CommHealthSystems

CommHealthSystems - Community Health Systems Communities...

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Community Health Systems Communities across the globe manifest similar patterns in the ways they provide residents with security, food, water, housing, transportation, social support, governance, employment, education, social services, and many other features. Common patterns also show up in the mechanisms communities use to meet their residents’ health needs. Common traits in community health systems are based on shared ideas about what "health" is and, related to that, what the "health" system should be about, what should be in it, and how it should be organized. Defining "Health" The following definition of “health” from the preamble to the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) has guided the development of WHO's policies and programs since 1948, when it became operational: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of 1
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disease or infirmity (World Health Organization, 1948). The definition is broad and multidimensional, making the point that health is not just about physical status, but mental and social condition as well. And that it has to do with well- being in stead of just not being sick. Treating Illness Operationalizing this definition has been challenging in part because many of the world's "health care" systems, perhaps better termed "illness care" systems, are based on more of a "not-being-sick" model of health. This model, sometimes referred to as the "medical model," is oriented toward the treatment of illness with the goal to move patients to a point where they are not manifesting symptoms of illness, that is, they are not sick. In this view, then, one who is not sick is well. But, as illustrated in the figure below, based on the work of John W. Travis, M.D. (Travis and Ryan, 1988), people who are not sick may not be particularly well, either. 2
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They are simply asymptomatic – of both illness and wellness. Figure 1. The Wellness—Illness Continuum. Adapted from the work of John W. Travis and Regina S. Ryan in the Wellness Workbook , 2nd edition. Berkeley: 10 Speed Press, 1988. Medicine and the allied professions assume responsibility for treating illness. Public health traditionally has defined its role 3
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as preventing illness, although this delimitation is changing as the profession embraces the development of what has been called the "new public health" (Aston and Seymour, 1988), helping individuals move toward the wellness end of the continuum. Health education as a field fully embraces the promotion of wellness, although it too has struggled in the past with its own self-imposed limitations, over- emphasizing the role of cognition versus beliefs in determining --- and changing --- behavior (Green and Kreuter , 1999) . Promoting Wellness: The Health Field Concept
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2008 for the course PLAN 370 taught by Professor Sweeney during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M.

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CommHealthSystems - Community Health Systems Communities...

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