Announcing Our New Report

Pritpal S Tamber

April 11, 2016

Based on the experiences of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs trying to approach health ‘beyond the lens of health care’, we present our new report with eleven principles for creating health and five key questions that need to be answered next

In today’s post I am sharing our new report, Eleven Principles for Creating Health. It builds on (and supersedes) our 2014 report, The Emerging Principles for Creating Health. As with all of our work it is based on the experiences of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs trying to approach health ‘beyond the lens of health care’. In this case, the ’preneurs participated in our July 2015 meeting entitled, Creating Health: Refining The Principles to Catalyze Practice

The eleven principles are:

  1. Embrace an inclusive definition of community
  2. Acknowledge power imbalances
  3. Share power
  4. Let the community define what matters
  5. Measure what matters
  6. Operate at individual and community levels
  7. Embrace complexity
  8. Acknowledge that no one can do it alone
  9. Accept that it’s going to take time
  10. Build the right team
  11. Search for sustainability

It’s important to remember that the work of the Creating Health Collaborative is intentionally exploratory. That is why the report also includes five key questions that we think need to be answered. They are:

  1. How do we re-conceive and describe health as something plural, culture-specific, and not professionally-provided?
  2. How does a community see itself as one, including acknowledging shared interests and showing equal respect to all?
  3. How do we manage the tension between the health care system’s approach to health and residents’ understanding of their health?
  4. How do we reconcile the differences between reductionist and holistic approaches to measurement in health?
  5. And, given the ‘local’ nature of this work, what does ‘scale’ mean?

In-keeping with the exploratory nature of the work, Ollie Smith, a member of the Executive of the Collaborative, has written a commentary in the report entitled, It’ll Take More Than a List to Climb This Mountain. Indeed, it will – although we do think having a list derived from real world experience is a useful starting point.

While we hope you enjoy the report what we really hope is that you start trying to ‘create health’. You’re reading this post because you know that the future of health requires more than just health care and public health. You know it needs to start ‘where communities are at’ and in so doing embrace how they define their health. There really is no roadmap for this work; we have to learn by doing.

To help you start, and in response to the enquiries we’ve received, we’re offering our services as consultants. It was never our intention to create a consulting entity but it’s clear that people want to embrace ‘creating health’ but are not sure how to. If you’d like to explore how we can help, do let us know.

You’ll see that we have a new look, including a new webpage. Part of the change is to describe ourselves – including you – as a community. That’s perhaps a little presumptuous but, taking the definition of community used in our recent series, it seems to us that we have a ‘shared history’ and a ‘common need’. Individually we’ve all experienced how communities’ health needs more than just health care and public health. So, together, we need to take a step back and re-conceive the problem to find new solutions. That’s what the Collaborative is all about. If you know of others that belong in the community, please encourage them to join.

I’m in the middle of recruiting for our 2016 meeting. I’m pleased to observe that there are more and more people and projects to consider, some emanating from the health sector and others from elsewhere. It’s encouraging to see such creativity, although it’s clear that it remains a struggle for the ’preneurs willing to stick their necks out and do things differently. We hope the participants of ‘CHC 2016’ find comfort and solutions in sharing their work.

The Executive of the Collaborative is also planning a larger meeting, likely to be in San Francisco in October 2016. We’re finalizing the details of that as I write and hope to make a more detailed announcement soon. If it piques your interest, keep the 24th and 25th free (and sign up to the community to stay in the loop).

Quite fittingly, the report is a collaborative effort. I’d like to thank Scott Liebman for hosting ‘CHC 2015’, Lauren A Taylor for taking the notes at the meeting from which the report emanates, Craig Hanson for the excellent photography, Ollie Smith for his challenging commentary, Richard De Angelis for the Collaborative’s branding and the report’s design, Kam Banwait for the online delivery of the branding, and the participants of ‘CHC 2015’ for their courageous work (which you can read about in Appendix 3 of the report).

The report is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, which means you can share it as freely as you like – so please do.

Pritpal S Tamber

I’m a doctor who trained as a medical editor and publisher and now researches and consults on the link between community power and health equity. My interest in community power started when I was the Physician Editor of TEDMED and is explained in My Perspective. I also work as a freelance medical editor and publisher for organisations that want to write high-quality articles and a strategy for their publishing and promotion. Find out more on my About page.

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