Centering Resident Leadership: Insights from the NeighborWorks America Health Equity Symposium

February 29, 2024 1:10 pm | by

Fostering trust, challenging the status quo, and co-designing with holistic approaches

Shift Health's engagement at the NeighborWorks America Health Equity Symposium offered critical insights into fostering resident-led initiatives for transformative change. The symposium provided a platform to explore how communities can drive progress towards health equity, particularly focused on amplifying opportunities at the intersection of health and housing. Shift highlighted challenges and opportunities for deepening resident voices in this pursuit.

Shift’s participation in the symposium's first panel offered invaluable insights into the current landscape of resident leadership in health equity initiatives. The panel discussion spotlighted systemic barriers that hinder resident-centered agendas and emphasized the importance of designing innovative approaches to decision-making processes, community engagement and governance. The panel highlighted trust as a critical ingredient to transformational relationships -- and that trust creates space that allows for emergence, abundance, and creative solutions. The panel’s insights also addressed entrenched power imbalances within health systems that limit resident leadership and the urgency of shifting power dynamics within health systems to truly prioritize resident voices and experiences. The panel also ideated and interrogated whether our challenges are intractable or whether there are opportunities to create new narratives and pathways to change.

The Symposium approached these questions using an Emergent Learning journey, inviting participants to understand the landscape of current health and housing efforts, draw insights from the data, and then to open up to a vision of what might be possible to create transformative change.