Letter from the CEO: Call to Action

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8.23.15 President Brian and speaker (1)

Brian Adams president of the Rotary Club San Jose and Fredrick J. Ferrer CEO of The Health Trust at a Rotary Club meeting August 23rd 2015.

In fast paced Silicon Valley we pride ourselves on speed, efficiency and impact. We have developed that culture at the expense of community building. I’m guilty, often I want to move from decision to implementation but if I haven’t brought along my staff, our clients or the neighborhoods, I run into resistance. We’ve all experienced too much time on “the process” and no impact, that we walk away disenfranchised. A great example of community input was the adoption of San Jose’s General Plan: Envision 2040. We spent four years with over 8000 residents involved in the adoption of Envision 2040 and yet we have been slow to implement a plan that has some of the strongest health elements compared to any general plan in the country. I live in Willow Glen and the Road Diet might be an example of efficiency where the traffic lanes were changed very efficiently and yet one only need read the blogs to see the lack of community that efficiency can breed. So there needs to be a balance between the two.

As we implement Envision 2040 we have the opportunity to strike the right balance where we gather community AND we get things done.

We call on our colleague stakeholders whose focus is to strengthen the built environment to join with the City staff and our elected leaders to develop a comprehensive Health Agenda for San Jose. An agenda that has measurable outcomes with lots of quick wins so that success creates the momentum for greater participation. It’s time for us to become more efficient in how we move policy in San Jose and together we can make it happen.

I shared my thoughts about this at a recent Rotary Club of San Jose Rotary meeting. Listen to podcast at http://healthtrust.org/2015/08/27/culture-of-healthrotary-presentation/.