Dr Pritpal S Tamber is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bridging Health & Community, a Seattle-based nonprofit dedicated to transforming how we approach health so that it goes beyond health care and public health to include fostering the ‘agency’ of a community – its ability to make purposeful choices.
Dr Tamber the former Physician Editor of TEDMED, TED's dedicated health event. In that role, he reviewed over 1600 innovations and helped shape the 40 talks that made it into the 2013 program. It was through that role that he became convinced that current efforts in health innovation will fail to meaningfully impact population health or health equity.
In response, he founded the Creating Health Collaborative, an international group of innovators exploring health from the perspective of people and communities. Their work adopts a broader understanding of health to encompass things like safety, physical functioning, financial security, emotional security, and nourishing relationships. The Collaborative’s membership includes individuals from Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, the California Endowment, FSG, HealthPartners, MIT, the Healthy Neighborhoods Equity Fund, ISAIAH, and the Democracy Collaborative.
Common to all of their innovations is the key insight that risk factors alone cannot explain why people are healthy or sick. The missing link is whether people have a sense of control over their lives, something that requires individuals and communities to have ‘agency’.
The Collaborative is now part of Dr Pritpal S Tamber’s Seattle-based nonprofit, Bridging Health & Community, which takes a radical approach to ‘health equity’ and the ‘social determinants of health’. It explores how systems can intentionally foster a community’s ‘agency’ so as to collectively agree priorities and derive, implement and evaluate solutions.
Together with his Co-Founder, Dr Bridget B Kelly, formerly of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), they have described 12 principles to fostering agency to improve health. They work with health care, public health and philanthropy to radically transform how they approach a community’s health.
Dr Pritpal S Tamber is the former Medical Director of Map of Medicine, a company that produces 'clinical pathways' to improve the flow of patients through health care systems. He's also the former Editorial Director for Medicine for BioMed Central, the company that disrupted academic publishing by making open access commercially sustainable. He started his career as an editor at the BMJ.