Colorado Family Physician Receives National Honor from American Academy of Family Physicians

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5224

DENVER — Larry A. Green, M.D., professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado – Denver, today was awarded the 2010 Thomas W. Johnson Award by the American Academy of Family Physicians at its annual meeting in Denver. The award was one of seven presented for exceptional achievement in the field of family medicine at the AAFP’s Scientific Assembly, one of the largest gatherings of primary care physicians in the country.

The Thomas W. Johnson Award is the highest honor presented by the AAFP for outstanding contributions to family medicine education at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing education levels. It is intended to recognize a career of national prominence, reflecting leadership and long-term dedication to family medicine education.

Over the course of his 35-year family medicine career as an educator, author, clinician and professional leader, Green has made significant contributions in family medicine and to the improvement of public health through health care education.

Green was the Woodward-Chisholm Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado for 14 years and continues to serve on the faculty there. He currently holds the Epperson Zorn Chair for Innovation in Family Medicine, an endowed chair created to honor his innovative accomplishments and to support his continued role in health care education.

Green is the founding director of The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, which opened in 1999 in Washington, D.C., with the mission of bringing a family medicine perspective to health policy deliberations in the nation’s capitol. The Center was organized around three initial themes: the functional domain (scope of practice), primary care infrastructures, and universal health coverage. Within just two months of its inception, the Center began fulfilling its commitment to train a new generation of physician-researchers by launching an internship program. The first research products were published in HealthCare Papers in December of that same year. In its first six years, the Center produced 80 peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters, five monographs and 29 one-pagers.

Green was one of the architects of the Future of Family Medicine project initiated in 2002 by the leadership of seven national family medicine organizations. Recognizing fundamental flaws in the fragmented U.S. health care system and the potential of an integrative, generalist approach, the FFM project developed a strategy to transform and renew the specialty of family medicine to meet the needs of people and society in a changing environment.

The FFM team outlined a model of care based on the concept of a patient-centered medical home. Based on this model, Green was instrumental in helping the the AAFP establish TransforMED in 2005, with the mission to provide ongoing consultation and support to physicians looking to adopt the PCMH model. He helped launch a "proof-of-concept" National Demonstration Project to test the TransforMED model of care in 36 diverse family medicine practices across the country. He then led the effort to create the P4 initiative which aims to inspire and evaluate innovation in family medicine residency education. A collaborative project with TransforMED, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors and the American Board of Family Medicine, P4 will identify best practices in the training of future family physicians.

"Dr. Green has long been a recognized leader in family medicine as a practicing family doctor, as a leader and teacher in the academic arena, as a researcher, and as an innovative thought leader in our discipline,” said Douglas E. Henley, M.D., FAAFP, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the AAFP. “The Robert Graham Center thrived under Dr. Green’s leadership and continues to be known for its excellent research in primary care. His long and valuable commitment to the specialty of family medicine makes him extremely well qualified to receive this prestigious award."

In addition to his hands-on work with students and residents, Green has worked to advance family medicine education through his leadership within professional organizations. He has served as president of both the North American Primary Care Research Group and the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, as well as on the board of directors of the American Board of Family Medicine. Green also served on expert advisory panels of the National Committee on Quality Assurance and the Senior Advisory Board for Primary Care Research at Georgetown University.

Green’s students and peers have recognized his contributions to the advancement of family medicine with numerous awards, including the 2005 American Academy of Family Physicians Physician Executive Award, the 1991 Modern Medicine Award for Distinguished Achievement, the 1998 Curtis G. Hames Award for Career Accomplishments in Family Medicine Research and the Wood Award for Lifetime Contribution to Primary Care Research.

In 2006, The Robert Graham Center established the Larry A. Green Visiting Scholar Program, a four-week program that provides the opportunity for young scholars to work directly with Center staff on original research projects of interest to them, towards a goal of a national publication and dissemination.

The program also provides the Center with a renewable source of ideas, energy and competencies that help to further develop the infrastructure for policy-relevant research in primary care and build research capacity for primary care throughout the nation.

Green earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma – Ardmore, and his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine – Houston.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 124,900 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.

To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions(5 page PDF) on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,