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Q: What does Namamai mean?
A: Namamai is "I Am A Man" spelled backwards. This was the rally cry used by striking sanitary workers in Memphis in 1968. Very high on their list of demands were respect and dignity they thought were due all men and women. We strive to maintain this spirit in all our interactions with our partners. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was in Memphis to support the striking workers when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968 on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. The garbage workers borrowed the phrase from Robert Worsham's poem of the same title:
Don't look at me with disdain,
For I am not a weakling, I am a man.
I stood when to stand
Brought severe reprimand,
I spoke, when to speak

ought denunciation from the weak,
And brutal attacks from those in power,
But to me this was my greatest hour,
With chin thrust out and head up proud,
I stood up straight and I said out loud,
I am a man!
And I shall always defy
The oppression of mankind until the day I die.
Q: There seems to be so much emphasis on providing insurance coverage for the indigent, what is your take?

A: While providing coverage is important, in our experience this is not the panacea that is inferred by public discourse.  We have observed that insurance coverage, particularly for the underserved who are often disenfranchised, is not sufficient to close disparity gaps in health outcomes or create efficiencies for hospitals.  These patients, like all patients, require a continuum of care which can only be truly achieved with a philosophy and practice of understanding that everyone matters.

Striking sanitary workers in Memphis, 1968.

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