Graham Center Policy One-Pagers

These reports offer succinct summaries of research and perspectives pertinent to family practice advocacy and are produced by the Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care in Washington, DC.

May 15, 2010 Issue
Greater Family Medicine Presence at NIH Could Improve Research Relevance and Reach
Advisory committees perform pivotal tasks at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), informing funding decisions, helping establish research priorities, and contributing to the vision for the nation's biomedical research agenda. Family medicine has not had a substantial role on these committees, but could, helping the NIH make research more patient centered and informing translational efforts to improve population health.

Mar 15, 2010 Issue
Greater NIH investment in Family Medicine Would Help Both Achieve Their Missions
Family medicine is the predominant provider of primary health care in the United States, yet it receives relatively little research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Family medicine can help the NIH speed research discovery and improve research relevance; the NIH can help family medicine build its research capacity; and such mutual benefit could mean improvement in public health.

Jan 15, 2010 Issue
Title VII Is Criticial to the Community Health Center and National Health Service Corps Workforce
Community health centers (CHCs) and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) are essential to a functioning health care safety net, but they struggle to recruit physicians. Compared with physicians trained in residency programs without Title VII funding, those trained in Title VII-funded programs are more likely to work in CHCs and the NHSC. Title VII funding cuts threaten efforts to improve access to care for the underserved.

Nov 15, 2009 Issue
Family Physicians' Present and Future Role in Caring for Older Patients
The population of patients older than 65 years is projected to increase substantially in the coming years, particularly in rural areas. Family physicians are essential providers of geriatric care, especially in rural areas, but need payment reform to improve their capacity to meet the needs of older patients.

Oct 15, 2009 Issue
Title VII's Decline: Shrinking Investment in the Primary Care Training Pipeline
Title VII, Section 747 is a source of federal funding intended to strengthen the primary care workforce. Despite evidence that Title VII has been successful, its funding has declined over the past three decades, threatening the production of primary care physicians.

Sep 1, 2009 Issue
Decreasing Self-Perceived Health Status Despite Rising Health Expenditures
Despite steady increases in U.S. health care spending, the population's self-perceived health status has been in a long-term decline. Increased support for public health, prevention, and primary care could reduce growth in spending and improve actual and perceived health.

Mar 15, 2009 Issue
Primary Care's Ecologic Impact on Obesity
With a costly obesity epidemic, policy makers must recognize factors that may influence obesity not only for each person, but also across communities. Increased primary care physician density on the county level is associated with decreased obesity rates. As we move to restructure the primary care workforce and engage our patients and communities in behavior change, the implications of this association merit closer investigation.

Jan 15, 2009 Issue
Having a Usual Source of Care Reduces ED Visits
The recent growth in the use of emergency departments (EDs) is costly, undesirable, and unnecessary. This trend is partly due to a growing proportion of persons who lack a usual source of care. This group is increasingly likely to rely on EDs for their health care needs compared with those who have a usual source of care.

Oct 15, 2008 Issue
Changing Patient Health-Risk Behavior Requires New Investment in Primary Care
Evidence supports the effectiveness of primary care interventions to improve nutrition, increase physical activity levels, reduce alcohol intake, and stop tobacco use. However, implementing these interventions requires considerable practice expense. If we hope to change behavior to reduce chronic illness, the way we pay for primary care services must be modified to incorporate these expenses.

Jul 15, 2008 Issue
Will Patients Find Diversity in the Medical Home?
Mexican Americans and blacks experience disparities in health outcomes relative to white populations. During the past five to 10 years, fewer blacks and Mexican Americans are going to medical school and entering primary care professions. To assure the availability of a patient-centered medical home for all Americans, policy makers must work to support a culturally competent and diverse primary care workforce.

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