Background to the True Tales
In the 1970s and 1980s, I became aware of the strong connection between the environment and health. During those years I received a Master of Science degree in Family Health Ecology and taught a course at Michigan State University.
I have always been an avid walker and grew increasingly dismayed to see the little pesticide application signs on more and more lawns. In fact, a pesticide company boasted that they treated four or five yards on every street. Wanting to protect myself and my neighbors, I began to distribute scientifically relevant materials door-to-door.
I quickly realized:
1) NO ONE WAS MOVED BY DIRE STATISTICS. People seemed to feel if illness beset them, they would deal with it then, and not through a preventive approach.
2) Their homes were their citadels, and they were determined to keep them inviolate, and PROTECT THEM FROM EXTERNAL INFLUENCES.
It came to me that TALES, especially if TRUE, would MORE LIKELY MOVE PEOPLE THAN DATA.
It is abundantly clear to me that if we genuinely want to bring down health care costs we must first assess ALL THE FACTORS THAT ARE IMPACTING ON THE OUTCOME, including preventive and corrective. Three things can facilitate this:
1) FOCUS on a multi-factored approach.
2) Join a COALITION with like-minded groups.
3) DRAMATIZE by telling true tales.