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Relevance of Primary Care and Specialty Care


Renowned Health Services Researcher to Speak on Relevance of Primary Care and Specialty Care for the Inland Empire

In free lecture at UCR, Barbara Starfield also will address opportunity for a new medical school to train physicians

(March 27, 2006)

Barbara Starfield, M.D., M.P.H., University Distinguished Service Professor with appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, is the fifth speaker in

Barbara Starfield, M.D., M.P.H., University Distinguished Service Professor with appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, is the fifth speaker in "The Design of New Medical Schools in the 21st Century" seminar series. She will speak at UCR on April 3.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Barbara Starfield, a physician and health services researcher internationally known for her work in primary care, will give a lecture at UC Riverside that addresses why primary care and specialty care are of relevance particularly for the Inland Empire.

Her lecture, entitled “Primary care and specialty care: Relevance for the Inland Empire,” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 3, in room E, UC Riverside Extension, 1200 University Avenue, Riverside, Calif. The presentation is free and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come basis.

“Health in the United States is poor relative to other comparable nations despite costs that are much higher than elsewhere and more than double that in many countries,” said Dr. Starfield, M.D., M.P.H., who is a University Distinguished Professor with appointments in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Public Health and Medicine. “To a large extent, this is a result of a very inefficient, inequitable, and often ineffective health system. One manifestation of the failure to plan adequately to meet population health needs is the overspecialization of the physician workforce, despite evidence of the health-enhancing effects of a health system organized about a strong primary care base, buttressed by a coordinated system of specialty services.

“A new medical campus, based in a suburban/rural area, has a unusual opportunity to demonstrate what can be accomplished by developing and testing new pathways for the training of physicians and other health personnel to face the challenges of meeting population health needs in a more rational and knowledge-producing manner.”

Dr. Starfield’s books, Primary Care: Concept, Evaluation, and Policy and Primary Care: Balancing Health Needs, Services, and Technology, are widely recognized as the seminal works in the primary care field. Her research focuses on quality of care, health status assessment, primary care evaluation, and equity in health.

Currently, the Inland Empire has the lowest number of primary care and specialist physicians per 100,000 in California. Moreover, only a quarter of California’s physicians are trained in the state.

A UC Riverside School of Medicine, if approved, would help serve a medically underserved region in California and increase the number of physicians in the state. It will be the first research-based medical school in California in 40 years and the first new medical school in the United States in the 21st century.

Already, the campus has faculty conducting research in health-related fields, with additional faculty positions in health/biomedical research committed by 2010; furthermore, the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences provides the first two years of medical school.

Physicians attending Dr. Starfield’s lecture may report one hour of Category 1 credit toward the California Medical Association's Certificate in Continuing Medical Education and the American Medical Association's Physician's Recognition Award. Through the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences and UC Riverside Extension, UCR provides CMA-accredited continuing medical education to physicians through seminars, conferences and courses.

Nurses attending the lecture may receive California Board of Registered Nursing continuing education credit. The presentation is approved for BRN continuing education credit for one contact hour.

Dr. Starfield’s lecture is presented by UCR’s Health Sciences Initiative under the banner “The Design of New Medical Schools in the 21st Century.” For additional information on the lecture, please call Eppi Azzaretto at 951-827-4334 or email eppi.azzaretto@ucr.edu. For information on other speakers in the seminar series, visit www.ucr.edu.

About Barbara Starfield:
Dr. Starfield is University Distinguished Service Professor with appointments in the Departments of Health Policy and Management and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University Schools of Public Health and Medicine. She is also the director of the Johns Hopkins University Primary Care Policy Center. Dr. Starfield’s overriding concern is understanding the impact of health services on health, especially with regard to the relative contributions of primary care and specialty care on reducing inequities in health. Her focus is both on clinical care and on services to populations as well as the inter-relationships between the two. Trained in Pediatrics and Epidemiology, she devotes her energies to health services research and its translation into health policy at the national, state and local levels. Her specific research interests are in primary care measurement, the relationship between the processes and outcomes of health care, quality of care, health status measurement (particularly for adolescents and children), and child health policy.

Dr. Starfield is a member of the Institute of Medicine. She is the recipient of numerous national awards, most recently including the first Pew Primary Care Research Award (1994), the Distinguished Investigator Award of the Association for Health Services Research (1995), and the American Public Health Association’s Martha May Eliot Award (1995). Dr. Starfield was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners (UK) in 2000 and received the Ambulatory Pediatric Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002; in 2004, she was awarded the Baxter International Foundation Prize for Health Services Research.

Dr. Starfield’s work has involved the development of methods to measure primary care, health status in children, and ambulatory case-mix. Her book Effectiveness of Medical Care: Validating Clinical Wisdom summarizes what is known about the impact of access to care on children's health; it focuses heavily on the problems of access for low-income children and the effect of the Medicaid program on access and health. Her book entitled Primary Care: Concept, Evaluation, and Policy (Oxford University Press, 1992) summarizes what is known about the impact of primary care within a health services system as well as an approach that is useful for examining the extent of primary care in populations and in clinical facilities. Her 1998 book, Primary Care: Balancing Health Needs, Services, and Technology provides innovative methods to evaluate the attainment and contributions of primary systems and practitioners. It complements the earlier book by highlighting two additional areas: equity in health services and health, and overlap between clinical medicine and public health. It provides an important basis for future directions in health policy.

Dr. Starfield's work in developing a method to measure ambulatory case mix has applications for both management and research since it provides a basis for prospective payment and a means of standardizing or controlling for differences in patient's health status in administrative and research efforts.

Dr. Starfield was the co-founder and first President of the International Society for Equity in Health, a scientific society devoted to contributing knowledge to assist in the furtherance of equity in the distribution of health.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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