Mitigating the scourge of chronic disease, which afflicts more than half of Americans and consumes 86% of our nation’s healthcare expenditures, depends heavily on patients’ ability to improve their health behaviors. Yet individuals are often blamed and shamed for not adhering to prescribed regimens that are constructed with little consideration of the unique barriers they pose to adoption.

The 30-year-old Bromley by Bow Centre, located just outside London in one of England’s most deprived boroughs, is home to a primary care practice, a church, a café, and over 100 locally-owned social enterprises offering locals everything from job training and financial counseling to childcare and low-rent art studios. It has a simple, yet ambitious goal: to help residents of the borough “build up the skills and confidence they need to progress in life.”

The Bromley by Bow Centre recognizes that all individuals have a unique definition of progress.

Taking the time to understand residents’ jobs enables physicians and social advocates to connect them with health and social services that address their particular problems; and to tap their passions in a way that serves their personal aspirations, as well as their community.

Read the full article about chronic disease by Rebecca Fogg at Christensen Institute .