As 2023 drew to a close, the Southwest Organizing Project's Healthy Southwest team gathered to reflect on their accomplishments and chart the course for the future of the Southwest System of Care (SWSOC) and the Healthy Chicago Equity Zone (HCEZ). The team, engaged in a robust discussion about the impact of their initiatives and the transformative changes witnessed throughout the year. They delved into the challenges, lessons learned, and opportunities for growth, ensuring that the collective knowledge they have gained would inform their strategic approach in the years ahead.
The final gathering of the year culminated not only in thoughtful reflections but also in a celebratory atmosphere that acknowledged the team's hard work and unwavering dedication to their goals. Amidst the discussion of plans such as tackling food insecurity in 2024, there was a sense of camaraderie and shared accomplishment, fostering a spirit of collaboration and resilience. The team recognized the importance of acknowledging milestones, both big and small, and concluded the meeting with a celebration of their achievementssuch as having held 12 successful Public Health Ambassador trainings (a total of 72 hours) and assisting hundreds of families in applying for medical benefits., This collective reflection and celebration not only reinforced the team's commitment to their mission but also reinvigorated their spirits, setting a positive tone for the exciting health initiatives planned in the Southwest community in the coming year.