American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Peers for Progress Program Receives $5M Grant to Evaluate the Impact of Peer Support for Diabetes in Patient-Centered Medical Home Model of Care

Initiative aims to reduce health disparities in low-income Hispanic populations with diabetes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Janelle Davis
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6253

Leawood, Kan. – The American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation announced it has received a $5 million grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF) to evaluate how the combination of peer support, community outreach and an ongoing relationship with a primary care physician can impact health outcomes and quality of life for low-income Hispanic patients with diabetes. The grant is one of four initial grants awarded by the BMSF as part of its 5-year, $100 million initiative, Together on Diabetes®(, to help patients living with type 2 diabetes achieve long-term success in managing their disease beyond the doors of their doctor’s office.

The $5 million grant will fund a 3-year demonstration project to be administered through the AAFP Foundation Peers for Progress program. The project will be led by Edwin Fisher, Ph.D., global director for Peers for Progress, with support from Peers for Progress staff based in the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Other partners include the National Council of La Raza, the American Academy of Family Physicians and its wholly-owned subsidiary, TransforMED. The partners will collaborate on the development of protocols and training materials for peer and community support, as well as the dissemination of the materials within the targeted communities to address the ongoing management and prevention of diabetes.

Today, type 2 diabetes affects about one in 12 Americans, and could affect as many as one in three Americans by 2050. The disease disproportionately affects the poor and elderly, as well as certain minority populations including African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian Americans. This Peers for Progress initiative will reach approximately 4,000 low-income, Hispanic adults with type 2 diabetes.

“Patients with chronic disease do much better when their health care is centered in a trusted relationship with a primary care physician supported by an effective health care team,” said Richard Roberts, M.D., J.D., president of the AAFP Foundation. “That trusted relationship is optimized in medical practices that have adopted the patient-centered medical home model of care.”

Central to the project will be one or more primary care sites with well-established PCMH procedures and processes in place. Medical home transformation experts from TransforMED will help ensure the participating practices meet the PCMH criteria necessary to successfully implement and sustain a community-based peer support program in the context of the PCMH model.

“Physician-led teams can play a critical role in helping patients with diabetes make needed lifestyle changes, but most patients need additional support outside of their doctor’s office,” said Terry McGeeney, M.D., MBA, president and CEO of TransforMED. “We look forward to working with the selected practice sites to ensure patients reap all of the benefits the medical home model has to offer, including improved access to care, better care coordination and management, and the technologies and processes that better enable health care providers to monitor patient outcomes and connect them to the peer and community supports they need.”

Peers for Progress and the partner organizations will adapt lessons learned from the project to develop a variety of resources and materials for dissemination through their networks across the United States. These tools will address the common need for the training of peer supporters, as well as other protocols necessary to help them successfully carry out and evaluate the effectiveness of their work.

“Incorporating peer support and community outreach into the medical home model has the potential to dramatically impact the health and quality of life for patients living with diabetes,” Fisher said. “By pooling the resources of Peers for Progress, the American Academy of Family Physicians, TransforMED and the National Council of La Raza, we can set an important model for providing high-risk communities nationwide the peer support, community support and health resources necessary to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes.”

About the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation
The Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Its primary mission is to advance the values of family medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational, and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people.

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About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Foundation is to reduce health disparities among populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases. The Together on Diabetes® initiative aims to improve health outcome by strengthening patient self-management education, community-based supportive services and broad-based community mobilization.

About TransforMED
The Leawood, Kan.-based TransforMED LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Established in 2005, TransforMED provides ongoing consultation and support to physicians looking to transform their practices to a new model of care that is based on the concept of a patient-centered medical home. TransforMED is an active member of primary care communities and recognizes and supports the unique value that primary care offers to patients and the health care system. TransforMED shares and supports the idealism and altruism of primary care physicians and the strong commitment to their communities and patients through continuing patient relationships and independent decision making. TransforMED offers practices both products and services, including consultation and advice on implementing the patient centered medical home model. To learn more about TransforMED, visit