American Academy of Family Physicians and International Medical Corps Collaborate to Bring Quality Care to Disaster-Affected Communities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 08, 2007
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
The partnership will grant International Medical Corps access to a large pool of potential volunteers—the AAFP’s membership of nearly 94,000 family physicians, residents and medical students. During emergent situations, the AAFP will channel its members who wish to volunteer to IMC who then will decide how to use them. Family physicians who are able to participate will provide primary health care and help rebuild health infrastructure. IMC will link volunteers to its vast logistical network, which will ensure their knowledge and skills are utilized appropriately and they have access to medicines and other supplies needed to treat patients.
“All three organizations share a common interest in providing quality community-based primary health care and health care training, both at home and abroad,” says International Medical Corps President & CEO Nancy Aossey. “IMC stands to benefit tremendously from this partnership, not only because access to the AAFP membership will boost our surge capacity during large-scale emergencies, but also because the AAFP will make its medical education trainers and curriculum developers available to us for use domestically and internationally.”
Because International Medical Corps places special emphasis on training local medical personnel in the skills and knowledge needed to rebuild their own health care systems, this second piece is key to the new partnership. As the nation’s only medical society devoted solely to primary care, one of the AAFP’s primary goals is to promote high-quality, innovative continuing medical education (CME) for family physicians, residents and medical students. Its CME resources will be a great asset to IMC’s community-based primary health care programs and the local physicians with whom IMC works.
“The AAFP is honored to share our expertise so that people in disaster areas can receive high-quality healthcare services immediately during their time of need,” said Jim King, M.D., president of the AAFP. “Because of their extensive training, family physicians are the specialists best qualified to treat most ailments and provide comprehensive health care for people of all ages. Their breadth of training makes family physicians an extremely valuable asset during emergencies when a wide-range of medical care is needed for large numbers of people.”
The AAFP Foundation will help support volunteer work through fundraising efforts with foundations and corporations committed to supporting humanitarian efforts. The Foundation has a long history of improving family medical care. The new partnership offers the Foundation a way of deepening its commitment to the underserved.
Together, International Medical Corps, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the AAFP Foundation will work in service to their shared commitment to community-based primary health care and training, while providing the highest quality health care to disaster-affected populations.
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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 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 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.