and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I see a great unmet need for education and an interest in safer technoligies as they can cause harm if more precaution is not taken.

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