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CommonHealth: Redefining Health Care As We Know It

A person with diabetes listens  to a community health worker familiar with the necessary diet needed to maintain control over the detrimental effects of the disease. (Amanda Mills/CDC)

A person with diabetes listens to a community health worker familiar with the necessary diet needed to maintain control over the detrimental effects of the disease. (Amanda Mills/CDC)

There’s a movement afoot in health care. A trio of health care innovators — Rebecca Onie of Health Leads, Paul Farmer of Partners in Health, and Heidi Behforouz of Prevention And Access To Care And Treatment — are challenging us to redefine our idea of what health care actually encompasses, where it takes place, and who provides it.

In their new article, “Realigning Health with Care,” they argue that our health care system needs to expand beyond clinical medicine and include meeting patients basic social needs — and that could include “prescribing” food, heating, and housing assistance. They also argue that care needs to move from the clinic to the community, and a team of health care providers (doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, community health workers) should all share the tasks of delivering care.

WBUR’s Rachel Zimmerman highlighted the key points of this ambitious proposal in her CommonHealth post, “What The Rich U.S. Health Care System Can Learn From The Poor.”

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Hosts Meghna Chakrabarti and Anthony Brooks introduce us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and bring us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3.

WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer is co-hosting Radio Boston while Meghna Chakrabarti is on maternity leave.

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