Stories & News
One of my most favorite places in the world is Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, with its ancient cliff dwellings and kivas.
Although the pueblos at Bandelier date back about 500 years, archaeological evidence indicates that the area has been inhabited for about 10,000 years. Apart from the main pueblos is a lesser known area known as Tsankawi (translates roughly to “cactus gap”).
To ascend to the ruins of the Tsankawi pueblo, one takes an ancient, winding footpath up the rocky slope of a mesa. In places, the path is carved over a foot deep into stone from centuries of people walking these paths. In other places, one can see the indentations of feet into the stone, which one can use to traverse the steepest areas of rock.
What I love about this area is that it reminds me that in life, we often walk in the paths laid out by others and in doing so, continue to build a path for those who come after us. Walking these paths is simultaneously honoring those whose walks etched the way into the stone and further establishing the path for those who walk after us. That the paths laid by others are at times more pronounced when the climb becomes more arduous, through treacherous and slippery rock slopes, is no coincidence.
I recognize that our ability to realize this new purpose plan is only possible because of the work done over the years — work that has established the footing we now use to create new paths.
When I joined Health Forward Foundation, I had just completed 20 years of working in the philanthropic sector with three foundations. I joined Health Forward as it embarked on a new path laid out in its purpose plan.
Although this work sets a new course for the foundation, and I am excited to be a part of this effort as vice president of strategy, learning, and communication, I recognize that our ability to realize this new purpose plan is only possible because of the work done over the years — work that has established the footing we now use to create new paths.
Learning for work focused on change at the system and community level is often what I consider pathway learning. That is, for complex and long-standing issues, it takes time to truly see the impact of work to address these issues, and what we often learn is based on indicators of progress along the pathway toward change.
Over the last year, Health Forward has taken significant steps toward building an inclusive health care workforce. This is just one example of pathway learning: the impact of this effort might not be seen for years but will leave a lasting impression on the health care landscape and on an individual’s personal wealth.
Pathway learning of complex and long-standing issues takes time to truly see the impact, and what we often learn is based on indicators of progress along the pathway toward change.
Ensuring that Black and Latino students access and achieve higher education focused on health careers will not only provide an inclusive health care workforce that will benefit their respective families and communities, but one that benefits the entire health care ecosystem. This is a big change that will develop gradually as students move through the educational system and enter the workforce. These careers should increase the students’ personal earnings and, ultimately, build wealth for future generations. As a first-generation college graduate, I know from personal experience the transformative impact of higher education.
Like the paths worn into the rock at Tsankawi, the work needed to build these efforts takes time, and takes many people walking in the same direction. I’m grateful and proud to be one of these people.
Watch: Eusebio introduces Health Forward’s Platform purpose area.
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