The Sycamore Institute’s Deputy Director Mandy Pellegrin shares why our two institutions are partnering to make Nashville a healthier place to live.
Q: What is your organization’s mission?
Pellegrin: “The Sycamore Institute’s mission is to provide accessible, reliable data and research in pursuit of sound, sustainable policies that improve the lives of all Tennesseans. To achieve that mission, the Sycamore Institute equips civic leaders in Nashville and across the state with data-driven resources to identify, understand, and solve big challenges.
Q: How are you and your organization working to improve the health and/or wellbeing of Nashvillians?
Pellegrin: “Sycamore seeks to drive and inform productive public discourse and policy so that everyone in our state has access to ‘the Roots of a Thriving Tennessee’ – opportunities for good health, social and financial well-being, and to make meaningful contributions to society. We provide clear, impartial, and actionable analyses to help people understand and improve policies and outcomes in Nashville and across the state. This includes giving data-driven technical assistance to organizations like NashvilleHealth that tackle important issues in their communities.
Q: If you could wave a magic wand and solve one public health issue right now, what would it be?
Pellegrin: “Large swathes of the American public have lost faith in the field of public health. Earning back their trust is one of the toughest – and most critical – challenges that public health officials face today. Unfortunately, it is much harder to win someone’s trust than to lose it. Success will demand much more than scientific rigor. It requires transparent decision-making, clear communication, empathy, patience, and at times, a dash of humility.
Q: What are you most optimistic about right now when it comes to your organization and improving Nashville’s health?
Pellegrin: “Sycamore is a pretty unique organization. We bring together the best minds from across the political spectrum to identify, understand, and solve big challenges in an increasingly tribal and partisan political environment. It’s no easy task, but Sycamore has earned the trust of Tennesseans of all political stripes. We’re excited to build on those relationships with even deeper engagement in Nashville and communities across Tennessee so that local leaders and citizens are equipped to thoughtfully assess and address their communities’ toughest challenges.”
Q: How can people get involved/help your cause?
Pellegrin: “Go to SycamoreTN.org and sign up for emails alerts about our latest research, analysis, events, and other great stuff. Also, let us know about the issues and challenges you care about. What topics and policies do you wish Sycamore would examine in the independent, accessible way that we do? Finally, please donate! The Sycamore Institute does critical work, but we can’t do it without your financial support.”
NashvilleHealth creates a culture of health and wellbeing by serving as a convener to open dialogue, align resources and build smart strategic partnerships to create a bold plan for health and wellbeing in Nashville.Check out our latest newsletter
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