The mission of the Optimal Health and Prevention Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in San Diego, in April 2008, is To make a measurable difference in improving one’s health status through innovative, science-based, “Personalized Health” programs that encourage and enable life-style decisions and other self-care measures that may prevent the onset of debilitating and life-threatening chronic diseases. Fulfilling this mission may offer a novel “grass roots” approach to curb the epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases in the US by addressing preventable root causes of such diseases on an individual level. The chronic disease epidemic is currently responsible for over 75% of total US healthcare expenditure, and it creates a growing and unsustainable burden on the national economy in both direct (e.g. treatment) and indirect (e.g. lost productivity) costs. This epidemic represents our nation’s largest modern public health problem, causing premature death, substantially reducing health lifespan and bringing pain and suffering for millions of Americans across all racial, ethnic and socio-economic borders.
The Foundation is now fulfilling its mission by developing the Integrative Optimal Health and Prevention Personalized Self-Care Program (referred to as the OHP Program). Once developed, the OHP Program will be broadly offered to communities, corporations, and educational and governmental organizations via a nationwide network of Optimal Health and Prevention Centers, as well as through partnerships with various nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
The Foundation’s approach brings together the key concepts of two major emerging areas of 21st Century Medicine: a) Personalized,Predictive, Preventive, Proactive and Participatory Medicine, as well as b) Integrative Medicine, which combines the best of “conventional” and “complementary/alternative” medical practices. The Foundation takes these advanced concepts out of the disease-focused medical context and applies them to health optimization and primary disease prevention in a self-care model; the Foundation will then bring these concepts to a broad general population as a comprehensive OHP Program, personally geared for each individual. As such, the Foundation is pursuing a unique “Translational Health” approach to “Personalized Health.” This is different from current Translational Medicine and Personalized Medicine paradigms, which are primarily focused on advanced disease treatment. Furthermore, the goal of the OHP Program is not only to prevent chronic diseases, but also to empower, enable, motivate and guide an individual in achieving and maintaining optimal health and well-being across the entire lifespan. This intended outcome fully reflects the World Health Organization’s definition of health: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Once broadly implemented, the Foundation’s OHP Program will represent an innovative and scalable true “health-care” model, which may reduce the burden on the current “disease management” medical system and complement it with evidence-based, cost-efficient, proactive and personalized preventive self-care. As such, the OHP Program holds the promise of creating a nationwide impact ranging from substantial reduction of healthcare costs and healthcare utilization for businesses and individuals, to increasing global productivity and competitiveness of US industry (through optimizing the health of the work force), to improving the health and well-being of new generations of Americans.