Dr Pritpal S Tamber is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bridging Health & Community, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming how we approach health so that it goes beyond health care and public health to include fostering community agency. He’s also the former Physician Editor of TEDMED.
The key insight that underpins his work is the well-established fact that risk factors alone cannot explain why people are healthy or sick. The missing link is whether people have a sense of control over their lives, something that requires agency – the ability to make purposeful choices.
His work goes beyond the usual framings of the ‘social determinants of health’ or ‘systems change’ to explore and describe how health systems and local communities can work together, through an inclusive and participatory approach, to address the challenges of the social environment.
His company, Bridging Health & Community, is dedicated to building this field of practice through convening and coaching. His Co-Founder, Dr Bridget B Kelly, is the former Interim Director of the Board on Children, Youth and Families at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
At the heart of Dr Tamber’s work is a set of principles gleaned from over 50 cutting-edge innovators exploring how to bridge the health sector and local communities. Collectively known as the Creating Health Collaborative, Dr Tamber convenes these innovators annually in New York to share their experiences.
Through his work as the Physician Editor of TEDMED, Dr Tamber was left convinced that few ideas have the potential to meaningfully impact population health, especially in those communities enduring difficult social circumstances. That is why he founded the Creating Health Collaborative and then Bridging Health & Community.
Dr Tamber, together with fellow members of the Collaborative, has also co-edited the book, Communities Creating Health, an examination of what would happen if the design, implementation and evaluation of health interventions became something we did with communities rather than to them.
Dr Tamber is the former Medical Director of Map of Medicine, a company that produces 'clinical pathways' designed to improve the flow of patients through health care systems. The pathways were one of the first forms of content designed to interoperate with electronic medical records. 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 BMJ.
You can read more about Pritpal's perspective, including why he think it's time for employers to move beyond ‘wellness’, in his blog post.
To view Pritpal speaking at Medicine X 2015 click here
What Is True Population Health?
Most organizations limit their definition of population health to ‘the outcomes experienced by a group of individuals’. By failing to embrace the full definition, which includes ‘the distribution of outcomes within the group’, they render their population health efforts inert before they even start. Truly embracing the full definition forces organizations to face their negative impact on health equity. Dr Tamber shows how members of the Creating Health Collaborative are admitting their role in driving health inequalities and how they’re changing what they do to truly embrace population health.
Beyond the Social Determinants
Although it is increasingly recognized that social factors and the environment contribute up to 70% to our health, few people appreciate that risk factors alone cannot fully explain why people are healthy or sick. What’s missing is whether people have a sense of control over their lives – something that requires ‘agency’, the ability to make purposeful choices. Dr Tamber will share how health systems can foster community agency through how they work, and why it’s fundamental to sustainable improvements in health.
The Three Parts To The Future Of Health
Despite its many successes in the 20th century the health sector is struggling to meet the growing demand for care. Designed as it is around sickness, its ability to prevent it (public health) and treat it (health care) is being overwhelmed by the lifestyle choices that people and communities make. Many of these choices implicitly mean enduring less-than-perfect health, an acceptable trade-off for those having to prioritize safety, jobs, taking care of children, or nursing elderly relatives. Dr Tamber will illustrate how public health and health care must accept that people make these trade-offs, especially as they often feel well despite the presence of disease.
What Workplace Wellness Should Really Be
Employers worried about health care costs and absenteeism continue to embrace wellness programs that purport to reduce the likelihood of sickness. The evidence that they work is mixed, at best. Dr Tamber will illustrate why just trying to change health-related behavior will always be limited given the day-to-day realities of people’s lives. He’ll share examples of how businesses – including those in the health sector – are embracing the idea that 70% of our health comes from social factors and the environment to change how they contribute to their employees’ health – from sickness-preventing organizations to health-creating ones.
The 11 Principles For Creating Health
The term ‘creating health’ has become a synonym for ‘prevention’, the business of avoiding sickness, the preserve of public health. Through his work with the Creating Health Collaborative Dr Tamber will illustrate how genuinely creating health is actually about better understanding how people and communities define their health and building from there. He’ll share the 11 principles for doing this work, including sharing power with communities and finding new ways to measure what matters, as gleaned from the entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs of the Collaborative.
"Pritpal gave us a compelling case to change how we think about and create health, and then provided a path to move forward." HICCup
"If you are looking for an inspirational speaker thinking out of the box about the future of healthcare, Pritpal will certainly not disappoint." International Federation of Health Plans
"Friends — if you get a chance to hear Dr. Pritpal Tamber speak — go! Fun, energetic, smart, and witty. You will enjoy." Vanderbilt University Medical Center
"Pritpal's talks on health innovation provide an accessible framework that is informed, thoughtful and truly unique."
Loeb & Loeb
"Pritpal outlines and contextualized a full day's agenda in ten minutes - with total clarity, laugh-out-loud humor and an inspiring sense of purpose. His remarks were a launch-pad that all 100 of us used to think new and bigger thoughts." Harvard Divinity School
Pritpal presents in English
UK : £7k to £15k
Europe : £7k to £15k
US : £7k to £15k
Asia/Middle East : £7k to £15k
UK and Seattle