By Collin Tong for Crosscut
Seattle’s global health powerhouses turn their attention to south King County
A coalition of local and global health groups have banded together to bring the lessons they’ve learned in developing countries to south King County, where the health index is as bad as Nairobi.
The project is called Global-to-Local and is a partnership between Public Health – Seattle & King County, Swedish Health Services, HealthPoint and the Washington Global Health Alliance.
Morocco was the last place that Asma Bulale expected to spend her summer vacation when she started medical school. But several years ago, the 31-year-old former Somali medical student at the University of Washington decided to switch from cardiology to public health and become an AmeriCorps volunteer.
Last summer, Bulale began working with rural community-based health organizations in Morocco. A native of Mogadishu in northern Somalia, she visited health clinics in villages in dire need of basic health education. Eventually Bulale and her fellow volunteers set up clinics to do screenings for general health. That experience proved to be life changing.
Now Bulale is a community health promoter in another marginalized, low-income community where access to affordable health care is problematic: south King County.
At first glance, applying the lessons learned from developing nations in North Africa, Asia, or Central America to residents in Tukwila and SeaTac might seem a stretch. But Bulale has learned otherwise. Continue reading