American Academy of Family Physicians Appoints New Director of Its Nationally Recognized Center for Health IT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Thursday, January 10, 2013

Contact:
Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5223
mmoriarty@aafp.org

LEAWOOD, Kan. — The American Academy of Family Physicians has named Jason Mitchell, M.D., director of its Center for Health IT(www.centerforhit.org). In his new role, Mitchell will lead the Center as it continues to promote and facilitate the adoption and optimal use of electronic health records and other health information technology by AAFP members and other office-based clinicians.

Mitchell served as assistant director of the Center from 2007 to 2012. In that role, he demonstrated strong technical skills along with a broad understanding of the role of information technology in the future of family medicine. As director, he will continue to work with AAFP members, government officials, and colleagues in the field of health informatics to advocate for the needs and interests of family physicians. He regularly participates in national and international discussions on the direction of health IT in clinical practice, speaking and contributing to a variety of technical, policy and interest groups where he represents the AAFP and its members.

“We are delighted to appoint Dr. Mitchell as director of our Center for Health IT,” said Douglas E. Henley, M.D., AAFP executive vice president and CEO. “His expertise in the area of medical informatics and his experience as a practicing family physician give him the extensive clinical and technical knowledge to lead the Center in its mission and to extend the services it provides AAFP members and other office-based clinicians.”

“Patients across the country will benefit from improved quality of care, enhanced safety and increased practice efficiency through their physician’s use of health information technology,” Mitchell said. “I will work to uphold the Center’s reputation as a trusted and unbiased resource for doctors throughout the United States.”

In addition to directing the Center, Mitchell also chairs the Primary Care Informatics Working Group of the American Medical Informatics Association and serves as the U.S. representative to the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization/WONCA Primary Care RefSet Initiative. He also served on the Clinical Advisory Group for Dossia, a personal health record company.

Shared Care Free Clinic of Jackson County in Independence, Mo., has been Mitchell’s clinical home since 2009. This community health partnership provides a medical home for low-income, uninsured adults with chronic illnesses. Mitchell’s previous and continuing clinical experience supports his expertise in inpatient and outpatient practice workflow, practice redesign, physician engagement, change management and physician leadership.

Prior to his work at the AAFP, Mitchell was a full-time family physician with the SSM St. Charles Clinic Medical Group in suburban St. Louis. During that time, he served as chief of staff-elect for SSM St. Joseph Health Center in St. Charles, Mo., and for SSM St. Joseph Hospital West in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., working with hospital administration to direct policy and manage budgetary and staff issues. Mitchell also served as chair of the hospitals’ performance improvement council and department of family medicine. He served on the Medical Informatics Committee and the Physician Leadership Council for SSM Healthcare-St. Louis.

A board-certified family physician, Mitchell is a member of the AAFP, the American Medical Informatics Association, and the Health Information Management Systems Society. He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia, graduated with honors from the MU School of Medicine, and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He currently is completing a master's degree in health informatics from the same university.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is nearly 214 million office visits each year — nearly 74 million more than the next largest 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 on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org(www.familydoctor.org).