Sibley Works With Communities to Involve Them in Health Care Process

Sibley Memorial Hospital, a member of the Johns Hopkins Medicine system, is undertaking a rather unique and innovative approach to addressing some of the health disparities that exist in D.C. east of the Anacostia River.

In a first-of-its-kind program at the Northwest hospital, four teams comprising residents of Wards 7 and 8 have been awarded grants to develop and implement innovative solutions that would help make their communities thrive and be healthier.

Sibley’s Ward Initiative issued a call last summer for applications from teams of residents from the communities two communities to become directly involved in the health care process.
The four teams and the focus of their activities are as follows:

• Diane Brent-Farmer, along with her sister Hortense Brent, will focus on the challenge of “Healthcare vs. Sickcare.” This team has developed an innovative program of wellness parties with individual coaching sessions that can be a catalyst for change in Ward 7.
• Deborah Nix, along with Brenda Liddell, will focus on the challenge of “Disproportionate Impact” — How might we take steps for health or well-being that would be less risky while improving people’s chances for success. This is a team of self-motivated entrepreneurs seeking to help people develop healthier lives and lifestyles.
• John Johnson, along with Tamika “Love” Jones and Jason Anderson will focus on the challenge of “Hear My Voice” — How might we amplify voices of residents in Wards 7 and 8. This team plans to create an environment for therapeutic healing through the artistic expression of dance, music, the visual arts and storytelling.
• Mary Blackford, along with Jacob Clark will focus on the challenge of “Disproportionate Impact” — How might we take steps for better health or well-being that would be less risky while improving people’s chances for successful living. This team believes that their core value of entrepreneurship is best exemplified when a social need is met with innovation and opportunity.

The four teams will be provided awards of $20,000 plus $5,000 for supplies and expenses.

In addition to funding, they will work closely with Sibley’s embedded innovation team. Known as the Sibley Innovation Hub, its team of designers, technologists and process engineers will be coaching the community innovators throughout their work.

For more information about the Sibley Innovation Hub, go to For more information about the Community Innovators in Residence, the teams who are receiving funding, go to

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