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See2See Road Trip

By Teresa Cutts, James Cochrane, and Gary Gunderson

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In November 2018 a group of curious health leaders will hit the road to find what’s working with America’s hospitals and the communities they serve. The humble Winnebago started in the parking lot of the American Public Health Association meeting in San Diego and headed for Loma Linda—then over to Phoenix, Dallas, Little Rock, the Delta, Memphis, Nashville, Winston-Salem, Raleigh, and finally the Atlantic Ocean.

This book captures in words and pictures what they found.

“See2See Road Trip” was motivated by frustrations at how little anyone really learns from conference presentations or papers about the hard, demanding work people do on the ground. In projects, programs, groups, and movements, taken on because those on the ground love their communities enough to want to change the patterns of poor health or human conditions that hurt and harm those in their midst.

“We have get out from behind our screens and go talk to some humans,” said Gary Gunderson in proposing the trip, “and not by going in large groups with microphones and PowerPoints. We have to go, learn, listen where the life of the community is trying to break through, and see how grown-ups look at each other and figure out what to do.”

What the authors saw and heard, where we went, and what we learned as we travelled across the US South is what this book is about. Appropriately called “See2See,” the journey began in San Diego, where the American Public Health Association was meeting, just as fires engulfed parts of California. It ended up some 3,400 miles and eighteen days later in Wilmington, NC, with the team from the local hospital that had been helping people weather the extended and extensive trauma of two massive hurricanes.

We cannot hope to capture the extraordinary richness of our encounters along the way but we can point a way that others might follow. And we tell stories, however brief, that should inspire you and renew your hope in the health of the public, at least where it matters most: on the ground