Primary Care Collaborative Presents Barbara Starfield Primary Care Leadership Award

One of three annual awards for excellence in the field

The Primary Care Collaborative (PCC) announced today the recipient one of its three annual awards for 2021. The awards recognize individuals and a practice in the primary care community that exemplify excellence in providing high-value primary care and shaping the policies that support such care. The award was presented during the PCC’s online working summit, being held Nov. 9 and 10.

“The PCC is very fortunate to be associated with these primary care champions,” said Ann Greiner, PCC’s President and CEO. “We congratulate this year’s honorees and thank them for their contributions to better patient outcomes, reduced health inequities and greater value during these challenging pandemic times.” 

Barbara Starfield Primary Care Leadership Award: Maria Portela Martinez, MD, MPH, Chief of the Family Medicine Section at George Washington University; Medical Director of the George Washington Immediate Primary Care Clinics; and Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine of George Washington University (GW)

The PCC established the Barbara Starfield Award in 2012 to honor Dr. Starfield, recognizing her enduring commitment to the philosophy that all individuals should receive comprehensive, coordinated, and person-focused care. The award is presented to an individual who demonstrates exceptional work toward advancing the goals of primary care and, in particular, a strong commitment to person-focused care. Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, was a Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the founding Director of the Johns Hopkins Primary Care Policy Center, and the Co-Founder of the International Society for Equity in Health. She died in June 2011.

At GW, Dr. Portela works toward expanding the footprint of primary care and family medicine at the university and the Medical Faculty Associates to improve access and quality of care in the community as well as to increase family medicine exposure and mentorship opportunities for students.

Dr. Portela previously worked in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the Health Resources Services Administration, leading efforts to re-envision primary care training. She was an Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity at George Washington University in 2017.

While pursuing medical school training in her home, Puerto Rico, she participated in the development of an assessment for the health and education sectors of President Obama's Task Force in Puerto Rico's Economic Development. Subsequently, she pursued residency training at Duke University and completed the Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard University, where she obtained her master's degree.

“It’s clear that Dr. Portela is passionate about increasing access and quality of healthcare services to marginalized populations and about teaching and mentorship,” said Ann Greiner, PCC’s President and CEO. “Primary care needs these qualities and leadership like hers to reduce health inequities and to better serve all communities.”

Presentation-acceptance video:

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