Showing posts with label #equity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #equity. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

⚖️IMSPARK: Future of Resilient and Equitable Health Care⚖️


⚖️Imagine... Future of Resilient and Equitable Health Care⚖️

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

A Pacific region will join the White House Roundtable on Leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act for Safety-Net Health Organizations, which aims to help health care providers serving the most vulnerable and underserved populations to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint, and to improve their resilience and quality of care. 



The White House. (2023, October 20). Readout of White House Roundtable on Leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act for Safety-Net Health Organizations. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The Pacific region participating in the roundtable 🧩 will learn from the best practices and success stories of other safety-net health organizations nationwide and access the tax credits and grant programs created by the Inflation Reduction Act to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 🌊The Pacific region will also share its unique challenges and opportunities related to climate change and health equity and collaborate with other stakeholders to find innovative and sustainable solutions.

Health care is a vital sector for the Pacific region, as it provides essential services and support for millions of people, especially those who are low-income, uninsured, or have complex medical and social needs. 🌍However, health care is also a significant source of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change and its adverse impacts on health. 🏥 The Inflation Reduction Act, which passed by Congress in 2022, offers a historic opportunity for the Pacific region to transform its healthcare system into a more resilient and equitable one by helping safety-net health organizations lower their energy bills, reduce their environmental footprint, and enhance their preparedness and quality of care. 

The White House Roundtable, launched in 2023, is a collaborative initiative that brings together safety-net health organizations, professional associations, philanthropies, and financial institutions to share their experiences and resources and leverage the Inflation Reduction Act to achieve their goals.

#InflationReductionAct, #SafetyNetHealth, #Resilience,#equity,#IMSPARK,

Saturday, February 24, 2024

⚰️IMSAPRK: Affordable and Meaningful Funerals in the Pacific⚰️

⚰️Imagine...  Affordable and Meaningful Funerals in the Pacific⚰️

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

A Pacific region will adopt the FTC Funeral Rule, which gives consumers the right to choose only the funeral goods and services they want or need, and to compare prices among different funeral providers. 



Federal Trade Commission. (2020). Funeral Costs and Pricing Checklist.

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

By following the FTC Funeral Pricing Checklist, the Pacific region will reduce the financial burden and stress of planning a funeral, while also respecting the diverse cultural and religious traditions of its people. Funerals are an important part of the Pacific region’s culture, as they honor the deceased and provide comfort and closure for the living.🙏However, funerals can also be very expensive and complicated, especially for low-income and marginalized communities. 💵The FTC Funeral Rule, which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S., aims to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices by funeral providers, such as charging for unwanted or unnecessary items, or failing to disclose price information.🌺The FTC Funeral Pricing Checklist is a useful tool that helps consumers plan a funeral that fits their budget and preferences, and avoid paying for services they do not want. The Pacific region can benefit from adopting the FTC Funeral Rule and Checklist, as they can help consumers make informed and confident decisions about funeral arrangements, and ensure that their loved ones receive a dignified and respectful farewell.

#FTC, #Pacific, #FuneralCosts, #ConsumerProtection,#equity, #Death,#IMSPARK,

Thursday, February 8, 2024

📔IMSPARK: academic access and shared knowledge freely📔

📔Imagine...academic access and shared knowledge freely📔

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

A Pacific where researchers, educators, students, policymakers, and the public can access, use, and contribute to the latest research findings and innovations in the social sciences and humanities without barriers or costs.


Ref Here


Ernst, E., Schulte, J., & Töpfer, M. (2020). How to fill the information gap: Open Access for the social sciences and humanities. Septentrio Conference Series, (4).

💥 What's the Big Deal: 

This presentation by Schulte et al. (2020) provides practical guidance and resources for researchers to publish their work in open access. Access is not only about increasing the visibility of research, but it is also about promoting equity and addressing the knowledge gap. Open access makes scholarly publications available online for anyone to read, reuse, and share without any restrictions or fees. 🌐It benefits researchers by increasing their work's visibility, impact, and quality. It benefits society by advancing knowledge, fostering innovation, and promoting social justice.🚀 However, many social sciences and humanities researchers face challenges and lack of information about open access. 

In a Pacific context, Open Access can be seen as another venue for equity, where the commodity is knowledge. 📖Knowledge creates opportunities for innovation, social justice, and economic growth. By making research freely available to everyone, regardless of their location or socio-economic status, Open Access can help address the imbalance in the production and distribution of knowledge, particularly in the social sciences and humanities. 🙌The result of this access could lead to a more informed future, where everyone has equal access to the latest research findings and innovations and advocates for open access in their disciplines and institutions.

#OpenAccess, #GrayLiterature, #Pacific, #Knowledge, #IMSPARK,#equity,#academics, 


Tuesday, February 6, 2024

🩺IMSPARK: Pacific Future with AI-Powered Healthcare Solutions🩺

🩺Imagine… A Pacific Future with AI-Powered Healthcare Solutions🩺

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

Successfully use artificial intelligence (AI), such as diagnosing deadly diseases, improving radiology practice, and predicting cancer resistance. The region has fostered a culture of innovation, quality, and equity, where healthcare providers and patients can access and use AI-powered tools and services to improve health outcomes and experiences.


Ref Here


DePeau-Wilson, M. (2024). AI diagnoses deadly disease; radiology's new AI guidance; WHO tackles LMMs. MedPage Today.


💥 What's the Big Deal: 

The article by DePeau-Wilson (2024) provides a monthly roundup of healthcare-focused AI news and research, highlighting some of the latest developments and breakthroughs in the field.🚀The article covers topics such as an AI-powered clinical tool for diagnosing rheumatic heart disease, a joint statement by five radiology societies on the use and development of AI tools, and new guidance by the WHO on the ethics and governance of large multimodal models or (LMMs).

AI could be an opportunity for the Pacific region, as it can provide innovative and effective solutions for healthcare challenges, such as access, quality, cost, and equity.🚝By leveraging AI's latest advances and applications in healthcare, the Pacific region can enhance its innovation, quality, and equity and improve its residents' health outcomes and experiences. 🩻The AI-powered tools and services can also support the region's innovation, quality, and equity and enable more healthcare providers and patients to access and ensure the ethical use of AI in a responsible manner.

#AIHealthcare, #Innovation, #Access,#equity,#HealthDisparities,#IMSPARK,

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

🌊IMSPARK: A Pacific Future with Resilient and Equitable Communities: 🌊

🌊Imagine… A Pacific Future with Resilient and Equitable Communities: 🌊

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

The Pacific region has successfully participated in the Community Disaster Resilience Zones program, which provides priority access to federal funds for climate resilience and mitigation projects for the most at-risk and in-need communities. The region has fostered a culture of solidarity, cooperation, and partnership, where all stakeholders work together to ensure the resilience and equity of the communities.



Griswold, A. (2024). What could FEMA’s new disaster resilience zones mean for communities? Smart Cities Dive. 

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

The article by Griswold (2024) reveals that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has designated 483 Community Disaster Resilience Zones across the nation, based on the National Risk Index and the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool. 
The zones will have priority access to federal funds for climate resilience and mitigation projects, as well as potential private and philanthropic investments. The article also discusses the challenges and opportunities of the program, such as the risk of green gentrification, the need for community engagement, and the potential for regional collaboration.

Resilience and equity are key challenges for the Pacific region, as it faces the impacts of climate change, natural hazards, and social disparities, especially among the low-income, unbanked, and underserved populations.  🤝By participating in the Community Disaster Resilience Zones program, the Pacific region can enhance its resilience and equity, and reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality.  🌟The program can also support the region’s solidarity, cooperation, and partnership, and enable more communities to access the resources and opportunities they need and deserve.

#Resilience, #Equity, #PacificFuture, #DisasterZones, #Partnership, #DRR,#RICEWEBB,,#IMSPARK 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

🏊🏼‍♀️ IMSPARK: Women’s health valued and prioritized in the Pacific🏊🏼‍♀️

🏊🏼‍♀️ Imagine... women’s health valued & prioritized in the Pacific🏊🏼‍♀️

💡 Imagined Endstate

Women in the Pacific have access to quality, affordable, and culturally appropriate health care and services that address their specific needs and preferences. Women are empowered to make informed decisions about their health and well-being, and to participate fully in society and the economy.



McKinsey & Company. (2024). Closing the women’s health gap: A $1 trillion opportunity to improve lives and economies.

💥 What’s the Big Deal: 

Women in the Pacific face many challenges and barriers to achieving optimal health, 💪such as gender inequality, poverty, violence, stigma, and lack of data and resources. 🩺Closing the women’s health gap could improve the quality and length of life for millions of women, as well as generate significant economic💵 and social benefits for the region. Investing in women’s health is not only a moral imperative, but also a smart and strategic choice.


Friday, December 1, 2023

📊 IMSPARK: Boosting Employee Financial Wellness and Retention📊

📊 Imagine... Boosting Employee Financial Wellness and Retention📊 

💡 Imagined Endstate: 

A future where employers offer comprehensive and personalized financial wellness programs to their employees, helping them achieve financial security and satisfaction, and reducing turnover and absenteeism.

🔗 Link: 

Workplace Benefits Report

📚 Source: 

Bank of America Institute. (2023). Workplace Benefits Report. 

💥 What's the Big Deal: 

This report 📊 reveals that employees' financial wellness has reached an all-time low, as they struggle with the rising cost of living and stagnant wages. Employees are looking for more support from their employers, who have a responsibility and an opportunity to improve their financial well-being. 📈The report provides insights and recommendations on how employers can design and implement effective financial wellness programs that address the diverse and evolving needs of their workforce, such as 💰 budgeting, saving, investing, 💳 debt management,  retirement planning, and more. By doing so, employers can enhance employee engagement, loyalty, productivity, and performance, and gain a competitive edge in the labor market.


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

🚗IMSPARK: Solving School Bus Driving Shortages🚗

🚗Imagine... Solving School Bus Driving Shortages🚗

💡 Imagined Endstate:  

All students have access to safe, reliable, and equitable transportation to school, supported by well-paid and respected bus drivers.

📚 Source:

Hickey, S. M., & Cooper, D. (2022, February 3). Raising pay in public K–12 schools is critical to solving staffing shortages. Economic Policy Institute

🔗 Link:

Read Here 

💥 What's the Big Deal:

School bus drivers are essential workers who face low wages,🦸 pandemic risks, and challenging conditions. They deserve better compensation and investment💰from state and local governments, school districts, and communities.🏢Improving bus driver jobs and solving staffing shortages are not only important for the welfare and success of students,🌀but also for advancing racial and gender equity.


Friday, November 24, 2023

💪IMSPARK: Reshaping Disaster Response: NAACP and FEMA Forge Equity Alliance💪

 💪Imagine... Reshaping Disaster Response: NAACP and FEMA Forge Equity Alliance💪

💡 Imagined Endstate:

A future where disaster response is inherently equitable, safeguarding vulnerable communities against climate-driven threats.

📚 Source:

Franklin, J. (2023, September 22). NAACP signs agreement with FEMA to advance equity in disaster resilience. NPR.

🔗 Link:

Read Full Article

💥 What's the Big Deal:

In a groundbreaking move, NAACP and FEMA unite against climate injustice. 🤝 Their renewed commitment ensures that Black communities, disproportionately affected by disasters, are not left behind. 🚀 This partnership signifies a leap toward resilient, equitable disaster response, setting a precedent for inclusive practices nationwide. 🌐As climate change amplifies the impact of natural disasters, collaboration between civil rights organizations and emergency management agencies becomes crucial.🌀 This alliance not only addresses immediate challenges but also sets a precedent for inclusive and equitable disaster resilience efforts nationwide.

#NAACP, #FEMA,#partnerships,#Collaboration,#equity,#IMSPARK, 

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

🎥 IMOA - Imagine Pacific Original Article: (VIDEO)🎥 "Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"

🎥 IMOA - Imagine Pacific Original Article: (VIDEO)🎥

 "Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"


Experience the National Guard's transformation in a split-screen animation. Historical images seamlessly evolve into a contemporary force. It emphasizes key points, setting the stage for a compelling narrative.
📅 Evolution of the National Guard:

Depicting the National Guard's shift from a part-time reserve to a vibrant, dynamic force. Each era unfolds with representative imagery, narrating the Guard's evolution.
🦠The COVID-19 Pandemic:

The article portrays National Guard heroes in action during the pandemic - distributing vaccines, conducting tests, and aiding healthcare systems.
⚖️Challenges and Disparities:

Witness the disparities between active duty and National Guard benefits. Scales and side-by-side comparisons use animated elements to spotlight these differences clearly.
🔄Proposed Solutions:
Experience a paradigm shift advocating for reform of career status rules. Watch as positive change unfolds, echoing a brighter future for National Guard members.
🤝Conclusion and Call to Action:
The National Guard remains a ready and reliable operational force. A call to action is made with the need for change that will inevitably make the Guard more ready, reliable, and resilient. inevitably


Monday, November 13, 2023

🛡️IMSPARK: The Future of Selective Service: Expanding Mandatory Registration🛡️

🛡️Imagine... The Future of Selective Service: Expanding Mandatory Registration🛡️

💡 Imagined Endstate:   

In an envisioned future, mandatory registration for the Selective Service System encompasses all U.S. citizens regardless of gender. 

📚 Source: 

Absher, J. (2023, March 1). Everything You Need to Know About the Military Draft. 

🔗 Link: 

[Read More]

💥 What's the Big Deal: 

The Selective Service System, often associated with the draft, currently mandates registration📝 for almost all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants aged 18 to 25. This inclusive approach fosters a sense of shared civic responsibility and equity. However, women are not legally obligated to register. ⚖️In this future scenario, expanding the mandatory registration requirement to include all citizens, regardless of gender, addresses issues of gender equity🚻 and civic responsibility.🌍 This shift ensures that all eligible individuals share the same responsibilities in times of national need, promoting a more inclusive and equitable society.


Friday, November 3, 2023

IMOA: Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change



Imagine Pacific Original Article

"Ending the Stigmatic Role of the National Guard: A Call for Change"

By James E. Faumuina, MBA, MPA

Editor - Imagine Pacific Pulse


Abstract: This article presents a compelling argument for a paradigm shift in the perception and treatment of the National Guard. It advocates for the recognition of the National Guard as a steady-state operational force with equivalent daily requirements for response and operational readiness as the active duty, particularly in relation to its unique Title 32 mission. The argument highlights the disparity in treatment between National Guard members and active duty members in terms of retirement benefits. It points out that National Guard members engaged in full-time Title 32 missions, which are authorized by federal law, should be given the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits in a manner similar to active duty members. The argument questions why certain National Guard positions are not considered for retirement benefits when they may involve less hazardous or non-direct defense-related tasks compared to active duty positions. It suggests that if there is enough funding to support retirement benefits for active duty members without extensive scrutiny, the same opportunity should be extended to National Guard members to encourage their long-term commitment to service. In analyzing the challenges posed by current career status regulations, the article contends that all service members who can reach 20 TAFMS (Total Active Federal Military Service) should be entitled to do so.

The National Guard has played an indispensable role in the United States military, evolving from a part-time strategic reserve to becoming a force that effectively addresses contemporary challenges. However, the prevailing perception of the National Guard as primarily a strategic reserve has created barriers that hinder its full potential and restrict opportunities for its members. This article argues for a fundamental shift in the perception of the National Guard and advocates for its recognition as an operational regular force. Furthermore, it proposes that Guardsmen should be entitled to retire, if eligible, with a 20-year active duty retirement. It prompts readers to consider why institutional safeguards and gatekeeping procedures prevent rather than enable Guardsmen from attaining this right.

The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a significant turning point, highlighting the invaluable contributions of the National Guard in responding to crises (NCLS, 2020). Guard members have been at the forefront, providing essential support in testing, vaccine distribution, and aiding overwhelmed healthcare systems. The nature of the Guard's capabilities has evolved beyond the traditional categorizations of part-time versus full-time service. Their vital role in protecting the nation's well-being renders these outdated perspectives obsolete, as enlistment in the National Guard is now solely based on voluntary means. Retaining highly skilled and qualified warriors has become a pressing concern for the military branches, as experienced leadership is a scarce and coveted resource. Therefore, the retention of human resources, including experienced Guard members, should be treated with the same importance as other resource conservation methods.

The National Guard's indispensability stems from the constitutional requirement for the separation of military and civilian affairs and the management of the state. Posse Comitatus, established to prevent the military from being used as a means of domestic political will, ensures that federal forces are forbidden from enacting domestically militarily unless federalization occurs. Governors serve as the de facto commanders-in-chief of their respective states at times of emergency. In the event of a state of emergency declaration by the Governor, the respective Guard Adjutant General serves as the State’s Commander General. (FEMA, 2017). Moreover, in the recent pandemic response, the National Guard played an integral role in executing this essential homeland defense mission, including protecting national borders, and critical infrastructure, and responding to emergencies and disasters as they are mandated to do by regulation (DODI, 2017). Consistently over the years, these responsibilities have demanded continuous readiness and immediate response capabilities, necessitating the recognition of the National Guard as a force with a capacity that requires its Guardsmen to perform active duty far beyond the set 2 weeks a year, 14 days a year known as the required commitment edict for the reserve forces of the military.

Title 32 missions, authorized by federal law, grant the National Guard the authority to undertake specific continuous missions, such as cyber defense, counter-drug operations, and disaster response (U.S. Department of Defense, 2020). These missions often require full-time engagement and specialized skills that only the National Guard can provide. Guard members who are fortunate enough to attain one of the few treasured active duty positions under the Active/Guard and Reserve (AGR) program are granted equivalent privileges as the active duty uniformed members serving under Title-10 (federal) status.

There is a robust operational mission being conducted by the National Guard actively every day. However, underneath this vested importance is a conventional logic limiting Guardsmen that needs to be challenged. The Guard encompasses any and every AFSC/MOS (Air Force Specialty Code/Military Occupational Specialty) as active duty. In contrast, there are unique missions in the Guard that require niche units like the CERFP. As it stands today, not every Guardsman in these programs can attain a 20-year retirement unless they are in the AGR program. It is unjust that every Active Duty member can attain 20 years of service, regardless of whether their jobs involve hazards or direct defense of the homeland, while Guardsmen, specifically in programs like the CERFP, are being forced to cut their orders when they approach the cut-line of 18 years, at which time they would be entitled to receive a 20-year retirement.  

It is a fruitless and dangerous debate to compare positions based on perceived importance, and that is not the intent of this argument. A more productive rationale would be to consider how the active duty finds it sufficient, without any need for justification, for every position to warrant retirement without scrutiny. If there is no issue with granting this privilege to Active Duty members, then why can't Guardsmen, with the caveat they can attain 20 years of active duty, enjoy the same benefit? What is the harm in a Guardsman piecing together their Active Duty service in order to reach a 20-year Active Duty retirement?

It all revolves around the concept of “sanctuary” and how it is used as a tool to hinder Guardsmen from attaining the same rights and privileges that every active duty member has in obtaining an active duty retirement. As mentioned earlier with the CERFP, a preventative practice being conducted is the curtailment of orders based on proximity to 20 TAFMS (Total Active Federal Military Service) when they get close to sanctuary, essentially preventing them from ever attaining the coveted 20 year active duty retirement. (U.S. Department of Defense, 2019). This practice of creating barriers to attaining 20TAMFS restricts Guard members from attaining career status and the associated benefits.

By enabling Guardsmen to reach 20 TAFMS, regardless of their part-time or full-time status, and based on mission requirements and resource availability, we can effectively address and alleviate the challenges and inequities they face. This proposed change to the career status rules not only addresses the inherent injustices within the system but also enhances the operational readiness of the National Guard. This paradigm shift also aligns with the evolving nature of military operations and the need for flexible and integrated forces to tackle contemporary challenges. Recognizing the full-time commitment of Guard members will go a long way in ensuring they have access to the necessary resources, support, and career opportunities, enabling them to maintain the highest levels of readiness and effectiveness.

In conclusion, the time has come for a transformative shift in the way we perceive and treat the National Guard. The Guard, once considered a strategic reserve, has proven itself to be an indispensable force in our modern world. The COVID-19 pandemic and the tragic wildfires in Maui have demonstrated the vital role Guard members play in safeguarding our nation's well-being and security. They are no longer simply part-time soldiers but dedicated professionals, ready to respond to crises at a moment's notice.

This article has attempted to make a case for recognizing the National Guard as an operational regular force. It argues that Guardsmen, engaged in full-time Title 32 missions, should have the opportunity to accumulate retirement benefits, just like their active-duty counterparts. It questions why certain Guard positions are denied retirement benefits, even when their roles may be less hazardous or defense-related than active-duty positions.

The solution is simple: we must reform the career status rules to allow Guardsmen, based on mission requirements, to reach the 20-year active-duty retirement threshold. This change addresses not only the inherent injustices within the system but also enhances the National Guard's operational readiness. Again and again, the National Guard has served as a linchpin of our national security and community resilience. It goes without saying that they deserve the same rights and privileges as their active-duty counterparts. This paradigm shift will not only ensure the Guard's long-term commitment to service but also provide the necessary support and resources to maintain the highest levels of readiness.

The time has come to recognize and invest properly in the Guard's proven value and unwavering reliability. This is not just a call for change; it's a call to acknowledge the unwavering commitment and sacrifices made by citizen soldiers who take on the mantle of Guardsmen. To ensure a strong, agile, and effective National Guard that is prepared to meet today's demands, and those that will be even more demanding in the future, a radical systems revision is needed and unabashedly long overdue.

James is the owner of Imagine Pacific Enterprises and the Editor of Imagine Pacific Pulse (IMPULSE). He is a retired Lt Col, Hawaii Air National Guard. Former medical administrator, planner, program manager, and operations officer. Graduated from the USAF Air War College and is a graduate student at the University of Hawaii studying Disabilities Studies and Diversity. He can be contacted at 

Keywords:#NationalGuard, #paradigmshift, #recognition, #operationalforce, #Title32,#COVID-19,# pandemic,#careerstatus,# homelanddefense,#20-yearretirement,#equity,#readiness,#citizensoldiers,# systemschange,#IMOA,


NCLS. (2020). National Guard Response to COVID-19. Retrieved from [insert URL]

U.S. Department of Defense. (2019). ANGI36-101, Air National Guard Active Guard Reserve (AGR) Program. Retrieved from [insert URL]

U.S. Department of Defense. (2020). U.S. Code Title 32, Chapter 1 - Organization. Retrieved from [insert URL]


(2) Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA)

🏥 IMSPARK.: a Thriving Pacific: Navigating the Future of Care🏥

🏥 Imagine... a Thriving Pacific: Navigating the Future of Care🏥   💡 Imagined Endstate:   A Pacific community where every individual, rega...