As a result of these studies, the Pediatric Care Center routinely collects and reports data on continuity of care for all patients, and it uses the alert system. The Washington State Medicaid office now requires disease-management vendors to target improving continuity of care for chronic disease patients.
"The Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program was formative. I owe an enormous amount of my success to the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, both the Clinical Scholars Program and the Generalist Faculty Scholars Program," said Christakis, who was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, and is now the George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington and director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
He noted that the Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program provided him with protected time for research, outstanding mentorship and a cadre of supportive colleagues who are still part of his network.
After completing the program, Christakis received a $2.4-million grant (2002–06) from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to evaluate the Parent Initiated Prevention Program (My Healthy Child), a Web-based program that helps parents prepare for well-child visits. Christakis said that his research on continuity of care helped him get this grant.
Christakis is also an associate editor of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Health Services Organization and Delivery study section.
RWJF Perspective: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established the Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program to create a cadre of respected generalist leaders in medical schools who would be in a position to influence curriculum, admissions and scholarship. Junior faculty in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics conducted research and built their careers under the guidance of mentors.
"Given the shortage of primary care physicians, we need innovative approaches to encourage medical students to choose careers in generalist fields. The Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program was designed to emphasize a scholarly foundation for generalism and improve the quality of the education provided to students who choose this important career path," said Pamela S. Dickson, MBA, assistant vice president of RWJF’s Health Care Group.
When the program ended in 2008, RWJF created the Robert Wood Johnson Physician Faculty Scholars Program to strengthen the leadership and academic productivity of junior medical school faculty who are dedicated to improving health and health care. It is open not only to generalists, but all physicians.