Jennifer Christian MD
Attached is a list of the state agencies that appear most likely to be taking the lead in a RETAIN proposal. For each one on the list, there is a link that gets you to their website. For many, there are street addresses. For only a few is there a person to contact (sorry). If you can’t see the attachment, go to the RETAINers website and get it there.
Do you agree that it has turned out to be SURPRISINGLY ( ridiculously?) DIFFICULT to accomplish steps 1 through 3 on the list below of the things that must happen in order to respond to the RETAIN FOA/RFP. I propose that we call these first three steps “creating an invisible social infrastructure of multi-stakeholder professional relationships and shared commitments”. All this must happen BEFORE purposeful and coordinated action becomes possible.
I now see that that our now-mothballed 60 Summits Project was a first brave step towards “creating an invisible social infrastructure of multi-stakeholder professional relationships and shared commitments”. The stated purpose of 60 Summits was to propagate the work disability prevention model across North America (50 US states + 10 Canadian provinces = 60). While it was active, 60 Summits created multi-stakeholder groups of volunteer professionals who then organized and produced summit-type workshops with our support. The groups identified individuals of good will with reputations as positive thought-leaders in their stakeholder groups – and invited them to participate in the Summit. At the Summit, they sat around tables in small multi-stakeholder groups. The centerpiece of discussion was the 16 recommendations for improving the SAW/RTW process made in ACOEM’s report entitled “Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed”. The small groups were charged to decide whether they liked the recommendations, wanted to see them implemented in their state, and start thinking about what was necessary for that to become a reality. The positive energy in the room – and the relationships formed during those events – were remarkable and long-lasting. After a short run, 60 Summits was mothballed due to lack of funding. I didn’t have the bandwidth to apply for grants or fundraise. I was personally stretched to the max with learning how to recruit groups of professional volunteers, supporting them in planning and producing their own state’s multi-stakeholder workshop, and speaking/facilitating at those events. We did end up with 20 events in 12 US states and 2 Canadian provinces. It was wonderful while it lasted. And as the leader of the Wisconsin 60 Summits Group said, ideas germinate out of sight -- like seeds underground – and emerge as tiny shoots than may or may not grow into big plants based on soil and weather conditions. Change takes time, fertilizer and fuel (money)!
Jennifer Christian, MD, MPH
Moderator, RETAINers List-Serv and Website on Groups.io
(a volunteer activity – not an officially sponsored group)
Chair, 60 Summits Project
(non-profit organization founded in 2006 and mothballed since 2010)