This book provides a basic understanding and concise overview of the nature of population health, the factors that make a new paradigm necessary, and the attributes associated with this unique approach to community health improvement. Written in a very accessible way, the book describes the definition of population health, the attributes of population health, and what population health is and is not. It emphasizes the extent to which the population health model revolutionizes the approach to community health improvement within a contemporary context, beginning with a redefining of such common concepts as "health", "healthcare", "health status", and "health needs assessment". As such, this book is a valuable read for practitioners and professionals who need to be familiar with the population health approach but are not likely to try to implement it.
Richard K. Thomas, Ph.D., has nearly 50 years of experience in health services research, planning, and evaluation. He was trained as a medical sociologist and has been instrumental in the development of the field of health demography. He serves as a consultant to hospitals, clinics, health plans, and other healthcare organizations, providing consultation related to market research, business development, strategic planning, and project evaluation. He has developed a variety of methodologies for application to health-related problems and pioneered the development of predictive modeling in health care. His current emphasis is on the emerging field of population health and initiatives aimed at community health improvement.
Dr. Thomas has authored more than 20 books on health/healthcare and demography and numerous articles for professional journals, newsletters, and magazines. He has conducted numerous workshops and made dozens of presentations on his research. He holds a bachelor's degree (economics, Rhodes College), two master's degrees (sociology and geography, University of Memphis), and a Ph.D. (medical sociology, Vanderbilt University). In addition to his consulting activities, he has served on the faculties of several universities and medical schools and is currently on the faculties at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the University of Mississippi Medical School and is a research associate at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University.