Words are symbols. Without definitions they are worthless. Thus, to pick a title of an organization is a challenge to capture the truest sense of its mission. To this end I would like to explore just one word: hope.
Hope (def. 1. Feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, 2. A person or thing that may help or save someone, 3. Grounds for believing that something good may happen.
The word hope within the title of the Interfaith Health and Hope Coalition (IHHC) encapsulates all these definitions in so many ways.
First in terms of health providers and university centers, we at IHHC provide communication forums that bridge the divide by connecting the county, city, neighborhood and religious efforts to serve the poor who often times are medically severely underserved. The outcome is that services can be blended so all efforts aren’t “reinventing the wheel” sort of speaking. This means that sometimes-scarce energy and funding can be maximized.
Second, IHHC provides strategies and symposiums so the public and providers can know dates, places and programs that constantly are changing in a dynamic political atmosphere.
Third, and most importantly, without IHHC efforts like helping getting grants to inoculate infants in the inner city, finding mental health speakers venues, and the creation of many personal relationships among the community health leaders via websites/emails and Healthy Circle of Care groups the poor get served in ways that would never otherwise happen.
Finally, hope is great, but producing results is the ultimate goal. And, the more we have results then hope can have truly be defined as the anachronism IHHC.