The topic that has bubbled in the back of my mind for the past few weeks, though, made the blogging cut. Here goes.
I like to talk. Just ask my brothers. What do I like to talk most about? Medicine, public health, health policy, and anything related. I can go on about these subjects for a long time, as anyone who knows me knows all too well.
Lately, though, I'm kind of fed up with some of the talking that goes on in and about public health and health policy. Why? Because it doesn't lead to action, to tangible changes that make a difference for real people. Sometimes it seems like talking for the sake of talking (or, worse, meeting for the sake of meeting). This bothers me.
Don't get me wrong. I strongly believe that dialogue and conversation, brainstorming and planning and advocating out loud are important in public health and health policy. They are central and critical...when the end goal involves action. Action can mean many things...legislative advocacy, program implementation, creation of new materials, planning conferences, etc. But talking without an end goal involving real change? "Talking the talk" without planning on "walking the walk" toward honest-to-goodness change that will make a difference for people?
My National Public Health Week promise to myself is that when I am with others "talking the talk," I will try as hard as I can to make sure we also "walk the walk." That we focus on an end goal of real change, and the action steps needed to achieve it. Because public health and health policy are not just about "talking the talk". They're about "walking the walk" toward real real changes that will improve health.