I’m often asked…”why did you start Our Health Matters magazine…?” When I think about that question, I have flashbacks of how I arrived here. For context, I have been in the print and visual communications business more than 25 years as Ramsey & Associates Design, a graphic design and promotional marketing firm. I have spent 12 of those years producing and distributing Our Health Matters. I’ve always been visionary and creative, along with being an inquisitive observer of people (our differences), and my surroundings (the central city, or inner-city as it used to be labeled, compared to suburban communities). My experiences, along with my creative qualities have always fueled my interest in making positive contributions to the community where I live, learn, work, play and worship.
Our Health MattersTM has met and continues to meet the goals we set out to achieve. We remain committed to providing you and your family valuable and insightful health news and information.
In 2004, I realized that health news and information was mostly fragmented sound bites — image campaigns about health that lacked significant calls to action. There were also voids in health education and promotion campaigns that excluded certain audiences.
It was then that the idea came to me to start a health publication that addressed the diversity we see all around us. I saw a need to teach and encourage people to pursue healthier habits and a need to place an emphasis on the health of minority populations. These populations are twice as likely as majority populations to experience a health disparity and more likely to struggle making sense of best practices to overcome chronic preventable diseases.
I decided that Our Health Matters would be “all about health.” In fact, I almost named the publication, All About Health. However, the name Our Health Matters stuck. It reflected the heart of what I felt our community could embrace — knowing that we would cover and include issues that were at the heart of diverse populations — no one would be excluded! The magazine would introduce readers to public and private health care providers, provide a platform for providers of health care services and programs to specifically target their messages to people interested in accessing physical and mental health care services.
Over the years, we have covered a variety of health topics, exposed families to health care resources that educate them about the effects of life-threatening conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, and worked to make complex health topics more understandable.
We are successfully reaching vulnerable or at-risk audiences (those with little or no resources to control their health destiny), and audiences in higher income brackets who have the freedom and knowledge to choose the best care possible.
Our Health Matters has met and continues to meet the goals we set out to achieve. We remain committed to providing you and your family with valuable and insightful health news and information.
It’s no secret that our nation is facing a new paradigm (an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way), which will be measured by the impact of the social determinants of health we encounter.
In the following pages, President Emeritus of Truman Medical Centers, John Bluford explains the rationale for a paradigm shift to boost opportunities to achieve healthier outcomes for future generations. •