Friday, September 3, 2010

Guest Commentary: Creating a Culture of Wellness

Valerie P. Pracilio, MPH
Project Manger for Quality Improvement
Jefferson School of Population Health

In an October 2009 post, I posed the question, “what is population health?” — a broad term that is often misunderstood because there are many opinions about what it includes and excludes. A little more than a year ago, after the establishment of our school, we set out to tackle this question by bringing together leading experts in the field to compose a book on the topic.

The intent was to create a text that would serve as an educational tool and resource for healthcare stakeholders as they work to promote health and wellness. The result is a compilation of strategies to address the needs of the population from the perspectives of healthcare providers and public health professionals, businesses including payers and employers, and policymakers.

Population Health: Creating a Culture of Wellness is a call to action for all students and professionals. Anyone who is connected to healthcare is a stakeholder in the success of population health strategies. As patients, students, professionals, we must orient our thinking to consider the greatest good for the greatest number. We must explicitly recognize the systems nature of care. We must strive for a better understanding of the evidentiary basis of what we do every day at the bedside and across every setting where care is provided – in assuring wellness, preventing and treating illness, and supporting populations across the life span. We also must be accountable as stewards of public resources. That is population health.

Population Health: Creating a Culture of Wellness launched on August 16th and it serves as a primer on this important topic. To learn more, please visit the Jones and Bartlett web site. An official book launch event sponsored by the Meds & Eds Alliance and Thomson Reuters is scheduled for Monday, September 27th in Philadelphia, PA. For more information and to register for this event, click here.

Are you ready to answer the call to action? Please share your comments on how we could better address population health needs.