Making a home in the community for the academic medical center.
Academic medical centers (AMCs) have traditionally provided primary care for low-income and other underserved populations. However, they have had difficulty developing lasting partnerships with other organizations serving the same populations. This article describes an exception to the rule, in which an academic division was created at Duke University Medical Center to develop effective collaborations with health care and social service providers in Durham, North Carolina, including both public agencies and private organizations. Together, the division and its partners have created and operate programs that improve health outcomes and access to care for those at risk. These programs share a number of characteristics: they are designed to meet the needs of the patient, not the provider; they are based in the community, not in the AMC; they bring services to people's homes, schools, and neighborhoods; they are multidisciplinary, combining health, social, and even mental health services; and, once established, they are revenue-generating and can be made self-supporting when grant funding ends. These programs are also innovative. They are designed to model and test new ways of organizing and delivering care. Preliminary indications suggest that they also strengthen the AMC's relationships with the surrounding community.
Michener, JL; Champagne, MT; Yaggy, D; Yaggy, SD; Krause, KM
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