I hope everyone is spending ample time this summer relaxing on the beaches, in the mountains, or wherever you find joy. My goal is taking my toddler camping at each of our state’s National Parks (and visiting the excellent Klondike Gold Rush national historic park), getting more comfortable with camping (and life) being a messier experience, and trying to be the kind of person who does crosswords (hints welcome).

Staff at the Bree is busily finalizing recommendations for our five areas and planning our implementation process for the next two years – we are also finding time to better understand health care, social determinants of health, and the human condition via our reading list(s). Here is a short list of what we are reading and watching that is at least (somewhat) related to improving health and health care:

  • – Read: The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett – admittedly this is based a bit more in statistical analysis that most people might want at the beach, but the idea of income inequality impacting so many domains of life resonates with much of our work to improve population health.
  • – Read: So You Want to Talk About Race by the Seattle-based and self-professed internet yeller Ijeoma Oluo – also the University of Washington School of Public Health, Health Sciences common book for 2019-2020. You can see events to talk about the book here.
  • – Read: Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict – an oldie by our standards (published 1934) and a groundbreaking analysis of how human culture, like an individual, has a distinct personality. Still relevant to breaking down why and how large groups behave.
  • – Watch: Chernobyl miniseries on HBO – we were drawn into this miniseries as Game of Thrones wound down (long live the Queen of the North) and were fascinated both by the sheer horror of the impacts of high-dose radiation on those working at the plant and the bureaucratic double-think embedded into Soviet-era policies and reactions. Give this show all the Emmys.
  • – ListenHealthcare Triage Podcast. The podcast of one of our favorite blogs that focuses on health care policy, medical research, and questions in the field.
  • – ListenGoats And Soda. NPR’s podcast about global health and development. Great name, great stories from low- and middle-income countries.


Enjoy the sun and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Ginny Weir, MPH
Director, Bree Collaborative