Recognizing that tackling complex health challenges requires nontraditional approaches, Uniting for Health Innovation (UfHI), formerly known as PAHO Foundation forges cross-sector strategic partnerships to develop innovative solutions that can influence policy.
The core goal of UfHI is to innovate health systems! We promote prevention through education and awareness, and identify best practices to adapt and develop sustainable solutions. Implicit to this approach are considerations of technology, access to care, and economic viability to address the health of communities and nations.
We believe that improving health outcomes requires considering how dynamic, complex systems interact. To address health inequities at the core, it is critical to put aside vertical, linear cause-and-effect patterns in favor of an approach that acknowledges the multiple variables at play.
Integrated approaches are essential as today’s health systems are being challenged by the rise in chronic diseases and the persistence of infectious threats and the absence of systemic approaches to prevention.
We recognize that health outcomes are influenced by the interaction of a multitude of variables associated with at least four dynamic systems:
- Environmental systems include the many factors affecting society as a whole – e.g., geographic concerns such as climate change and water and food security; neighborhood organizations and institutions; and socioeconomic factors such as education and wealth.
- Sociocultural systems comprise all the cultural, psychological, and social factors affecting families and communities.
- Behavioral systems shape individual choices and include coping, psychosocial, and health behaviors.
- Healthcare systems encompass all the variables affecting patient outcomes and the quality and affordability of care.
The many variables associated with these systems are themselves dynamic and inextricably linked. They are influenced by life-course processes in unexpected ways and to different degrees across different cultures and countries.
The significant epidemiological and demographic shifts we are witnessing demand innovative responses. UfHI mobilizes strategic partners who understand these complex forces at work and bring the capabilities and resources required to design effective, integrated solutions.
UfHI Conceptual Framework