Andrew Bazemore – Community Vital Signs: Achieving Equity through Primary Care Means Checking More than Blood Pressure

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“How do we get the data and the information necessary to address health?”

In this episode, another in a series with speakers from the 2017 second Starfield Summit, we talked with Dr. Andrew Bazemore about how primary care occupies the juncture between public health and health care. Andrew believes achieving health equity necessarily involves harnessing the democratization of data by pairing aggregated population health data to patient data in EHRs. We talked about his vision of Community Vital Signs and the challenges to getting there; the legacy of Sidney Kark, H. Jack Geiger, Gene Farley, and Curtis Hames and how they would drool at modern geographic information systems; how Community Vital Signs could help triage patients and help them achieve better health; and the potential for ecological fallacy in the work.

Andrew Bazemore is a practicing family physician and the Director of the Robert Graham Center, which he joined in 2005. He oversees and participates in the Center’s research with a particular interest in access to care for underserved populations, health workforce & training, and spatial analysis. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications, while leading the Center’s emphasis on developing tools that empower primary care providers, leaders, and policymakers.  He also serves on the faculties of the Departments of Family Medicine at Georgetown University and Virginia Commonwealth University, and in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University School of Public Health. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine(NAM), and appointed member of the federal Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME).

The Starfield Summit brought together leaders in primary care, clinicians, experts, advocates, patients, and community members in 2017 to collaborate in paving paths towards health equity and social accountability. The Summit was primarily sponsored by FMAHealth, OH&SU, and OCHIN.  Stay tuned in upcoming weeks for more speakers from the Starfield Summit.

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This interview was edited lightly for length and clarity.