Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fight Like Hell

O.K. So I'm a flip-flopper these days. Just when I'm ready to wrap a white turban around my head like my fellow yogis,

denounce the bullshit that is American politics and the Republican party

and call it a day, I read something that maybe, just sort of, galvanizes me. Now this article isn't inspirational in the way that Buddhist thought is, or even a particular poem (and notice in the photo above, that I, as a boxer, am smiling at my opponent). And it doesn't allay my disgust and mistrust in the state of the oligarchy. But it gives a certain energy and lifts the cloud of taking things too seriously, getting bogged down and forgetting to be mindful. You can read it here.

I'm off to New Mexico tomorrow, anyway. I've mentioned the job I have as the Parent Co-Chair for the National Institute to Improve Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ). We've been working for years to improve the quality of and access to healthcare for children with special needs, in this case, epilepsy and deafness. It's difficult and sometimes frustrating work but, above all, it has shown me that the country is filled with those who truly believe that healthcare reform is not a luxury but a necessity, not a commodity but a human right. These people that I work with are behind the scenes, doctors and nurses and academics and administrative staff, literally toiling away at improving the lives of tens of thousands of children with diseases and disabilities. They work in a system that is embarrassingly inefficient yet manage to make incremental changes that make a difference. I might add that the work is funded by the BIG, BAD government that so many in our country villify. The Department of Maternal Child and Health provides the money for the grants that seven states use for the improvement efforts. This is the second collaborative that I've worked on in almost five years and since then, improvements have been ongoing in California, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, South Carolina, Mississippi, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Illinois and New Jersey. The work is slow and sometimes tedious. But it's worthy, and I'm going to keep on doing it.

Switzerland will have to wait, I suppose, its beautiful peaks and valleys and comprehensive healthcare coverage for all, a beacon if our own is snuffed out.


  1. I've been having thoughts about all of this this afternoon. How I will just never understand people and why they vote the way they do. Why they think the way they think.
    I am so glad to know that YOU, Elizabeth, are helping to make change. I am in your corner.

  2. As a mom of a child that falls into the special needs category I thank you for this tedious work! And as a former social work grad school student trained through the MCH leadership program in Madison in the 90's I think that job sounds awesome! I'd love to hear more about it!

  3. Thanks for sharing that article and your current political feelings. They mirror mine! Thank you, also, for what you are doing to try and insure that families with special needs are taken care of. This, however, should be the job of our government--someday, I hope!

  4. I love and respect your intelligent optimism. Have a great trip!

  5. Elizabeth first your children are the luckiest to have you as their Mom.

    It is such a never ending job and when you add to that any differences for your own child than what the rest of the population has to deal with well....

    I admire you Elizabeth and know that you are doing the good fight.

    I was feeling sorry for myself because I am in such pain tonight and then I come here and remember how tired you must be to watch your little girl, your dream girl have a hell of a time.

    I know it is all relative but for us mother's our children are everything.

    I love you Elizabeth.

    Do great things this week.

    Love Renee xoxo

  6. I'm glad that you are not moving to Switzerland. I like the thought that you are close, right in my neighborhood.

  7. Its true, we would be sad if you moved because we need you here! Have a wonderful and successful trip.

  8. I'm right there with you. The state of American politics -- and the American attitude -- lately has been dragging me down, making me angry. Your feelings (and political beliefs) echo mine, too, and I am trying to work hard at finding peace and the positive in all this.

  9. I am hoping and praying for success in New Mexico.

  10. I haven't clicked through to see what lifter your spirits, yet. But this post lifted mine. The fact that you aren't giving up, and that there are more like you. I felt so overwhelmed by the Supreme Court decision, I didn't know what to do. But I too, am seeing some incredible grass roots organizations and individuals managing change deep under the radar, but nonetheless making a difference.

    On another note, do you and your family want to be in a national pet store ad campaign? Here is the link...

    Hope you have a good trip. Look forward to hearing about it.

  11. Applause, cheers, and tell me how to support you! It is discouraging, maddening, and definately worth the fight. Sending you all the strength you can use!

  12. that's wonderful that you're on the committee! excellent. keep up the good fight and know we've all got your back. I know it's hard. I used to be on lots of committees and advocacy boards and sometimes it felt like I was fighting over particles of sand. I had to step back and let other people take the lead when I burned out. But I still fight and work and hope for things to get better, and little by little they do.

    As for the country, every one just needs to take a deep breath and stay calm. I really like that article.



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