Angel Even Interview Notes 4/24/23

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Angel Even is the founder and CEO of Led By Truth

Current role in the neighborhood

Led by Truth provides mentorship programs to help black and brown entrepreneurs with grant funding and scaling businesses. Angel is the founder and has been the CEO of Led by Truth for the past 2 years. She has been heavily involved in healthcare for southside (8 years). Additionally, she has done other volunteer work in healthcare more generally and in advocating for equity for black and brown founders.

Major challenges for the community:

Day to day:

• There has been this narrative in healthcare that every patient should have primary physician, and a primary clinic, but this has just not worked for many BIPOC individuals. Many people of color don't feel safe and are not listened to. The cost has also been a barrier keeping people for seeking care when they need it. BIPOC need somewhere where they feel safe and listened to.


• Infrastructure. There needs to be a shift to more community health centers from larger health institutions. Health organizations, as they get too large tend to bog things down.

• Accessibility and affordability. More people turning to community based and wholistic care.

• The current care requires people to go to institutions to seek care instead of having care go to them in the community.

Biggest barriers to better health outcomes and well-being

Reactionary vs preventative care. There needs to be more focus on preventative care and there has been a shift towards more preventative medicine.

Patient education, such as discharge medication and follow through. Some factors prevent following through with discharge instructions such as affording medication/refills or going/rescheduling follow ups.

Transportation is a big one! The time it takes to get on a bus compared to driving. Caregivers don’t think about small things like transportation.

Diet. Sometimes, patients need to change what they eat because of health issues. Healthy diet changes can be dramatic and expensive. Different health orgs must partner with the community to find healthy options but also support follow through.

A large proportion of health ailments are related to social determinants, buy health orgs are not built to focus on following through on social determinants even when they consider addressing social determinants.

Solutions and strategies to reduce barriers

It would be better if health providers scheduled follow visits before the patient leaves. If patients had everything (medication, information, follow up plan) at discharge that would be best. We need to make things easier for people when they walk out the door.

Collaboration, working within what you do well. Big orgs need to be real with their weaknesses not just strengths. Most health organizations do not say “we are good at this, and we are bad at this,” they all say “we are good at everything.”

Big orgs see other health orgs as competitors instead of collaborators. They don’t have it all together. They need to acknowledge weakness for building trust, rather than competition.

Representation (people that look like them.). People need to have people who hear their concerns and understand them when they seek care.

Smaller, more lean teams. Small teams only work within the confines of what they are good at and what they are capable of. More small teams, less big orgs.

Past or present projects that you know of that address the challenges

Angel mentioned a black entrepreneur (who’s name she did not immediately remember) who has a system or platform that acts as a resource for people seeking care to reach other providers of color.

Health Partners Park Nicollet Regions hospital has a program where care health workers from the hospital go with paramedics to the people instead of having people travel to the care.

Key individuals or organizations needed to help make the change for better health outcomes

Local BIPOC mental health orgs such as Village Support Therapy and Consulting (Ebony is CEO, contact information tbd)

DEI consultants

NICE healthcare: they provide primary care direct support in person at your location with many payment options for people with tight budgets.

NOT large health orgs such as Alina or Fairview, large orgs are not recommended because of many internal issues.

Opinion of health care worker model for improving community health

Community Health Workers are essential, whether it is mental health workers, social workers, etc., the amount of support they provide is huge. Their impact is absolutely needed. They are great for addressing the need and starting small. Having that navigator is a missing piece right now. They help address the social determinants of health missed by big health orgs.

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