Precision Community Health: Four Innovations for Well-Being

Island. May 2020. 256p. ISBN 9781642830163. $30. HEALTH
Choucair, chief community health officer, Kaiser Permanente, trained as a family physician, and then became the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) from 2009 to 2014, where he spearheaded groundbreaking public health campaigns. His experience has led to a novel approach to public health called precision community health (PCH). This relatively brief book is his passionate thesis which thoroughly explains the four pillars of the model: changing/adapting policy, analyzing/using big data, harnessing media, and coalition building. Choucair explains that an individual’s physical health is significantly affected by the community’s social health. Factors include affordable housing, economic stability, access to healthy food, enriching educational opportunities, and safe community common areas. Public health workers, he argues, need to concentrate on customized programs that move focus from specific treatments to individual—and community—wellness: the goal is health equity rather than equality, as not all communities have the same needs. This book is highly readable, effectively communicating the benefits and logic of such an all-encompassing model.
VERDICT A timely purchase for health policy collections, for public libraries with a collection that is used by not-for-profits and local community health organizations, and for advocates for better community health.
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