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Am Fam Physician. 2001;63(1):21-22

$45 Million Granted to Research Health Disparities

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has announced funding for research that will study the factors underlying ethnic and racial inequities in health care. Under the Excellence Centers to Eliminate Ethnic/Racial Disparities (EXCEED) initiative, nine new research projects will be funded by AHRQ in partnership with the Office of Research on Minority Health and the National Cancer Institute. Each project will consist of a group of four to seven studies organized around a central theme. The research is needed because “life expectancy and overall health have improved for many Americans, but too many racial and ethnic minorities still suffer disproportionately from diabetes, cancer and other diseases,” says AHRQ Director John M. Eisenberg, M.D. “Through research partnerships like these, we can expand the magnitude of our efforts to ensure that all Americans receive high quality health care services.” For more information about the projects, visit the AHRQ's Web site at

Deadline Is Set for Feedback on AAFP Health Coverage Proposal

The Board of Directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is seeking broad consultation on its draft document, “A Strategy to Provide Health Care Coverage for All,” and has set a deadline of February 28 to receive comments on it. The document emanates from the work of a task force, which, over a two-year period, conducted a thorough analysis of the health care system and of the uninsured population and sought feedback from ethicists, policy makers and economic consultants. The outlined approach calls for assurance of a basic set of services with catastrophic protection that would be financed through taxes. The board intends to review feedback from within the family medicine community and from the external community to use in determining the next steps toward presenting a proposal to the AAFP's Congress of Delegates in September 2001. The proposal can be viewed at Written comments should be sent to AAFP—Health Care Coverage, 11400 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy., Leawood, KS 66211–2672.

Conference Recognizes Excellence in Patient Education

The 22nd annual Conference on Patient Education, held in November in Albuquerque, N.M., offered topics ranging from media literacy to spirituality in medicine. Nearly 500 participants and more than 30 exhibitors attended the meeting, sponsored by the AAFP and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM). The conference was dedicated to the memory of John H. Renner, M.D., a family physician who co-founded the conference in 1977. Dr. Renner devoted his career to providing reliable health information and education to patients and consumers. The first John H. Renner, M.D., Memorial Award of Excellence was presented at the conference to Barbara Widmar, AAFP manager of health education. Other awards presented at the conference included the 2000 H. Winter Griffith Award for Excellence in Patient Education Materials, which was given to Hope Heart Institute's Patient-to-Patient cardiovascular education booklets. The Hope Heart Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cardiovascular research and education. Its Patient-to-Patient publications are based on extensive interviews with former patients and their families, as well as cardiac surgeons, physician assistants, nurses and hospital social workers. The 2000 Patient Care Awards were presented in three categories. The practice group award went to the Newport Family Practice, Newport, N.C. The health professional award was given to Joan Hemmers, R.N., Beaver Medical Group L.P., Redlands, Calif., and the award for a family practice residency program went to W. W. Knight Family Practice Center, Toledo Hospital, Toledo, Ohio. The 2001 conference will be held in Seattle. For more information, contact STFM at 913-906-6000.

AAFP President-Elect Joins Board of National Health Council

The National Health Council, representing more than 200 organizations dedicated to the promotion of health of all people, elected AAFP President-Elect Warren Jones, M.D., to its board of directors. Based in Washington, D.C., the National Health Council gives a strong voice to voluntary health organizations in the health policy arena. Dr. Jones will serve a three-year term. For more information on the National Health Council, its mission and upcoming events, visit its Web site at

AHRQ Names Senior Scholar-in-Residence

AHRQ and the Family Violence Prevention Fund have announced that Jeffery H. Coben, M.D., has been appointed AHRQ's senior scholar-in-residence on domestic violence. Dr. Coben will work with AHRQ's Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research on projects that will study the cost, quality, outcomes and effectiveness of domestic violence screening and interventions in health care. Dr. Coben is an associate professor of emergency medicine and surgery at MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa., and director of the Center for Violence and Injury Control at Allegheny-Singer Research Institute, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pa. He received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh and completed a combined emergency medicine/internal medicine internship and residency program at Northwestern University Medical Center. He has published almost 50 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, monographs and other publications. His appointment is effective through July 15, 2001.

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Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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