Communities Creating Health
People want to lead satisfying lives, and that includes feeling well. Health as defined by medicine is only part of feeling well, and yet the overwhelming majority of our society’s health investments go to the health care sector for clinical services or public health interventions. While these services are important, their dominance detracts from supporting other things that have the potential tocreate health.
Medicine’s narrow definition of health reinforces this dominance, which determines what we value, how we design interventions, and what we measure to determine success or failure. This is all too apparent in the requirements of funders, the experiences of implementers, and the perspectives of evaluators.
There is a large gap between what society provides to improve health and what communities want. What would happen if the design, implementation, and evaluation of health interventions became something we do with communities rather than to them? Understanding the goals that communities see for themselves, and pursuing those along with medically defined ones, has the potential to create lasting improvements in health.
Co-curated by Pritpal S. Tamber, Bridget B. Kelly, and Leigh Carroll on behalf of the Creating Health Collaborative, this series brings together the voices of community members, implementers, evaluators, and funders, and builds on a meeting hosted by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on how evaluations in health can align more closely with what communities value. #creatinghealth