• Family Physicians Honor Congressional Primary Care Champions

    WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2018 — The American Academy of Family Physicians and the Health is Primary campaign today announced the recipients of the inaugural Congressional Primary Care Champion Awards.

    Award recipients are Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and David Rouzer (R-NC) along with staffers Maria Costigan, legislative assistant to Rep. Courtney, and Jason Cooke, legislative director to Rep. Rouzer.

    The awards honor members of Congress and congressional staff for their work as champions for primary care, including:

    • Raising awareness of the value of primary care in America;
    • Supporting policies and programs that help enhance primary care and the
      nation’s primary care infrastructure; and
    • Working toward bipartisan solutions to improve primary care.

    Congressmen Courtney and Rouzer cofounded the bipartisan Primary Care Caucus in 2015 to educate and advocate on behalf of primary care physicians, providers, and patients. Together, they have brought attention to the need for increased investments in primary care and the great value it provides to the health care system — saving $13 in downstream costs with every $1 invested.

    The representatives are supported in their efforts by the dedication of two extraordinary staffers — Maria Costigan and Jason Cooke. As a legislative assistant, Costigan focuses on promoting effective primary care delivery and reducing health care costs for the residents of Connecticut. Cooke serves as legislative director, working to improve access to primary care and address the shortage of primary care physicians that impacts many North Carolinians.

    “During their time in Congress, Reps. Courtney and Rouzer, along with staffers Costigan and Cooke, have been relentless advocates for educating their colleagues about the value of primary care across the country,” said Michael L. Munger, M.D., president of the AAFP. “They understand that real improvements to America’s health care system can come only by working across the aisle and supporting proven
    programs that strengthen the nation’s primary care infrastructure.”

    “Americans — regardless of whether they live in a red or blue state — want a health care system that produces healthier patients and higher quality health care at lower costs,” added Glen Stream, M.D., president and board chair of Family Medicine for America’s Health, the sponsor of the Health is Primarycampaign. “The recipients of the inaugural Congressional Primary Care Champions Awards recognize that primary care is integral to achieving these goals and have demonstrated a willingness to work in a bipartisan manner to promote investment in family medicine.”

    The award recipients will be honored at a breakfast during the Family Medicine Advocacy Summit on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Munger and Stream will present the awards.

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    About American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)

    Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 134,600 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 www.aafp.org/media. 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, www.familydoctor.org.

    About Health is Primary

    Health is Primary is a national campaign focused on demonstrating the value of primary care in delivering on the Triple Aim of better health care, better quality and lower costs. Family Medicine for America’s Health launched the campaign in 2014 to help strengthen the nation’s primary care infrastructure and improve the health of all Americans.

    Ann Saybolt, annsaybolt@fmahealth.org / 703.969.2859
    Kirsten Thistle, kirstenthistle@fmahealth.org / 301.802.4567
    Leslie Champlin, lchampli@aafp.org / 800.274.2237. ext. 6252