WAS THERE ANY NOTABLE TAKEAWAY FROM THE EVENT? One great takeaway was the notion that the responsibility for health care may be with communities. When you look at education, communities are involved in providing education for themselves with school boards and school board meetings and school board budgets, but nobody does that in the US around health care. The real interesting takeaway was a developing idea that health care is something communities can and should do for themselves, not only for medical services — particularly primary care services — but other kinds of [services] that can create and influence the health of an individual or health of a population. Communities can build bike paths and think about childbirth education together.

YOUR PRIMARY CARE TRUST VISION IS BASED ON A MEDICAL HOME MODEL. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES TO THIS MODEL? I think we have two or more groups of Rhode Islanders. There are people that want to take their health into their own hands by exercising and thinking about their diet and that's great. The problem for us is the people who don't want [to engage in their health] and choose not to. To me, that's their right. But the problem is, we know there are 50,000-60,000 Rhode Islanders that have undiagnosed high blood pressure. We also have 30,000-40,000 Rhode Islanders with undiagnosed diabetes. That's a lot of people with diagnoses that aren't actively engaged in their own care. [W]e have 1200 [preventable] deaths a year from heart disease and stroke that we probably don't need to have. The challenge for a coherent health care system is to meet people where they are and encourage those that are engaged, but also not abandon those not connected to their health. Because the cost and public health outcomes have to do with everyone, not just the people who are engaged.

"Michael Fine's Ideal Vision" will take place at AS220 (115 Empire St, Providence) on May 8 at 5:30 pm. The event is free to be public.

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  Topics: This Just In , Rhode Island Department of Health
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