Empowering a Community of Wellness

How Do We Empower a Community to Achieve Wellness?

Empowering wellness is a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health. Empowering a community takes place by bringing together key stakeholders who are concerned about the underlying social and economic conditions and physical environments which impact the health and well-being of individuals and families in our community.

The difference between individual and community empowerment is that individual empowerment related to the individuals’ ability to make decisions and have control over their personal life. Community empowerment involves individuals and key stakeholders working collaboratively and collectively to influence and address the social determinants of health and the quality of life our community. This is an important goal in “Empowering a Community of Wellness”.

LiveHealthy OC Initiative aims to transform Orange County’s community clinic system to a create a true community health and wellness. The Initiative aims to transform the culture, practice and healthcare delivery models of participating clinics, that serve the underserved, from a disease-based management model to prevention and wellness model in the following ways:

  • Change the care model for the underserved in Orange County from a reactive disease-centric focus to one that includes a more proactive and preventive approach, with a patient-centered focus on fostering patient empowerment, teaching self-management skills, thereby creating health and promoting wellness.
  • Achieve optimal health and healing for clinic patients by making use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches and blending safe, effective and evidence-based integrative health practices and resources together with the best of current mainstream medical practice.
  • Implement proven, innovative and evidence-based Integrative Health approaches that offer increased access to high quality, whole person care for underserved community clinic patients in a manner that can be financially sustainable for the clinics.
  • Create capacity within Orange County clinics to implement these changes in a sustainable and impactful manner.

The key objectives of the Initiative are to:

  • Improve health outcomes for economically disadvantaged communities through patient education and self-management skill building and evidence-based integrative medicine modalities that are less invasive, and support the foundational elements of health and wellness, including but not limited to nutrition, healthy sleep and diet, exercise, approaches for managing stress, minimizing exposure to toxins, alcohol and tobacco, etc.
  • Create a robust and sustainable network of community clinics in Orange County that have the capacity to provide comprehensive health and wellness services and supports for their patients, with an emphasis on whole person patient-centered care.
  • Improve the knowledge and skills of clinic providers and staff in the foundational elements of health and wellness and the optimal use of integrative modalities to: 1) deliver effective, compassionate, patient-centered health and wellness care to their patients, and 2) practice self-care to improve their own health and wellness, which in turn reduces burn out and absenteeism among clinic staff.
  • Support implementation of financially viable, innovative integrative health practices and approaches within each participating clinic, such as use of the group visit, motivational interviewing techniques and paired allopathic-allied health provider models.
  • Create a community of collaboration that includes clinics and community-based organizations to address the social determinants of health and the quality of life of residents in our community.