I don't think that the solution to our health care crisis is going to come from the government, from policy, is going to come from the health care institutions.  It’s got to come from each one of us, at a grassroots level taking back our health everywhere we live, everywhere we eat, work, live, play and pray. 

We can do that in a very deliberate way by community-based solutions.  In fact, we’ve found that peer support and community-based programs like the ones we’ve developed at churches are more powerful, work better, faster and cheaper than any interventions in health care.  

An amazing community-based program in the developing world called Peers for Progress found that they could take some poor people who were barely educated in Uganda, Cameron, South Africa and Thailand, teach them some basic skills about how to support and coach each other with diabetes and that their results were ten-fold better than medical intervention.  And these were people who could barely read or write, just supporting each other in community, sometimes just simple things like text messaging.  

So we have the capacity to turn this around.  We have to take it upon ourselves, as a society, and not wait for somebody else to solve this for us.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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