Distinct from our conventional healthcare treatment delivery model, commons health care is community centered (rather than hospital centered), prevention focused, systems oriented, embraces integrative practice and employs local or bio-regional knowledge and solutions. At the heart of the Commons Health Care is a health equity lens and the promotion of individual, community and planetary resilience.
This framework embraces a variety of evolving, interrelated conceptual themes, which include:
Anchor Institutions - are place-based organizations firmly established in their communities. Hospitals are key anchor institutions. As a result, hospitals and other healthcare institutions have a responsibility to link their economic activity to the socioeconomic health of the communities in which they are anchored. Healthcare's anchor institution role is enhanced through collaborative partnerships with local universities and colleges and the communities in which they are based.
"Agency", "Sense of Place", and Community Driven Health - which recognizes that ultimately it is citizens and engaged communities that need to take responsibility in defining their commons, setting goals, developing metrics and creating solutions. Explicitly, this highlights the importance of prevention, health equity, health of populations and solutions that exist outside hospital walls. It also includes the concept of personal "health agency", which includes patients who are empowered partners in treatment and prevention.
Common Assets and Community Wealth Building – Social health and community wealth are intimately connected. Promotion of economic models which increase local reinvestment play an important role in the health of communities. Moreover, public ownership models for clean air, clean water, land and other commons assets are central to the health of communities and individuals.
· Integrative Practice – which is a healing-oriented medicine which facilitates the body’s innate healing ability and incorporates all factors that influence health and wellness including mind, spirit, community, and environment. Integrative medicine has developed a deserved reputation for a focus on prevention and health promoting environments through its understanding of the interplay of environment, biological and social factors.
Re Engagement - Including here - if you are visiting this site you are likely interested in or are already working in this new paradigm. Please feel free to join our blog, submit a blog, send us links to your work and share news or conferences. Tell us what you think!