Sometimes Dialogue4Health has the opportunity to move from our tradition Web Forum model, to a more intimate and deep conversation between experts in the field. One such event was the conversation between PHI CEO and President, Mary Pittman, DrPH, and Jim Hester, PhD, earlier this year. Dr. Hester spoke extensively about creating a more efficient health system, to make the whole population healthier. The system Dr. Hester describes relies on community-based population health models that integrate the social and economic factors often left out of the traditional healthcare model.

Dr. Hester explained his ideas to Dr. Pittman and our listening audience. If you missed the conversation, there are key points summarized on the PHI website, and the event video and some video clips, are available.

In his words, “Public health has a major role, an important role” in accelerating the transition to community population health systems. However, key to the success of these models is the need to act quickly, since our current health care system reform offers a five to seven year time frame where real change can come about. After that, Dr. Hester argues, we might not have an opportunity again for decades.

As Dr. Pittman noted, there are projects at PHI doing this work, such as the Center for Health Leadership and Practice and PHI’s Build Healthy Places Network. Here at D4H, we encourage you to tell us about the work you are doing to advance community health systems, so we can learn from it, showcase it, and take advantage of the ‘window of opportunity' Dr. Hester describes, to create better population health. 

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