What is health?
When communities are asked, they include things like financial security, safety, nourishing relationships and being able to do what matters to them.
The health sector defines health as the absence of disease, measured biologically. It conceptualizes the above as the ‘social determinants of health’ – the social conditions that pose a risk to health.
Yet research has made clear that risk factors alone cannot fully explain why people are healthy or sick. The missing link is whether people have a sense of control over their lives. This requires 'agency' – the ability to make purposeful choices.
Our aim is to grow the field of practice that fosters the agency of communities as a way to improve health.
With health care costs rising dramatically, risk factor based approaches struggling, and health disparities continuing to widen, it’s time to recognize fostering community agency as key to the future of health.
- September 7th, 2017, Annual Convention and Trade Show, Kansas Hospital Association, Wichita, KS
- October 20th, 2017, Interview of Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, Festival of the Future City, Business West, Bristol, England
- July 21st, 2017, Summer Membership Meeting, North Carolina Hospital Association (NHCA), Myrtle Beach, SC
- June 28th, 2017, 41st Annual Rural Hospital Leadership Conference, Washington State Hospital Association, Chelan, WA
- June 23rd, 2017, Annual Conference, Grantmakers in Health, Boston, MA
- June 23rd, 2017, Healthcare Leadership Forum, Blue Cross Blue Shield Alabama, Point Clear, AL