28th National Conference Program Incorporates Alternate Perspectives of “Access” Theme

The 28th National Conference on Primary Health Care Access is scheduled for April 10-12, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The conference theme for 2017, “Access”, will be incorporated into each of the National Conference plenary sessions.

Several presenters on the first day will continue to test how well this decade’s major health legislation – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – meets the goal of providing high quality, culturally sensitive primary health care to the nation’s population, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity or geographic location. [See 28th National Conference Keynote Sessions to be Dedicated to ACA Issues of “Access”.]

Regional Issues in Access

Other plenary sessions are grouped into specific perspectives on access. One will continues the National Conferences’ studies of the consequences of long-term strategic investment by medical schools, postgraduate physician residency programs, community health centers, public health departments and Area Health Education Centers in the creation of a community and family-oriented primary health care workforce and the institutions that workforce supports.

This year’s conference, among other regional studies, will examine such strategic interventions in the State of Louisiana and the Northwestern States, in the Central Valley and other agricultural regions of California and in various urban communities that appear to have sufficient numbers of physicians, but where significant access problems exist.

Memorializing Generations

Peter V. Lee (1927-2016) University of Southern California Faculty Emeritus
Peter V. Lee (1927-2016)
University of Southern California Faculty Emeritus

Another theme will be built on the National Conferences’ remembrance of the founders and early pioneers of family medicine and other strategic primary care interventions. We celebrate the work and mourn the losses of members the generation born before 1930 whose efforts resulted in the momentous mid-20th changes in federal, state, local and regional health care policies, of which Medicare and Medicaid are the most obvious examples.

We will also celebrate the generation born between 1930 and 1950, many of whom were the first physicians to enter the newly created family medicine residency programs and/or to staff the first group of federally-funded community health centers.

Mark E. Clasen, MD, Ph.D. (1947-2015) Wright State University/Boonshoft School of Medicine Faculty Emeritus
Mark E. Clasen, MD, Ph.D.
Wright State University/Boonshoft School of Medicine Faculty Emeritus

We will focus on two of the physicians we lost in the past year – Doctor Peter V. Lee, who was the first Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Southern California (born before 1930) and Doctor Mark E. Clasen of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio (a member of the second group).

Beyond the extraordinary influence that both physicians had on the careers of so many physicians who were inspired by their teaching and professionalism, both were emeritus board members of the Coastal Research Group, which conducts the National Conferences.

The composition and subject matter of individual panels will be announced in future weeks.