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National primary care campaign spotlights Wayne State University Physician Group, School of Medicine


The Wayne State University Physician Group was among the health care organizations selected as a national collaborator in the three-year Health is Primary tour, which stopped in Detroit Oct. 21 to showcase primary care innovations taking place in Michigan.

The event at Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac hotel brought together Michigan health care leaders to share local success stories of primary care delivering better health and better quality at a lower cost.

The national campaign is a partnership of the eight leading family medicine organizations in the United States. The campaign is traveling to cities across the country to raise awareness about the need for a strong, primary care-based health care system.

The WSU School of Medicine’s Tsveti Markova, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., professor and chair of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, was one of eight invited panelists, sharing ways WSUPG is innovating practices, reducing health disparities and ensuring Michigan residents know the value of primary care.

“I applaud the national campaign to increase awareness about the importance of strong primary care system. The focus needs to shift toward prevention, population health and chronic disease management,” Dr. Markova said. “Prioritizing these goals leads to high-quality, equal, safe and cost-effective care. Engaging all stakeholders, including patients and communities, is critical to success.”

Fellow panelists included physicians, instructors and administrators from Henry Ford Hospital, Dow Chemical Co., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the University of Michigan Medical School and Western Michigan University School of Medicine.

The panel was moderated by T.R. Reid, an author and filmmaker known for his reporting in The Washington Post, commentaries on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, the 2009 best-selling book “The Healing of America” and documentaries for National Geographic Television, PBS and the cable network A&E.

Participants discussed innovations they’ve made at their organizations, including reducing emergency department visits, promoting quality care over quantity care, improving care coordination, the importance of the patient-centered medical home, the need to involve patient perspectives, a fruit and vegetable prescription program, improving access to care in underserved communities and extending Michigan’s primary care incentive program.

“Michigan’s innovative community of primary care and family physicians is driving improved health outcomes and changing the way we deliver care,” said Glen Stream, M.D., president and board chair of Family Medicine for America’s Health, in a release. “The primary care success stories we are seeing in this state are emblematic of the critical role primary care plays in transforming America’s health system to increase access to quality, affordable and compassionate care.”

WSUPG is the largest multi-specialty practice group in southeast Michigan, with more than 2,000 physicians providing primary and specialty care in nearly 1 million annual patient visits. WSUPG practitioners also teach future clinicians, perform cutting-edge research and strive to advance medical knowledge of preventive and health maintenance, diagnostic techniques, therapeutic strategies and rehabilitation.

“As an organization focused on patient-centered medical care, WSUPG puts the patient first, partnering since 2013 with patients and patient representatives through our monthly Patient/Patients’ Representative Advisory Council meetings. We listen, driving change and improvements operationally and clinically,” said Michelle Bryant, WSUPG’s vice president of Quality Management and Patient Care Services.

WSUPG has four Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan-designated patient-centered medical homes. These primary care practices partner with multi-specialties and sub-specialties to facilitate and improve coordination of care.

“We continue to move toward successful population health management, improved patient satisfaction and a decreased cost of care by utilizing data to drive decision-making that leads to improved systems and processes,” Bryant said. “Our team members’ satisfaction and engagement with the company is a fundamental part of the process as well. We work closely with them to ensure we are diving deep and getting the answers we all need, illustrating that an innovative and scientific approach to patient-centered care really works.”

Family Medicine for America’s Health, the organization behind Health is Primary, includes the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, the American Board of Family Medicine, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, the North American Primary Care Research Group and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. The city tour began in Seattle in March, and has continued to Raleigh, Chicago and Denver, with additional stops planned in 2016 and 2017.

To learn more about the campaign and to support making health primary in the health care system, visit www.healthisprimary.org.

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