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Resource type: News

States News Service |

The following information was released by the American Academy of Family Physicians:

Family physicians and America’s seniors stand to benefit from a $2.9 million grant recently awarded by The Atlantic Philanthropies to the AAFP Foundation. The three-year grant is to help the Academy develop and implement educational programs for FPs, with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes for America’s seniors.

AAFP Board Chair Rick Kellerman, M.D., checks in on an older patient at a nursing home in Wichita, Kan.

“Family physicians are America’s doctors most actively involved in the treatment of this country’s growing geriatric population,” said Bruce Bagley, M.D., the grant project director and the AAFP’s medical director of quality improvement. “This grant will allow the Academy to move forward with some very innovative programs that will help physicians improve how they provide health care for their aging patients.”

Bagley ticked off a variety of new and existing tools, resources and care delivery approaches FPs could be trained to use as the grant-funded programs roll out, including health care teams, patient registries, electronic health records and patient self-management support strategies.

“New and varied approaches to the delivery of health care will help busy family physicians take better care of elderly patients who are living with multiple health and social problems,” said Bagley.

The grant, which runs from April 2008 to April 2011, will create a number of educational opportunities in various formats, including office-based and Web-supported quality improvement initiatives, print materials, national and regional conferences, and stand-alone courses. The goal, said Bagley, is to offer a wide range of topics in diverse formats that will appeal to plenty of potential participants.

Specifically, The Atlantic Philanthropies Grant will be used to support 18 Practice Enhancement Forum, or PEF, courses, an existing AAFP program that helps family medicine practices improve office efficiencies;train quality improvement mentors for the PEF courses; develop modules on depression and hypertension for AAFP’s Web-based performance improvement program known as Measuring, Evaluating and Translating Research Into Care, or METRIC; facilitate a National Research Network study of both the METRIC and PEF programs; continue the AAFP’s Geriatric Medicine and Chronic Care CME courses; and fund other CME activities related to geriatrics.

Grant partners are the National Institute on Aging, the AARP, the American Geriatric Society, the American College of Physicians and the American Medical Directors Association.

The Atlantic Philanthropies is a global organization whose stated mission is to make positive changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Its U.S. office is in New York City.