Russell Phillips

Russell S. Phillips, MD, is Director of the Center for Primary Care and the William Applebaum Professor of Medicine and Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a devoted primary care general internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center(BIDMC) where he cares for more than 250 patients, many of whom he has known for more than 20 years. Within the Center, he leads programs that are transforming education and care systems, developing entirely new approaches to improving primary care and health, and performing research on high performing health systems and practices, and the impact of changes in payment and primary care practice structure on the finances of primary care practices.

In his prior work at BIDMC, which included serving as Chief of the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care for a decade, he led a task force to improve transitions in care, a working group to develop new sustainable practice models for primary care, and a task force to develop strategies for care management for high-risk patients. At the state level, he served on the Massachusetts Coordinating Council on the PCMH. He has championed palliative care services in primary care, wellness programs and innovations to improve quality of life for patients with chronic illness.

A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University School of Medicine, he has held leadership roles in the Society of General Internal Medicine, serving as Chairperson of the Research Committee in the past, and is past president of the Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine. Currently, he is co-chairing an effort among the primary care societies to bring together the primary care disciplines to consider ways to address burnout in primary care and to join forces in advocacy for primary care.

With more than 240 publications, his research has spanned disparities in care, screening for infection in office practice, patient safety, end of life care, and interventions to improve care for patients with chronic disease. He has been recognized for his excellence in mentorship by the HMS Barger Award. He led the Harvard General Medicine Fellowship Program for nearly 15 years, and the Harvard Research Fellowship Program in Integrative Medical Therapies for 12 years. He held a Mid-Career Mentorship Award (K24) from the NIH to support his mentoring activities. He has mentored more than 50 trainees, most of whom have gone on to successful careers as investigators and leaders in general medicine.

In his role as Center Director, he has authored 15 papers, reviews, and book chapters with a focus on the use of learning collaboratives to transform primary care, the impact of community health workers on resource use, and the impact of changes in primary care practice and payment on the finances of primary care practice.

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