Barbara Starfield, MD to be first recipient of PCPCC Annual Award

WASHINGTON, DC, April 3, 2012 – The Primary Care Collaborative will honor one of the true luminaries in patient-centered primary care, Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH.At its April 24th Annual Stakeholder’s Meeting, the first PCPCC Annual Award will be given posthumously to Dr. Starfield in recognition of her research on the benefits of primary care in reducing inequities in health, and her enduring commitment to assuring all individuals receive comprehensive, coordinated, person-centered health care in partnership with a trusted primary care clinician.This new annual award, sponsored this year by URAC, will be named for Starfield.

“Her work set the stage for the movement toward improving access to primary care and the mission of the PCPCC ‘to advance an effective and efficient health system built on a strong foundation of primary care and the patient-centered medical home,’” said Marci Nielsen, Ph.D., MPH, PCPCC executive director. “It is only fitting we name this award in her honor."

Starfield was professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health when she died last year at the age of 78. She left a tremendous legacy, some of which is captured in an editorial she wrote not long before her death:“Inequity is built into health systems--especially western health systems that are based on a view of health needs disease-by- disease. [...] It is time that primary care takes leadership in moving medical care where it needs to be: to the care of patients and populations and not the care of diseases. It is not only biologically correct to do so--it is also more effective, more efficient, safer, and more equitable.” – “The hidden inequity in health care,” International Journal for Equity in Health (

Starfield was an accomplished researcher and champion of the need for a strong primary care system in the U.S. and worldwide, and her work led to the development of important methodological tools. She was co-founder and first president of the International Society for Equity in Health, a scientific society devoted to contributing knowledge to assist furtherance of equity in the distribution of health. She served on many government and professional committees, including the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and the American Academy of Pediatrics. She was also a member of the Institute of Medicine and served on its governing council.In recognition of this tremendous legacy, PCPCC is naming the award in her honor. “The PCPCC Barbara Starfield Award” will be granted annually to an individual or organization who has demonstratedexceptional work toward advancing the medical home, and a strong commitment to promoting person-focused care.“Dr. Starfield’s passion for primary care knew neither boundary of nation nor status.

"Through her research and dedication, she influenced health and health care research across the globe” said Alan P. Spielman, president and CEO of URAC. “On behalf of URAC, I am deeply honored to recognize her as the first recipient of the PCPCC Award.

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