WHEN WE FIGHT WE WIN. WHEN WE VOTE WE COUNT.
Darvian Chester of Columbus, Georgia decided to jump into action when he saw that Google did not honor Juneteenth on June 19, 2019 with its daily ‘Google Doodle’. Darvian has given new meaning to be the familiar phase, ‘You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution’. See the full AJC article by Maureen Downey by clicking on the link below.
Healthcare is profitable! That is why you should watch the big corporations, not reality tv shows. That is how you spot future trends. See the four examples below:
1. Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway
In January 2018, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway announced their collective intent to form a new organization focused on delivering healthcare benefits at a lower cost to patients. The venture would tackle two of healthcare’s largest challenges: price transparency and patient centricity, elements that will be integral to competing in the marketplace for health systems of the future. The joint venture has already brought on several heavy hitters from both inside and outside the healthcare industry, including Atul Gawande, MD, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Taha Kass-Hout, MD, former FDA Chief Health Informatics Officer; and Jack Stoddard, former GM of Digital Health at Comcast. These types of hires further signal the venture’s willingness to explore nontraditional methods of solving healthcare’s challenges. The “Amazon effect” was manifested in this venture and has provided the impetus for much of the disruption in healthcare that took place this year.
2. Alphabet Invests in Health Insurance Start-Up
In August, Alphabet invested $375 million in six-year-old health insurance start-up Oscar Health. Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser claims the investment allows Oscar to “hire more engineers, we can hire more data scientists, more product designers, more smart clinicians who can think about health care a different way. It’s the acceleration of that product roadmap that fascinates us the most.” This investment gives Alphabet a 10% share in Oscar Health and follows a previous $165 million investment last March through Alphabet’s Capital G investment company and Verily Life Sciences. Additionally, the investment will enable the expansion of a new Medicare Advantage product line in 2020. Like Amazon, Alphabet will seek to optimize its experience in analyzing massive amounts of data to enhance the consumer experience.
3. Google Hires a CEO from within the Industry
In early November, Google hired David Feinberg to oversee its health initiatives. Feinberg comes from Geisinger Health and is expected to help coordinate siloed healthcare efforts of the various organizations of Alphabet, which is Google’s parent company, into a more cohesive approach. Alphabet’s companies have been involved in healthcare mostly on the B2B end, working on projects ranging from using Nest to detect falls in senior living facilities to utilizing AI to help physicians take notes during hospital visits. Rather than entering the market itself, Google seems to be finding opportunities for performance improvement in existing healthcare organizations. We’ll see what 2019 brings regarding Google’s healthcare efforts and expect to see a more cohesive strategy at a minimum.
4. Apple Tests the Market with Wearables and EHRs
In early December, Apple announced the availability of its long-awaited ECG app with irregular heart rhythm notifications. This follows Apple’s move into the EHR space, which officially began in January when the company began allowing patients from 30 different healthcare organizations to gather their medical records on their phone via a healthcare app. These won’t be the only innovations Apple will have in healthcare, considering its iPhones are in the hands of over 90 million Americans, a huge opportunity for healthcare deliverability and patient
Thanks to authors of this article, Don Cosentino and Sean Hartzell. Read the full article at:
Another great article about this important topic by Consentino and Hartzell.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a community forum to hear from residents due to opposition to The Gulch $5 Billion redevelopment plan proposed by California developer CIM. The Mayor came in, took her seat and left after the Forum. While she read an opening statement and answered a couple of the audience questions (that were read by the moderator), she was never seen engaging with residents. No pictures. No handshakes. Nothing.
The plan which the City Council refused to vote on, until they have more time to review the 600 page document recently delivered to their homes, has residents furious.
Most residents were not allowed in the forum because City employees and a group of folks in green t-shirts, supporters of the CIM proposed Gulch deal, took up most of the seats. How is that really a forum for residents? The overflow room was filled with residents upset they could not get in.
In opening rules, outlined by moderator Karen Greer, attendees were told we would be removed by police officers, stationed around the room, if we got out of line (paraphrase). I have attended many controversial forums/town halls, all across the country. Never have I heard those words. Despite that, there were a few times when folks yelled in disagreement to what was being said.
Why are residents furious? Well, after so many other “good deals” and promises that include:
– The original Braves Stadium & Turner Field
– Friendship Baptist Church & Mt. Vernon Baptist Church buyouts
– Falcons Stadium, Mercedes Benz (MB) Stadium & their $23 million bridge across Northside Drive
Each of these deals were also “good deals” for the community and now we are all on the hook for cost overruns (the original MB bridge cost was $10 million. Several months later, the cost rose to $23 million with $1million in lights.).
Each time, residents are on the hook despite their elected officials assuring them, ‘it is good for Atlanta because it will bring jobs’. Well, from what most reports and articles reveal, the minimum wage, temporary stadium jobs are what residents can verify. No one can verify any substantial contractor or management jobs for residents. However, residents continue to be displaced and given empty promises.
With a severe shortage of affordable housing units in Atlanta, each “good deal” drives out current residents while paving the way for new residents in homes priced out of reach for most. Being the number one U.S. city for income inequality, there are only two places for most ATL residents to move:
1) further from the city with no or limited access to public transportation
2) under an I-20 bridge with other homeless people
If a portion of our tax dollars could be used, as many advocates have asked, for:
– programs to repair/update homes of current residents,
– a program to “grandfather” current residents’ from tax increases.
– more affordable housing units than Invest Atlanta and the BeltLine can currently deliver.
That would give thousands of residents access to reasonable and affordable housing units.
Alvin Kendal, City of Atlanta liaison for the CIM Project gives a complicated presentation without a power point. More on Kendall and his conflict of interest on this project from the AJC at: https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/watchdogs-question-rec-authority-leader-hiring-for-gulch-legal-work/QOvTwH6RnByIyAzlXvfRfL/
Much of the information he gave failed to give the whole story of the 30 year tax consequences to residents, Atlanta Public Schools (APS) and Fulton County Commissioners. Three entities, ATL City Council, APS and Fulton County have to approve the plan for it to materialize.
You see, I also attended last week’s City Council Work Session with “CIM Armani suit-wearing lawyers”, as former Senator Vincent Fort describes them. Above, Internationist human rights activist, Joe Beasley, speaks against The Gulch Project.
If programs and legislation can be passed to benefit big corporations and stadium owners, why not for residents so they will not be driven out of their homes? Is that too much to ask for while these corporate folks get to use “our” hard earned tax dollars? Residents can make a change when they VOTE in EVERY ELECTION.
Why is it that planners and people, including most of our elected officials, usually go into neighborhoods and tell them “what is best for them” and “how” their communities should look? Even when Town halls are held, case in point, as with planning for MLKing Jr. Blvd, the neighborhood clearly objected to putting in medians. This both limited left lane turning for cars and fire trucks. Hmmm.
As WAOK Radio Host Derrick Boazman shared, ‘this Mayor’s Forum was not genuine and she is not standing up for the best interest of residents who elected her’. Despite having a hand full of questions, Greer only read about 10-12. Most of them were not answered. Real audience members were frustrated and began to shout out in frustration causing commotion. Meanwhile the mayor sat with an unchanged expression. And, to top it all off, most of us were shocked when the forum seemed to abruptly end. Most of the time was not used to answer questions, but to give Gulch proposal rhetoric about how good this deal is for Atlanta. If it is that good, tell the truth, answer all questions, and stop rushing.
So how do Atlanta residents and residents across the nation get control of their neighborhoods and protect them from predatory developers?
Glad you asked. The short answer is to unite to vote out those who do not favor the residents who elected them. And, to vet and fund candidates. Do not wait to see who runs.
On Tuesday, November 6, residents can take their power back by not just voting. Everyone also needs to educate themselves on the 20 plus items on Georgia ballots (use Google, discuss with friends), BEFORE Election Day, so you can vote down the entire ballot with confidence while encouraging friends and family to do the same. Print a sample ballot from: www.mvp.sos.ga.gov
In the meantime, those who are in office may be able to be recalled when they do not represent their voters. In the words of Sean King, contributor to the Tom Joyner Morning Show and Black America Web, “When we organize, we win!.”
So, it is obvious that Atlanta residents did not get their questions answered at the Mayor’s Forum. So no transparency.
Who do you believe about The Gulch Plan? The Armani suit-wearing attorneys who represent CIM, a firm with no Blacks on their executive team (according to their website http://www.cim.com)? Who benefits? You decide. You can make sure your voice is heard:
1) Organize a protest big or small.
2) Contact Mayor Bottoms at (404) 330-3100 or email from this link:
3) Contact EVERY City Council Member, not just yours. Keep in mind, three are at-large or citywide : Bond, Dickens, and Westmoreland. If you do not know the name of your council member, ask when you call (404) 330-6030 or check this link for their individual contact info:
(1. Also see my earlier blog on The Gulch.
2. Please let me know if you see errors. Another sets of eyes is always good!)
Voter registration without voter education is voter frustration!
– Locally & nationwide, about 80% of voters only vote for the top 1,2, or 3 offices on the Ballot. Most don’t have a clue about how long or what’s on the ballot until the enter the polling booth.
-So, engage your circle of friends/family in discussions about everything on the ballot so you and everyone in your circle will vote down the ballot for every office, admendment, and referendum with confidence.
– Print a copy of your Ballot from: http://www.myvoterpage.com and take it with you to vote. You can’t use your cell phone inside polling place. However, you can take any printed material. You cannot share it with another person inside the polling place.
– So each voter has to have their own sample ballot or other printed materials.
– Tuesday, October 9 – Deadline to register to vote in Georgia.
– Tuesday, November 6 – Election day across the U.S. Each state has different things on their ballots and they are all important!!
– Now is the time to research the candidates for each office and find out what each office does. You will be amazed to find out things about the Insurance Commissioner, Public Service Commissioner, District Attorney, and/or Governor and how what they do effects your everyday life. For example, the Onsurance Commissioner decides if your insurance company for auto, home owners, or renters insurance can increase your premiums and by how much. They can even kick a company out of the state for unethical practices. So choose candidates for each office well.
– Start and continue a conversation on all your social media, at lunch, dinner, etc. about the ballot and early voting dates in your area.
– Use your smart phone to research candidates the same way you use it to Google other things you need to know. However, 90-95% of what you need to know about voting and candidates can be found at: http://www.myvoterpage.com
– I always find it amazing that people know more about TV stars, movie stars and athletes’ personal lives than they do about the elected officials for whom our tax dollars are paying their salaries. That means, they work for us. When we do not like their work, we get to fire and replace them in the next election. That’s right. We control if they get to stay in office! Let’s use our power to change things in our favor. YES WE CAN!!
– Register (Also, check your status before Oct. 9 to make sure you have not been purged from the voter list.).
– Educate yourself (research candidates).
– Engage with your circle of influence.
– Advocate for candidates you like.
– Remind/make sure everyone in your family (even those who live in different states), your friends, church members, colleges students, are registered to vote for every office on the ballot and how to determine who to vote for BEFORE Election Day!
– Check with local churches, the NAACP, Urban League, SCLC, Rainbow PUSH, Peoples Agenda, League of Women Voters, National Action Network, and other nonprofits about FREE rides to the polls if you or someone you know needs it.
– VOTE early or on Election Day, November 6.
WE CAN CONTROL WHO REPRESENTS US!!
Once I entered the Riverside Epic Center, this beautiful Christmas tree caught my eye. It was very inviting on a this cold 38 degree day as I arrived for the Google-SCORE workshop. The workshop was sponsored by Google and the Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE) It was called:
GOOGLE’S GROW YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE HALF-DAY MARKETING SUMMIT
For anyone who has an online presence, I highly recommend this workshop. It was lively and exciting as it enlighten the audience of about forty people. It taught us how to:
– target customers
– determine which social media platforms work best for various types of businesses and why.
– make sure our websites are functional and as effective as they need to be.
– improve your social media presence
The information shared at this workshop is invaluable. This FREE workshop, Choosing Keywords to Maximize Content far exceeded my expectations! A million thanks to the workshop presenters Demming Bass and Mia Martin. Demming is Google’s Get Your Business Online National Speaker. Mia is CEO at Modern Créatif and SCORE Atlanta Director of Marketing.
SCORE has been helping small business owners for more than fifty years. For more information about the numerous SCORE mentors and workshops in your area (locally or nationally), visit:
The Riverside Epic Center in Austell, Georgia is about than ten miles west of Atlanta. It is part of the Word of Faith Ministries. For more information on this beautiful facility, visit: