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Partnering with Patients, Families, and Communities for Health: A Global Imperative

Partnering with Patients, Families, and Communities for Health: A Global Imperative

Susan Edgman-Levitan and Carrie Brady with Peter Howitt

This report argues that the most pressing issues today won’t come from top-down approaches but from ordinary people themselves. It explores how the prospect of “good education” and “better healthcare” are positively correlated dynamics.

Virtually all people are patients at some point in their lives. Improving a person’s ability to understand and manage his or her own health and disease, negotiate with different cadres of health professionals, and navigate the complexities of health systems is crucial to achieving better health outcomes. Empowerment is about respecting patients’ rights and voice and ensuring a shift towards patient-centered care. This Forum will consider all the different aspects of patient empowerment, including health literacy, chronic disease, self-management, and the role of technology. It will also make the case for greater patient involvement in the designing of national policies, with the aim of making health systems more user friendly and information more accessible.

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Susan Edgman-Levitan

A constant advocate of understanding the patient’s perspective on healthcare, Susan has been the co-principal investigator on the Harvard Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Study (CAHPS) from 1995 to the present. Susan serves on several boards and national advisory committees, including the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, the National Patient Safety Foundation, the National Health Services Corps Advisory Council, the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, and is a member of the Lucian Leape Institute. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Duke University Physician Assistant program where she received the Distinguished Alumni award from the Duke Physician Assistant Program and was inducted into the Duke University Medical Center Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2007 Susan was awarded the Leadership and Innovation award from the Center for Information Therapy.