The de Beaumont Foundation has announced a $1 million grant to the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University to help develop Public Health and Primary Care Together: A Practical Playbook, an interactive web-based resource for the integration of primary care and public health.

“While there has been conceptual support for and discussion of the integration of primary care and public health, a practical translation with tools and strategies to support efforts to integrate has not been available,” said James Sprague, MD, Chairman and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation. “The Practical Playbook addresses this need.”

In recent years, American health has suffered increasingly from chronic diseases. That shift, coupled with health care cost increases, indicates a need for a new model for health beyond healthcare delivery in the United States. In 2012, the Institute of Medicine published Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health. According to this report, the traditional division between public health and primary care has hindered efforts to improve population health. By increasing collaboration between the public health and primary care sectors, individuals can receive the resources and services they need through effective and engaged community-based systems. Public Health and Primary Care Together: A Practical Playbook will offer a comprehensive and practical approach to that goal and promises improvement in population health by transforming the relationship between the public health and primary care sectors.

The concept of the Playbook was developed with Duke University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the de Beaumont Foundation. This is the first grant the Foundation has made to the university.

“This project has the potential to improve the health of diverse populations by improving the ability of primary care and public health to partner in improving the health of the communities they both serve,” said J. Lloyd Michener, MD, Chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University & Director of the Duke Center for Community Research. Dr. Michener will serve as the project’s principal investigator. Denise Koo, MD, MPH, Director of Scientific Education and Professional Development at the CDC, commented, “Our public health and our health care partners are equally eager to get hold of this playbook so they can synergize their efforts caring for communities.”

Public Health and Primary Care Together: A Practical Playbook will be developed over two years, with the second year devoted to broad implementation.

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