By John W. Bluford, III
President, Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute
I remember nearly 20 years ago a young entrepreneur community advocate entering my office at a prominent academic medical center to pitch the idea of a community-oriented informational magazine. The idea was to focus on relevant health-related subjects that addressed health disparities and the well-being of individuals, families, and the community as a whole—the entire community! A strong argument was made that these attributes were missing from the current selection of publications in the Kansas City metropolitan marketplace.
The notion of having a magazine both available (at local businesses and community pick-up sites) and accessible (free with the partnership support of local advertisers and sponsors) was refreshing. Both the messenger and the content presented to me that day made a positive impression, particularly the focus on the “health of the community”— which was an underlying premise to our hospital’s mission. I am proud to say that our hospital was one of the first to buy into this concept.
Since that visit, Our Health Matters has covered such a variety of health and community health-related subjects from chronic disease management, sleep hygiene, geriatric medicine, violence as a public health concern, to healthy foods and fitness, and more recently, stress and behavioral health issues. The complications of COVID-19 and community vaccination facts have been most beneficial to us all over the past two to three years.
My visitor on that day, Ms. Ruth Ramsey, has done well over the past 18 years to fulfill the mission and intention of her vision in Our Health Matters.
Those of us who have had the benefit of reading some or all of the thousands of articles in the magazine from 2005 through 2023, are better for it and hopefully healthier.