Lisa Gale Hadden, Michigan Area Health Education Center executive director, has learned that when medical and nursing students go to neighborhoods to talk with families about their health they discover untapped resources and assets.

“They really saw the value in connecting to the neighborhood health wisdom and used that to become better health care professionals. It changed their care planning for their patients.” Students asked appreciative, open-ended questions to discover how neighbors define their own health in their own terms. Twenty years later, the students have who are now practitioners are still talking about it.

In this conversation, Lisa – who acts as a bridge between medical and community knowledge in her work – shares more about this experience with John McKnight and Peter Block.




“The more that there’s income equality in a community, or city, or town the healthier people are.” – Lisa Gale Hadden

“Our advice (to students) has always been . . . you’re there first and foremost to just be a neighbor. I think our students really began to see that as they developed relationships with our neighbors.” – Lisa Gale Hadden