American Academy of Family Physicians Names New Director of Online Development and Partnerships

Heather Boyle Townsend to join efforts of AAFP award-winning consumer health Web site

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Janelle Davis
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222

LEAWOOD, Kan. – The American Academy of Family Physicians has named Heather Boyle Townsend director of online development and partnerships in its Online and Custom Publishing Division.

A 22-year veteran of health care patient education, technology and customer relationship management, Townsend develops and maintains partnerships between the AAFP and media companies, production vendors, sponsors and other organizations that support online communications for the AAFP’s award-winning consumer Web site,

Last month, the AAFP announced a strategic alliance with multi-platform distributor AnswersMedia, LLC. The redesigned Web site provides consumers and physicians access to credible, searchable, and visually engaging health information. The new, videocentric site, co-produced under the name Primetime Media Net, is the only medical association-sponsored Web site to integrate peer-reviewed health information with interactive, high-definition (HD) video-on-demand.

“I’m confident that in addition to her extensive experience, Heather will bring strong leadership and new direction at a time when media and technology are rapidly converging,” AAFP’s Vice President for Publishing and Communications, Michael Springer, said of Townsend’s hire.

Prior to joining the AAFP, Townsend served as director of patient education for GetWellNetwork in Bethesda, Md., where she played an instrumental role in the development of patient education software and care plans for use with interactive patient care. She previously served as customer relationship director for the Eclipsys Corporation in Boca Raton, Fla., and as health enhancement coordinator for St. Luke’s Shawnee Mission Health System and Business Men’s Assurance Company in Kansas City, Mo.

Townsend received a bachelor of science degree in health education and health promotion from Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven.

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 129,000 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit Follow us on Twitter,( and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,