History and Legacy are Core Themes of the 25th National Conference on Primary Health Care Access (Part 1)

A plenary session at the 24th National Conference at the Grand Hyatt Kaua'i
A plenary session at the 24th National Conference at the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i

The National Conferences on Primary Health Care Access are invitational conferences, limited to around 50 registrants.

Each of the conferences has been comprised of persons involved in the delivery of primary health care, in the training of primary care physicians and primary care teams and in public health.

The 25th National Conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco April 14-16, 2014.

At the 10th National (left to right). William H Burnett,, California Health Manpower Policy Commission; David Marsland, MD, VIrginia Commonwealth University, David Sundwall, MD and Marian Bishop, PhD, University of Utah and Samuel C. Matheny, MD, University of Kentucky
At the 10th National (left to right). William H Burnett,, California Health Manpower Policy Commission; David Marsland, MD, VIrginia Commonwealth University, David Sundwall, MD and Marian Bishop, PhD, University of Utah and Samuel C. Matheny, MD, University of Kentucky

The National Conferences are unique in their format, and in their concentration on the 20th and 21s century institutional reforms designed to address the geographic and specialty distribution of physicians.

The most successful reforms, in place over four decades, include new ways of training primary care physicians, particularly the creation of the family medicine specialty, with its residency curriculum, accreditation process and specialty board and academy.and society of teachers.

The reforms also include the concept of comprehensive health srevices provided in community health centers, an iinnovation that has taken root in the American health system over the past half century.

CHCs now provides a major portion of the care to he nation’s lower socieoconomic populations and communities.

Both the National Conferences and the Coastal Research Group, the non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that conducts them, are infused with the legacy of the mid-20th century reforms.

Count D. Gibson, MD,Founder of the Columbia Point Community Health Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Count D. Gibson, MD, Founder of the Columbia Point Community Health Center, Boston, Massachusetts

Participating in the Coastal Research Group’s founding is Doctor Count D. GIbson, who with his colleague, Jack Geiger, MD, created the nation’s first two federally funded CHCs, in Boston, Massachusetts and Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

Those who have taken part in the National Conference on Primary Health Care Access are such giants in the history of family medicine and community health as Doctor Gaylle Stephens, author of the seminal work “The Intellectual Bases of Family Medicine” and Lynn Carmichael, MD, the founding president of the Society of Teachers of FamIly Medicine.

The First G. Gayle Stephens Lecture

One of the most famous presentations in the history of the National Conferences is Doctor Stephens’ presentation of the first of G. Gayle Stephens Lectures in 1991 at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Surgeon General David Satcher (right) at the 1999 National Conference with Ludlow Creary, MD of Drew-King Medical Center, Los Angeles
Surgeon General David Satcher (right) at the 1999 National Conference with Ludlow Creary, MD of Drew-King Medical Center, Los Angeles

[See Proceedings of the Second National Conference: The First G. Gayle Stephens Lecture by G. Gayle Stephens, MD.]

The Ninth G. Gayle Stephens Lecture

Among the memorable Stephens’ Lectures took place in 1999 at the Tenth National Conference in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Stephens Lecturer was the Surgeon General, David Satcher, MD, in Dr Satcher’s second appearance on the plenary faculty of the National Conferences.

[See Proceedings of the Tenth National Conference: The Ninth G. Gayle Stephens Lecture by Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, Ph.D.]

[See also Proceedings of the 4th National Conference on Primary Health Care Access: April 2, 1993 – First Plenary Panel – Reweaving the Safety Net, Part 4 (Satcher).]