National Academy of Medicine

Engaging the Public Through Communities of Solution and Collaborative Empowerment

By Rebecca S. Etz
April 10, 2014 | Discussion Paper

In her discussion paper, Etz reminds readers that the health field’s attention to the role and potential of communities in health improvement has a long history, and includes the Folsom Report prepared in 1969 by the National Commission on Community Health Services at the behest of the American Public Health Association and the National Health Council and revisited in 2012 and 2013. Etz points out that a combination of individual and social responsibility are required to promote healthy population and communities, and describes how frameworks such as Communities of Solution and “collaborative empowerment” suggest a path for communities working in partnership with primary care, public health practitioners, and other key actors to identify and address health problems. The crucial contribution of these frameworks, however, is that they describe how communities can find their own power, develop capacity and sustainability, and become generators of solutions.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.