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Department of Family and Community Medicine

Department of Family and Community Medicine

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The healthcare environment is continually changing. In order to effectively meet the task of preparing the next generation of family medicine physicians we must adapt to changing regulations, community needs and market forces while at the same time holding firm to our core values. Through its 2012-17 strategic plan, the Department of Family and Community Medicine is improving the quality of healthcare through primary care and interprofessional education, patient-centered and family-centered care, explore new initiatives and will conduct research that informs public policy for the improvement of the health and welfare of the communities we serve. We invite you to explore these pages to learn more about the goals and accomplishments of the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Patient-Centered Care

I. Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)

Develop leadership in the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH)and champion the approach within the UC Davis Health System. The PCMH is an approach to providing comprehensive primary care across the lifespan. The PCMH is a health care setting that facilitates a partnership between individual patients, their families and their “health care team”.

There’s something nostalgic about the family doctor. In small towns and in urban neighborhoods, there was a time when a family might see the same physician throughout their lives. Whether in the office or in your home, this caring provider knew your medical history, family relationships, social situation and health habits, and would use this knowledge to provide you with the right care at the right time. Like bell bottom jeans, heirloom tomatoes and 1960s modern furniture, everything old is new again. Family docs still treat multiple generations; consider the community and social context of their patients’ health; design care plans that not only reduce illness but promote wellness; and encourage their patients practice healthy behaviors. While the patient-centered medical home has gained prominence in recent years as a recommended model of care, practitioners of family medicine have long incorporated the tenets of patient-centered care into their practices. The PCMH is the foundation for teaching primary care by providing an exemplary medical home that emphasizes the key components of family medicine: continuity, collaboration, comprehensive services, coordination, communication, and community engagement. For this reason, expanding the patient-centered model of care into training and practice in the Department of Family and Community Medicine is a pillar of the Department’s 2012-2017 Strategic Plan. PCMH Committee, led by co-chairs Tom Balsbaugh, M.D., Vice Chair of Family Medicine, and Joann Seibles, M.D., Medical Director of the Family Practice Center, have made significant strides in putting multiple facets of the PCMH model into practice. The goal of the implementation of the patient-centered model of care is to pass a rigorous evaluation by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) in order to receive their accreditation as a PCMH. But the ultimate objective is measured in the increased knowledge of our medical residents and the improved health of our patients.

Key Accomplishments of the PCMH Committee, 2015-16:

  • Initiated the monthly distribution of UCDHS PCMH registry dashboard to promote the utilization of data for quality improvement.

  • Residents engaged in monthly Value Stream improvement project to improve timeliness of In-basket Response that included the structured learning of quality improvement techniques; residents presented Inbasket Management Improvement Project to UCDHS QI symposium in March 2016.

  • Piloted underserved community medicine curriculum by placing 2 residents at CommuniCare Health Center for a portion of their continuity clinic requirement.

  • Initiated enhanced reproductive health education and clinical services as part of Reproductive Health Education in Family Medicine (RHEDI) grant.

Community Engagement

II. Community Engagement

Engage the community in family and community medicine. The Department of Family and Community Medicine will work to redefine how we engage with and serve our community. This process begins by fostering a greater sense of community and involvement among faculty, staff and learners. We will harness our shared passion for community health improvement to engage our extended communities, including the Health System as well as Sacramento neighborhoods and the Northern California region.

While the traditional model of health care is to deliver responsive treatment to an individual’s unique symptoms, far too often the context of a person’s health is ignored or neglected. According to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Commission to Build a Healthier America, the most accurate predictor of health status is a person’s zip code. The social determinants of health—such as where we live, how we live and who we live with—are contributing factors to our overall health. While many medical residents devote years training to understand pulmonary, orthopedic or other biological systems, family medicine encourages physicians to see the social context in which their patients live their lives. Since the UC Davis Department of Family and Community Medicine was established in 1971, community engagement has been an essential component of resident training curriculum. To help develop new ways for our residents and faculty to interact with the neighborhoods and populations we serve, Community Engagement was selected as a goal of the Department’s five-year strategic plan. The Community Engagement Committee, led by co-chairs Kay Nelsen, M.D., Residency Director, and Suzanne Eidson-Ton, M.D., Predoctoral Education Director, has opened doors to the community. Among the accomplishments was the hiring of a Community Liaison who will serve as a point of contact between the Department and community groups and neighborhood residents.

Key Accomplishments of the Community Engagement Committee, 2015-16:

  • The Department gave back to the community by collecting 26 backpacks full of school supplies for Operation Backpack, and engaged in two additional community service projects (Run to Feed the Hungry and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes).

  • Co-sponsored the Health Equity in Sacramento Conference as a way to engage learners and community members regarding important health issues.

  • The Community Liaison completed assessments with 10+ community partners to identify possible areas for collaboration. This includes at least one new partner in the South Sacramento Building Healthy Communities region.

  • Organized the Community Engagement Council around “health literacy” as a primary focus for their volunteer efforts. The secondary focus is to make sure the community learns from the residents and the residents learn from the community.


III. Interprofessional Education

Create a valued and expected culture of interprofessional collaboration to promote excellence in primary care education. Collaboration among primary care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and other professionals) is crucial for the future delivery of high‐quality, patient‐centered primary care. We plan to excel in training our future family physicians by creating and supporting models of interprofessional collaboration in education, clinical care and research.

Among the many medical disciplines, family physicians are perhaps the most versatile. They bring new life into the world and provide palliative care. They treat coughs and cuts as well as debilitating chronic illness. They are their patients’ health encyclopedias, teachers, therapists and coaches. They can do it all, but…for the sake of their wellbeing…they don’t have to. The current model of medical care practice follows a team-based approach. While primary care physicians remain at the center of their patients’ health care orbits, they are supported by a range of professionals who collaborate on the care of their patients. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are trained to provide a range of primary care services under a physician’s guidance. Therapists and social workers can be called on to attend to mental health and social service needs. Specialists can advise patients on the treatment of a specific illness or infirmity. Pharmacists, dentists and health educators play important roles on the health delivery team. Under the team-based model, each professional is providing service to the highest level of his or her respective licensing and training. In training the next generation of medical professionals, it is essential that they gain the skills necessary to be effective in contemporary team-based practice settings. The Department of Family and Community Medicine has made a commitment to enhancing opportunities for interprofessional education through its inclusion in its strategic plan. The Interprofessional Education Committee, led by co-chairs Huey Lin, M.D., Associate Professor, and Shelley Henderson, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Medicine, has made important strides toward bridging the strengths of Health System’s graduate medical education programs.

Key Accomplishments of the Interprofessional Education Committee, 2015-16:

  • Incorporated speakers with interprofessional expertise into the Departmental Grand Rounds program. The committee will continue to make recommendations of IPE Speakers for future Grand Rounds presentations and promote by inviting IPE FCM, SOM and SON faculty, residents, students, and others.

  • Reviewed 3 submissions for the mini-grant funding program and has made 1 award, has had recommendation for 1 submission to be revised, and has declined 1 submission.

  • Huey Lin has been attending several interprofessional meetings and activities to explore plans to reinvigorate a robust UCDMC geriatric care center and community geriatrics outreach programs.

  • Included a robust curriculum on interprofessional education at the 2016 Residency Network Medical Education Conference in February, 2016.


IV. Research and Scholarly Activity

Maintain preeminence in primary care scholarship. Excellence in primary care scholarship is a widely acknowledged indicator of the quality of family medicine departments within academic health centers. As such, it’s essential that the Department of Family and Community Medicine invest resources to continue to build the quality and reputation of this critical function.

In science fiction, a doctor of the future might wave an electronic sensor over a patient’s body to record vital signs and to diagnose an illness. While some form of that future is coming (and sooner than many people may think!), today’s physicians collect patient data using a range of tools and techniques and apply it to a body of evidence in order to determine the best treatment approach. It’s not an exact science, but it is a rigorous one, and the UC Davis Health System is an international leader in health science research. But research isn’t just delving into futuristic solutions to intractable problems. An important part of research is evaluating medical treatments and systems of care for effectiveness in the day-to-day practice of medicine. That’s where the faculty of the Department of Family and Community Medicine has made its mark. The Departmental strategic plan recognizes the importance of primary care outcomes research and set a goal of increasing the faculty’s capacity to conduct relevant research and to disseminate their findings. Among the important accomplishments during the first year of the five-year plan was the recruitment of a research development officer. While not directly involved with research, this individual will make the research possible by supporting faculty efforts to secure grant funding, and to proactively disseminate their knowledge to the public. The Research and Scholarly Activity Committee, led by co-chairs Anthony Jerant, M.D., Associate Professor, and Joy Melnikow, M.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Healthcare Policy Research, has strengthened the Department's reputation for scholarly achievement.

Key Accomplishments of the Research and Scholarly Work Committee, 2015-16:

  • The Department hosted Dr. Michael LeFevre, past chair of the US Preventative Services Task Force, on February 23, 2016, as our Snively Visiting Professor.

  • Nine members of the Department, including faculty, residents and fellows, presented research findings at the 2015 North American Primary Care Research Group Conference held in New York City.

  • Six faculty members, two residents and one departmental fellow made presentations at the 2016 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference.

  • Jerant and Franks received Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U01 funding for a project entitled, “Tailored Activation in Primary Care to Reduce Suicide Behaviors in Middle Aged Men”

  • Launched a departmental search for an In-Residence research faculty member.

  • Contracted with a branding and communication consulting firm to develop strategies for promoting departmental research accomplishments.


V. Faculty and Staff Development

Recruit, support, and retain a diverse and proficient faculty and staff. The Department of Family and Community Medicine seeks to build a more diverse and vibrant faculty and staff. This growth will enable the department to meet the ongoing needs of its patients and learners, as well as enhance its contributions to research and improve its ability to adapt to the changing health care climate.

A basic lesson of business and management is that it is easier to maintain an existing customer than it is to hook a new one. A variation of this lesson can be applied to faculty and staff recruitment: it is easier to develop a current customer (that is, medical student, resident or fellow) than it is to recruit a new faculty member. While we hope to attract highly qualified candidates, we recognize that they may already be part of our “family.” The Faculty and Staff Development Committee, chaired by Joshua Fenton, MD, and Sarah Marshall, MD, is committed to building a process for informing, identifying and cultivating highly motivated students and residents that can nurture to build tomorrow’s faculty. At the same time, it is important to maintain continuity among staff members while at the same time encouraging professional growth. We are committed to providing program and support staff with opportunities to learn and grow that will in the short term benefit the Department and over the long term enhance employee’s professional opportunities.

Accomplishments of the Faculty/Staff Development Committee, 2015-16:

  • A faculty needs assessment was conducted by CAO Tom Watkins to assess the optimal size and mix of faculty to meet the core teaching, patient care, research, administrative, and service missions of the department. As a result, two faculty services are underway, one for an in-residence research faculty and another for a clinical/teaching faculty position.

  • The Staff Development Committee held facilitated workshop using Gallup StrengthsFinder to help staff learn to better utilize their most effective skills.

  • Presented the Franklin J. and Lily L. Chinn Family Endowment for Excellence award to Amanda Davis, and the Jane and Connie Endowment Fund award to Carly Grovhoug at the 2016 Graduation.

  • Residents Brent Hanson & Susan Mead presented work at the 2016 STFM conference in May.