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The 21st century is emerging as the century of person-centered care, and this perspective is especially compelling concerning chronic diseases. As the World Health Organization and the United Nations have recently documented and proposed, every government and component of society needs to act now to combat the growing epidemic of chronic and non-communicable diseases that threaten the lives and quality of living for so many people around the world. What we must emphasize now is that a person-centered approach to the promotion and care of health is crucial to counteract this massive epidemic. People with chronic diseases cannot be effectively cared for without fully engaging them in their own health. Consequently, we believe that bold new approaches to health promotion and illness intervention need to be developed and integrated in our health systems. Furthermore, the patient needs to remain at the heart of these approaches. Effective public health, clinical, medicinal and technological procedures must be developed and implemented having the whole person at the core within a broad biological, psychological and socio-cultural framework.