Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles
Queen’s DFM believes in health for all, where persons can live to their full capacity, without distinction of any kind such as race, sex, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social place of birth, socioeconomic status, ability or disability.
The DFM Global Health Program strives to reduce health disparities within the communities it serves through clinical care, program development, policy influence, research, education, and advocacy.
The DFM’s Global Health Program will target its future activities toward – and in collaboration with – individuals and communities where health disparities are particularly prominent.
The DFM’s Global Health Program recognizes that persons and communities experiencing significant health disparities face additional challenges such that increased resources, time, and energy are required for their care. We are committed to advocating for these increased services to improve health outcomes for all.
- That Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not simply the absence of disease.(1) While there may be biologic imperatives that preclude the right to health per say, every person has the right to conditions permitting a standard of living adequate for health. This includes the right to food; housing; medical care; social services; security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability or old age. This right is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and should be accorded to all persons. (2)
- That Global Health is an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. Global health emphasizes transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions; involves many disciplines within and beyond the health sciences and promotes interdisciplinary collaboration; and is a synthesis of population-based prevention with individual-level clinical care. (3)
- That Structural Violence, as defined by Galtung, Farmer and others, is violence that is built into the structure of society and that shows up as unequal power and life chances, as well as limited agency. Structural violence contributes to vast health inequities within and between societies, is institutionalized, and produces great benefits to some at the great detriment to many. It can be manifested by hunger in communities where food is plentiful, inability to access medication in a wealthy society, and unequal distribution of health resources between countries, especially those burdened by post-colonial debt. (4) (5) It is human made, and thus modifiable.
- That Power is the ability to effect change over ones own or another’s circumstances; to direct or to influence the behavior of others, or the course of events in one’s own or another’s life. (6) It is recognized that persons with increased power have improved health outcomes, and that the unequal distribution of power negatively impacts the health of individuals and of society.
We operate with the following values in mind:
- Dignity of all human beings;
- Health equity as a goal for our communities and the world;
- Sustainability of care, programming, and partnerships;
- Solidarity with communities and community members facing barriers to health, and with organization striving to reduce these barriers; and
- Advocacy on behalf of individuals and communities experiencing structural violence, with the goal of improving the distribution of power and agency, thus contributing to individual and population health.