The annual conference 2022 of the European Forum for Primary Care in Ghent that took place on 26 and 27 of September was fully dedicated to  “Integrated Community Care: a new opportunity for primary care”. TransForm contributed with Valeria Capellato as keynote speaker and a specific workshop onWalking the talk of ICC”.

Read more about the development and takeaways of the conference here, and watch TransForm’s video to learn more about ICC in practice.

Integrated Community Care for all – what it looks like and why we need it

Abstract of the key note speaker, Valeria Cappellato, member of the General Council of Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, research fellow at the Department of Cultures, Politics and Society and adjunct professor in Sociology of Health at the University of Turin, Italy

The presentation will identify a root definition of ICC and its main features, as developed by the Transnational Forum on Integrated Community Care (TransForm), a joint initiative of Foundations in and beyond Europe that aims to put the community at the centre of integrated primary care.

Since 2018, a range of academics, practitioners, policy-makers, people with lived experience and citizens, embarked on a learning journey through a series of research activities, international conferences that included visits to innovative practices, workshops and activities within a “Changemakers’ Forum”. This journey has resulted in the co-production of a deeper understanding of ICC, including its key values, ingredients and challenges.

First of all, why do we need to talk about ICC? In recent years our world has been impacted by multiple crises and our societies are facing several concurrent demographic, environmental, technological, economic and social challenges. Here, equity (i.e. the problem of increasing inequalities) is a cross-cutting issue, since each transition or crisis has a greater impact on the most vulnerable or marginalized persons, and each crisis is also exacerbated by inequality. All these challenges (transitions/crises) are intertwined, and they need to be addressed through a value-driven approach, that – as the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for all has recently stressed – should be rooted in valuing human health, planet health and the health of our social infrastructure. In each of these dimensions, “care” is a key concept.

In the last few decades there have been significant developments in the theory, practice and policy context of care and of what it means to care for people and communities. This encompasses person-centred care and goal oriented care, with a person’s expressed preferences and life goals as the central guide for strategies, treatment and decisions; integrated care and primary health care, as defined by the WHO, as a “whole-of society approach”; population health and community based care, together with an increasing understanding and recognition of the role played by social determinants of health. Consequently there is an awareness that the goals of individual and community health cannot be set apart from the policies and practices that affect the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

In this landscape, Integrated Community Care – ICC, can be viewed not as a new model, but as a way to embrace complexity, creating a bridge between approaches, perspectives, analysis and practices that have been developed in recent decades and also giving a special role to advocacy and community participation within the whole process.

As well as describing the key features of ICC and its effectiveness principles, the contribution will set out some examples of concrete cases that clarify what is behind the acronym “ICC” and identify the main challenges facing Integrated Community Care as it moves towards becoming the new norm in the reality of health and care systems.

Walking the talk of ICC


Facilitator: Philippe Vandenbroeck, Systems/ Futures Thinker

Integrated community care (ICC) engages people and communities as co-producers of care. It implies a shift in traditional thinking based on problem-based, disease-oriented care to a goal-based, person-centred care aiming at enhancing the quality of life of vulnerable individuals and improving population health amongst communities.
ICC moves away from the framing of care delivery to deficient communities, and instead promotes a process of co-development where local communities and individuals are the drivers. ICC is a whole-of-society approach to health and well-being that is determined by the needs and preferences of individuals and the communities in which they live. This entails the development of new forms of collaborations across diverse contexts and settings.
The Transnational Forum on Integrated Community Care (TransForm) is a joint initiative of Foundations across Europe and Canada that aims to put the community at the centre of integrated primary care. It seeks to combine strengths-based and needs-based approaches to enabling communities to develop their own models of caring for their people.

Workshop objectives:
This session seeks to inspire and mobilise ICC at policy and practice level through:
• Illustrating what ICC looks like in real life and its benefits
• Making the urgent case for change
• Defining what it will take for ICC to become the norm

The TransForm learning coalition calls on all changemakers, stakeholders and policymakers, national and international networks to work together to find inclusive and sustainable solutions that can move us towards ICC for all. We believe in the power of experimentation, in working continuously to build our evidence base and in ongoing enlargement of our learning coalition.