A Time for Action on Health Inequities: Foundations of the 2014 Geneva Declaration on Person- and People-centered Integrated Health Care for All

Main Article Content

C. Robert Cloninger
Luis Salvador-Carulla
Laurence J. Kirmayer
Michael A. Schwartz
James Appleyard
Nick Goodwin
JoAnna Groves
Marc H. M. Hermans
Juan E. Mezzich
C. W. van Staden
Salman Rawaf


Global inequalities contribute to marked disparities in health and wellness of human populations. Many opportunities now exist to provide health care to all people in a person- and people-centered way that is effective, equitable, and sustainable.  We review these opportunities and the scientific, historical, and philosophical considerations that form the basis for the International College of Person-centered Medicine’s 2014 Geneva Declaration onPerson- and People-centered Integrated Health Care for All.  Using consistent time-series data, we critically examine examples of universal healthcare systems in Chile, Spain, and Cuba. In a person-centered approach to public health, people are recognized to have intrinsic dignity and are treated with respect to encourage their developing health and happiness.  A person-centered approach supports the freedom and the responsibility to develop one’s life in ways that are personally meaningful and that are respectful of others and the environment in which we live together.  Evidence suggests that health care organizations function well when they operate in a person-and people-centered way because that stimulates better coordination, cooperation, and social trust.  Health care coverage must be integrated at several interconnected levels in order to be effective, efficient, and fair.  To reduce the burden of disease, integration is needed between the people seeking and delivering care, within the social network of each person, across the trajectory of each person’s life, among primary caregivers and specialists, and across multiple sectors of society.   For integration to succeed across all these levels, it must foster common values and a shared vision of the future.

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Author Biography

C. Robert Cloninger, Sansone Family Center for Well-Being at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

Prof Cloninger is Wallace and Lucille Renard Professor of Psychiatry, Professor of Psychology and Genetics, and Director of the Sansone Family Center for Well-Being at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is also Scientific Director of the Anthropedia InstituteDr. Cloninger received his B.A. with High Honors and Special Honors in Philosophy, Psychology, and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, 1966.  He received his M.D. from Washington University in 1970 and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Umea, Sweden in 1983.  He has published 10 books and more than 400 articles in psychiatry, psychology, and genetics.   His recent books include the Origins of Cooperation and Altruism by Springer, Feeling Good: The Science of Well-Being by Oxford University Press, and Personality and Psychopathology by American Psychiatric Press.  Among his many awards, Dr. Cloninger has received the American Psychiatric Association’s Adolf Meyer Award (1993) and Judd Marmor Award (2009), and lifetime achievement awards from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (2000) and the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (2003).  He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the APA, a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.  The Institute of Scientific Information ranks him among the most highly cited psychiatrists and psychologists in the world. His personality inventories have been used in more than 4000 peer-reviewed publications.


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