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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Northwestern Announces New Center for Primary Care Innovation

The Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine announced the creation of a new IPHAM Center – the Center for Primary Care Innovation. The goal of this new Center is to identify and execute initiatives to improve primary care research, education, and clinical care at the Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM). Given the strengths of general internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine at FSM and that primary care is an important interface between health care and public health, the establishment of this Center will accelerate primary care research and educational initiatives as well as provide a platform for innovations in clinical care within Northwestern Medicine. The Center’s research will focus on health communication, reducing health care disparities, changing clinician behavior and improving medication management utilizing health information technology, and redesigning systems of care heavily emphasizing clinical prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. The Center’s educational efforts will highlight new opportunities in primary care careers for FSM medical students by enhancing primary care clinical experiences in rural, underserved, and international venues, and expanding area of scholarly concentration mentorship. The Center will also support further development and evaluation of curricula related to primary care including the Education-Centered Medical Home (ECMH) program at FSM. In the clinical realm, the Center for Primary Care Innovation will work with Northwestern Medicine to widely implement innovative practices of proven effectiveness and to support rigorous evaluations of clinical programs and strategies to improve care under new payment models. The Center’s research, education, and clinical care programs already involve collaborations with many other IPHAM centers. We expect more collaborations to develop as a result of this new IPHAM initiative.

Dr. Stephen Persell, will be the founding director of this Center. Dr. Persell is an associate professor in medicine-general internal medicine and geriatrics and a member of the IPHAM Center for Healthcare Studies. A primary care internist and a health services researcher, Dr. Persell’s research involves the design, implementation and evaluation of electronic health records-based quality improvement tools, practice redesign techniques, and methods for clinician performance measurement focused on various aspects of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and preventive care. He currently leads two large randomized intervention studies testing ways to use health information technology and care team change to improve care. The first is a NIH-funded R01 study examining the impact on hypertension control of strategies using IT-supported medication management tools and nurse-led care redesign in 12 community health centers among patients using three or more medications. The second is an AHRQ-funded trial of health IT-supported patient identification and lay outreach to promote appropriate preventive cardiology practices at community health centers in two states.

See the Center for Primary Care Innovation webpage: