Dr. Pritpal Tamber is the CEO & Co-Founder of Bridging Health & Community, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming how health care works with communities.
Dr. Tamber is the former Physician Editor of TEDMED, TED’s dedicated health event. It was in that role that he became convinced that the potential in innovation in health was dwarfed by the size of the challenges.
Pritpal Tamber believes that at the heart of the problem is that our current approach to health – deploying technical solutions to bio-medical problems – is not only unsustainable but increasingly failing in a world of circumstance-related chronic conditions.
Listen to Pritpal Tamber’s podcast to learn more about him here
In response, he founded the Creating Health Collaborative, an international group of practitioners operating from a community’s understanding of its circumstances, rather than health care’s.
The Collaborative’s membership includes individuals from Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, the California Endowment, FSG, HealthPartners, MIT, the Healthy Neighbourhoods Equity Fund, Good Food Markets, ISAIAH, Casa de Salud (NM), and the Democracy Collaborative.
From their work, he has gleaned 12 over-arching principles. Collectively, they outline an inclusive, participatory and responsive process. This process not only has the potential to transform how health care works with communities but also to foster the ‘agency’ of a community – its ability to make purposeful choices.
Agency underpins having a sense of control, a characteristic that is increasingly recognised as core to health. In fact, research has made clear that risk factors alone, whether personal, social or environmental, cannot fully explain why people are healthy or sick – the missing link is whether people have a sense of control.
With health care increasingly being asked to consider the social circumstances that impact on people’s health, whether it be through ‘population health’, the ‘social determinants’ or ‘value-based care’, Pritpal Tamber’s work shows how health care needs to change.
The Creating Health Collaborative is now part of Bridging Health & Community (BH&C). To read BH&C’s March 2018 report, Bringing Purpose to Community Engagement, click here
Dr. Pritpal Tamber is the former Medical Director of Map of Medicine, a company that produces ‘clinical pathways’ to improve the flow of patients through health care systems. He’s also the former Editorial Director for Medicine for BioMed Central, the company that disrupted academic publishing by making open access commercially sustainable. He started his career as an editor at the British Medical Journal.
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