Veronica Squires is chief administrative officer at The Good Samaritan Health Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where she leads strategy, expansion and development efforts. She previously served as director of corporate development for Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, and as the Georgia director of ministry partnerships for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She is a certified Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) practitioner and serves on the advisory board for the Georgia Charitable Care Network. She is currently pursuing her Executive MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
Veronica writes and speaks regularly on a variety of topics including: non-profit fundraising, community development strategy, faith & work, and women in leadership.
Favorite Quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Breanna Lathrop is chief operating officer and a family nurse practitioner for Good Samaritan Health Center. She earned her doctor of nursing practice from Georgia Southern University and a master of public health and a master of nursing from Emory University. She is passionate about eliminating health disparities through improving health care access and health outcomes among vulnerable populations, and has previously published on the social determinants of health.
Breanna writes and speaks regularly on a variety of topics including: social determinants of health, healthcare policy & reform, homelessness, faith & health care, and nursing practice.
Favorite Quote: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
Without yet knowing each other, authors Squires and Lathrop each spent a decade deeply entrenched in serving impoverished Atlanta neighborhoods – Veronica on the southwest side in community redevelopment, and Breanna on the southeast side in a clinical environment treating uninsured families. Even while both worked to improve the lives of their neighbors and patients they noticed a discouraging trend… the difficult neighborhood environments were causing human languishing and there was no easy cure.
Searching for answers they pored over social justice literature, community development theory, and medical scholarship – only to find it beyond the world of traditional healthcare expressed as social determinants of health or “the structural determinants and conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.”
The purpose of our book and advocacy work is to describe, both for those familiar and unfamiliar with impoverished urban communities, why these neighborhoods are making people sick and what it would take to transform them into places that promote health equity. Through personal experiences, we describe social determinants and illustrate their impact on health. The book points to field experts and local leaders, describing best practices across the country and offering practical steps toward improving community health.
The book offers an approachable Christ-centered vision for health equity and challenges readers to re-think issues affecting inner cities and engage personally and collectively to improve health outcomes for these neighborhoods.
Our Core Beliefs:
- All people want, need, and deserve a safe, healthy place to live, work, play and raise their families.
- Poor neighborhoods are sick because social determinants of health contribute to health status and life expectancy.
- It’s an injustice that someone’s ZIP code (more so than their genetic code) should dictate their lifespan and quality of life.
- We can all make a difference by working collaboratively in our respective spheres to answer the question, “what will make our neighbors healthy?”
- God loves this world and pursuing health equity in our communities is a way of responding to God’s love.