“The Center for Integration Science is a group of clinicians, researchers, and administrators focused on moving health resources to the world’s poorest people. We’re doing this by finding new service delivery models that can expand health care and by mobilizing social movements to enact lasting change.”
Those were CIS Executive Director Gene Bukhman’s opening words in an interview featured in the March edition of Brigham Clinical & Research News, a monthly newsletter of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
In the interview, Bukhman:
- highlighted the Center’s mission and goals — “to accelerate global health equity by identifying integrated units of operational effectiveness and health care delivery, and then scaling implementation through collective action”;
- identified gaps in global solidarity and financing as the principal obstacle to achieving them; and
- described the new approach the Center is taking to break the impasse — “by forging new kinds of coalitions across multiple disease spaces and among people who treat, advocate for, or live with these diseases.”
“The best example of this,” Bukhman said, “is the PEN-Plus strategy, which stands for Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions Plus. It’s an approach developed in the late 2000s at the Brigham with partners in Rwanda to simplify care for different types of severe, chronic noncommunicable diseases. We identified the most essential elements of treating these conditions, trained nurses and other mid-level providers to deliver this care, and forged connections among advocates working on disparate diseases. PEN-Plus has since expanded to 14 countries.”
When asked to sum up what distinguishes the Center from other initiatives and collaborations, Bukhman answered succinctly.
“One major difference is that we’re developing models of service delivery at the same time we’re studying the sociology of advocacy movements. Braiding these crucial strands of work together is unusual in medicine and global public health.”