Niki Ashton represents the electoral district of Churchill in Manitoba in the Canadian parliament
I want to invite you to the US launch of a visionary book written by my good friend, Dr. Ryan Meili.
On November 5th Bluestocking Books in New York City will host the US launch of Dr. Ryan Meili’s book A Healthy Society. This work, blending storytelling from front line experience with compelling ideas for social change, offers a refreshing rethink of how, and why, we do politics.
In some ways it seems strange to have a book launch on November 5th, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and on the eve of a presidential election. In truth, it couldn’t be more fitting.
Democracy – in Canada and in the USA – is in a crisis of crises, bouncing from issue to issue without a sense of direction. Lacking an articulated goal, it is increasingly difficult to engage citizens in the political process while over arching challenges grow.
Ryan Meili is a family physician and community advocate in the prairie city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Drawing heavily on patient stories from his work in the inner city, in rural Mozambique, and in Canadian First Nations communities, Meili argues that a focus on the determinants of health could change not only health outcomes, but our approach to politics as a whole.
Making the health and well-being of citizens the explicit goal of a society – and recognizing that it is not health care, but income, education, employment, housing, nutrition, and the wider environment that have the greatest impact on health outcomes – gives us a novel and compelling framework through which to judge our political decisions.
One particularly powerful story starts the book, with Dr Meili taking the strange step of buying cigarettes for a severely ill patient struggling to stay in hospital for treatment of complications of HIV infection. This story casts a light on the deep impact of the social determinants of health in the life of one person. Stories like hers are woven through the book, illustrating different determinants of health and their impact on individuals, families and communities as a way to highlight the larger system changes needed for greater health. His TEDx talk gives a quick and compelling summary of the ideas in the book.
For US audiences, A Healthy Society is particularly relevant in the light of an election where debates over health care coverage have been front and centre. Focusing on the determinants of health opens the debate wider, allowing consideration not only of health insurance, but of that which makes a real difference in our health and well-being. It also offers a chance to move beyond the politics of personality to evidence-based policy in service of the common good.
A primary, but oft-ignored, determinant of health is the physical environment. From Silent Spring to Sandy, demonstrating the way damage to ecosystems damages human health gives us an entrance to addressing conservation, climate change and other key environmental challenges that may otherwise be closed.
Combining powerful analysis and compelling stories, Dr. Ryan Meili inspires us to engage in new politics to build a healthier, more equal society. The New York launch of A Healthy Society offers a moment of calm consideration of the road forward amidst the chaos of storms and the tumult of elections.
I hope you can make it - or read the book!
Dr. Ryan Meili will be launching his book at 7:00 pm. on November 5, 2012 at the Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St., New York. He will be joined by author & activist Andrew Boyd, assembler of Beautiful Trouble (http:///www.beautifultrouble.org) and will be interviewed by Dr Betsy Rosenthal of Physicians for a National Health Plan. See more details and invite friends at http://www.facebook.com/events/361892080567821/ You can learn more about Dr. Meili by visiting ryanmeili.ca
April 22nd, 2014
FRANCIS RICHARD MOORE, 92, of FLINT/DAVISON, MI Passed away on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Escondido, CAHe was Frank to all who knew and loved him, and there were many. ...
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...