PCPCC's Barbara Starfield Award

Recognizing excellence in advancing the medical home and person-focused care

"In its most highly developed form, primary care is the point of entry into the health services system and the locus of responsibility for organizing care for patients and populations over time. There is a universally held belief that the substance of primary care is essentially simple. Nothing could be further from the truth."  - Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH

About Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH

Barbara Starfield 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.  Dr. Starfield was an accomplished researcher who helped to develop several assessment tools, providing the data necessary to fuel changes in public health policy that would bolster primary care services.  She graduated from Swarthmore College in 1954, and went on to earn her medical degree at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center.  In 1959, she began her distinguished career at Johns Hopkins University, which spanned over five decades of research and policy work dedicated to pediatric health, promoting quality primary care, and advancing equity in the distribution of healthcare.  Dr. Starfield passed away in June 2011.

About the Award

The PCPCC established the Barbara Starfield Award in 2012 to honor Dr. Starfield's decades of leadership and advocacy for primary care and its critical role in transforming the health care system. The first award was given to Dr. Starfield posthumously in April 2012, recognizing her enduring commitment to the philosophy that all individuals should receive comprehensive, coordinated, person-focused care.

Beginning in 2013, the award will be presented annually at the PCPCC's Annual Fall Conference to individuals or organizations that demonstrate:

  • Exceptional work toward advancing the goals of the patient-centered medical home, including research, advocacy, and/or programs and strategic initiatives; and
  • A strong commitment to promoting “person-focused care” defined by Dr. Starfield as “based on accumulated knowledge of people, which provides the basis for better recognition of health problems and needs over time and facilitates appropriate care for these needs in the context of other needs.” (Starfield 2011).
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