In Episode 101 of the Charity Charge Show, Stephen talks to Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of American Public Health Association (APHA), whose mission is to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status.
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Stephen and Georges Benjamin talk about what APHA learned from the COVID pandemic, APHA’s role in shaping American healthcare policy over the past 150 years, and the importance of having financial reserves in place.
Georges C. Benjamin is known as one of the nation’s most influential physician leaders because he speaks passionately and eloquently about the health issues having the most impact on our nation today.
From his firsthand experience as a physician, he knows what happens when preventive care is not available and when the healthy choice is not the easy choice. As executive director of APHA since 2002, he is leading the Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation.
Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of American Public Health Association, on the importance of having financial reserves:
We try to be fiscally conservative and have multiple revenue streams and live with in our resources each year. Of course COVID is stressor on those financial goals. That’s one of the reasons we have reserves is so that you can go into them when times are hard. The last couple of years, we’ve had to go into reserves a little bit, because times are hard.
But we were able to do that because every year we were able to take any surplus revenues that came in and put them in the bank. Having a good savings account is important. However, I also think it’s important that people figure out what’s important for you to do and focus your mission – then put your resources behind that focused mission.
For us, if it hurts people or kills people, the public health community has a role in it, but we can’t solve all the problems. Instead we try to solve the problems that we think are important for us directly and then we partner with others who have the strength to tackle other problems.
We don’t really care who gets the credit, we care that the mission gets done. We hold ourselves accountable to the mission getting done as our main measure of success.