What if Leopold Bloom worked at a Community Health Center?

What if Leopold Bloom worked at a Community Health Center?

This morning, I awoke and tweeted a few lines from James Joyce’s Ulysses.  After all, today is Bloomsday.  Joyce’s Ulysses traced the wanderings of Leopold Bloom through Dublin on this day in 1904, and literary enthusiasts around the world celebrate this day in many different ways.  NPR ran a story on people tweeting Ulysses, and I even added a line from Ulysses as I checked in at work on Foursquare.  As I stopped to wish a coworker Happy Bloomsday, the question came to my mind:  “What if Leopold Bloom worked at a Community Health Center?  What if he were a patient?”

As I thought about it, it seemed like a good idea for a quick blog post.  Granted, Bloomsday isn’t a widely celebrated day and I suspect many people reading this blog post might not recognize the name Leopold Bloom and might wonder what this really has to do with health centers.  Yet too many people don’t know the names of the great staff at CHC or the story of our patients.  By telling the stories in a literary context, we might be able to reach people that could speak well on behalf of health centers.  Perhaps another book might help provide a context.  In 1941, James Agee’s book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” with photographs by Walker Evans, was published.  It illustrated the lives of people mired in poverty.

Day in and day out our staff struggle together with impoverished patients to improve their health.  There are many meaningful and important stories and health centers would do well to tell these stories.  These stories are not something that happens once a year, they happen every day at health centers across the country.

So, how are you helping tell the stories of improving health in your communities?

3 thoughts on “What if Leopold Bloom worked at a Community Health Center?

  1. With a new hospital opening on July 31st, I typically scan and delete quickly. However, with Joyce and Bloom as instigators, I am compelled to comment. The marketing department, all two of us, write newsletters, press releases, letters from the administration team, headlines, comments, persuasive essays, etc. Media is print, video, email and social media. Facebook, YouTube and Flickr allow for great short stories, ala “The Dubliner.”

    Each of these missives is read and reread until we are sure they meet our standard of “compelling story.” Joyce’s “epiphany’ moment sometimes appears and sometimes not. Even when we miss our standard, we know we will do better next time in creating a stong link between the story and the reader.

    Aldon, thanks for the inspiration.

    Bill Kennedy

  2. Oh thank you thank you for using the word “stories” instead of the trendy term, “narrative.” Keeping meaning to write a post about this but maybe I’ll just make it a pithy comment here and over on the MCCSM site.

    In addition to being pretentious, “narrative” moves everything to the meta level which, if you ask me (and even if you don’t) obliterates the basic power of telling compelling stories that are personal and present.

Leave a Reply