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Commons Health
The Commons Health Network was established to connect and advance place-based health creation models, a new health operating system and evolve shared knowledge, experience, and communication.

We utilize a systems
worldview which brings shifts in perception necessary to positively influence health far beyond health care. A systems worldview implies the vital importance of “power within,” social relationships, and connection, and embraces the interplay of psycho-social, spiritual, environmental, and other factors in the support and promotion of individual health and well-being.

Commons Health works to support and strengthen systems models of health at the individual, community and planetary level. The significance of social, environmental and economic drivers of well-being, also help us embrace the recognition that ultimately, health is local.

Commons Health utilizes 'commons principles', community based rules, such as local decision making, transparency, and inclusion.  Importantly, Commons Health works to expand a new public narrative which includes concepts of shared decision making, equality, and cooperation - the new health operating system. 


" I think it is time... to make our own wise rules.... the first of those rules has to be the rule of respect – respect for the Commons, respect for the needs of the patient, and of the community that we share with the patient..." 

Donald Berwick, M.D. President and CEO,
Institute for Healthcare Improvement, 2009

Health Commons
A Health Commons is a nascent conceptual model, which include the collective resources within a defined geographic boundary that can treat disease and promote health. These can include medical technologies, healthcare facilities, and clinicians but also include healthy food systems, access to drinking safe drinking water, safe and affordable housing, livable jobs, parks, and other social determinants of health. A health commons can be sub-divided into subsets, of intersecting commons.
Food Commons

Similarly, a food commons encompasses all components of a local food system from food to fork (or a significant enough portion, within a geographic boundary, to comprise a functional system). As both a food commons and a health commons are connected through defined place, they have the unique opportunity to reinforce shared principles and values such as cooperation, ownership, local decision making, equity, access, relationship and transparency. As food production, distribution and consumption are intimately linked to health through healthy eating, socio-economic health, worker health and safety, healthy ecosystems and communities, living wages and fair jobs, community empowerment, and local control, empowerment and purpose, a food commons has an added importance by functionally supporting and promoting the health and well-being of a community within a broader health commons.

The Food Commons (FC) concept is now a viable legal networked organization. FC has infrastructure under development in Atlanta, GA and Fresno, CA, with inquiries from communities across the nation. FC is gaining significant national attention, offering a powerful template with the ability to catalyze health commons models as transformative health and wellness vehicles.
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Watch The Ecology of Health video above and travel on a unique journey from our cells to our community to our planet to our cosmos in a meaningful exploration of connection and interrelationship.
Stanford Social Innovation Review Communities Creating Health Series: Time to Return to the Whole
New Accountable Communities Conference Reports: Explore important takeaways from our recent conference (pdf) and learn key next steps in the companion document (pdf).
Radical Redesign and the Door to Transformation: ABIHM blog on Commons Health linking CHNA, GMO's, Anchor Institutions and healthcare.
Huffington Post Article: The Commons Health Hospital Challenge was called out in a great Huffington Post article by Dr. Jeff Ritterman. Click here.  This is a great opportunity to get more clinicians and citizens to add their name in support of the Hospital Challenge (or learn more) here per the Huffington Post article suggestion.
Call for Speakers: The 4th Annual Conference for Integrative Medicine for the Underserved in Portland, Oregon on September 5-7, 2014 is seeking presenters! Submission deadline is April 15.
Event: on 02/04/14 The Great North, A Minnesota Chapter of the American Holistic Nurses Association hosted the workshop, Our Common Health: The Rise of an Integrative Approach to Health Policy and Prevention on the campus of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, MN.  Jamie Harvie was the featured speaker.  The presentation was followed by relationship building among attendees. See flyer here.