AAFP jumps into American healthcare fray

WASHINGTON: The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has begun a major branding campaign in an effort to position the organization firmly into the ongoing debate on the future of the nation's healthcare system.

WASHINGTON: The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has begun a major branding campaign in an effort to position the organization firmly into the ongoing debate on the future of the nation's healthcare system.

In addition to a multi-million dollar advertising campaign, the AAFP has unveiled a new logo and joined a coalition of business leaders, policymakers, and primary care physicians called the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC).

The PCPCC effort is intended to emphasize the importance of family medicine in the national healthcare debate, attempting to communicate that a patient-centered approach leads to improved disease prevention, better coordinated care, and a healthier public, as well as decreased costs.

Last month, the PCPCC ran a call-to-action summit in Washington, bringing together a range of leaders to speak on the issue. Participants at the summit agreed to use a set of criteria that will allow primary care practices to be recognized as patient centered medical homes. Other PCPCC members include the American Osteopathic Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Physicians

“It was a huge success, but it's just the start. We're not going to ride on that success,” said Cynthia Stapp, AAFP director of PR. “There were many other organizations involved, and I think it brought to the fore, our dysfunctional healthcare system. We are all in agreement that this is the type of system we need.”

The New York Times covered the summit, running a piece on the front of its business section, Stapp noted.

Stapp said communications efforts following the summit have focused on reaching out to the organization's chapters across the country, ensuring they have the materials to conduct local outreach.

“We've long been seen as a strong, steady organization,” Stapp said. “We're ready to be a little bit evolutionary now.”

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