Patient Care | MSE | Residency | Network | Research | Sports Med | MEDEX | Palliative Care
  April, 2016


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 Advancement News
UW alumni Jack (BA, ’61) and Luellen (BFA, ’66) Charneski of Olympia have made a generous gift to support Dr. Kimberly Harmon’s platelet-rich plasma research (PRP). Read more here...


 DFM in the News

Jonathon Drezner quoted in article, “What’s the difference between heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest?” and gave talk “The facts about sudden cardiac arrest.”

 Hails & Farewells
Dr. Maestas’ role will be as the primary Student Affairs dean for 1st and 2nd year students in Seattle, and she will provide student support similar to that provided by Foundations Deans in the region.
Congratulations, Dr. Maestas!
In this new role, Fitzpatrick will oversee the Office of Student Affairs, guide curriculum changes, and build partnerships across UW and the community.

In January, Don Kumpula left his position as a Fiscal Specialist in the Research Section to take an Accounting Supervisor role at Green River Community College. 

Elizabeth Witwer, MPH, joined the Research Section as a Research Scientist in February to work on collaborations with the WWAMI region Practice and Research Network (WPRN). 

Jennifer Ames, joined the Family Medicine Residency Network as the new Continuing Education Coordinator in March. She is replacing Tiffany Hou in this role as Tiffany assumes her new roles as FMRN Technology Strategist. Jennifer comes to us from the School of Public Health. 
 On the Calendar
Department Fair
April 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm   Each year the Department of Family Medicine holds a Department Fair. This Fair is an opportunity for each of us across all sections and roles to come together to share our work and accomplishments in a supportive and collegial forum.

Sports Medicine Grand Rounds
4th Wednesdays of Each Month
Husky Football Team Room, Hec Edmunson Pavillion
7:15 AM 8:45 AM

Family Medicine Grand Rounds
First Wednesday of every month
12:00 - 1:00pm
Northgate Classroom
331 NE Thornton Place, Seattle, 98125
View a listing of our most recent publications & presentations here
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Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Spring Newsletter from the Department of Family Medicine! With the help of our fabulous tech team (thanks Amy Clark, Wes Fitch, Rachele Cathey, and Eric Tobiason!), we have revamped our Newsletter and hope that you like our new format. The breadth and depth of news, events, awards, and scholarship from my colleagues in the Department and across the WWAMI region are remarkable. We are proud that UW was recognized in the recent US News and World Report rankings as #1 for Primary Care, Family Medicine and Rural Health this year. This reflects a huge amount of continued work by our clinicians, teachers, researchers, and staff in the Department and our many WWAMI colleagues so a big THANK YOU! This year we are also pleased that 16.3% of our UW students matched into Family Medicine residency programs (almost double the national rate of just 8.6%), most will be staying in the WWAMI region. I am currently Interim Chair, and you will be pleased to know that the search process for a new Chair to replace Dr. Tom Norris is well underway, with several interested candidates. Meanwhile, any feedback or suggestions for our new format Newsletter please let me know!

With best wishes!

Matthew Thompson
Helen D. Cohen endowed Professor
Interim Chair, Department of Family Medicine

Department Highlights

Welcome Residency Class of 2019!
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Sharon Dobie, MD, UW Professor of Family Medicine, will receive the 2016 STFM Gold Humanism Award.  This important award recognizes Sharon's work in humanistic medicine and relationship-centered care. The award will be presented on Monday, May 2 at the Awards Program at the STFM Annual Spring Meeting in Minneapolis. Please join us in congratulating Sharon on this outstanding accomplishment.  

UW assistant professor of Family Medicine Allison Cole, surveyed 211 patients and interviewed 21 doctors, dietitians and other health care providers about their expectations for how patients’ self-tracking data should be shared and used. Read more here…
New MEDEX Magazine Launches!

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The MEDEX Communications team has put together a brand new format to showcase stories from around the region featuring students, faculty, and staff. Check it out!


Awards & Recognition
FM Clerkship Teaching Awards

FM Clerkship Awards 2016

Each year, our clerkship honors the teaching faculty who are deemed "best of the best" based on student evaluations. FM Clerkship has over 600 teaching faculty and we honor the top 4 to 5 of them each year. Our criteria this year included having at least four student evaluations and scoring at least 5.9 (out of 6) on "overall teaching effectiveness". This process yielded over 30 eligible faculty and the list was further narrowed based on scores in other evaluation categories as well as strength of student comments. All of our winners scored 6 (out of 6) in almost all evaluation categories. Karla Pratt, the Executive Vice President of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP), was our guest of honor for the teaching awards. The winners for the 2014-15 academic year are:
Philip Reilly, MD (SeaMar Community Health Center, Seattle WA)
Nan Smith, MD (GHC, Spokane WA)
Todd Bergland, MD (Whitefish, MT) and
Kevin Wang, MD (Swedish First Hill, Seattle WA)


Congratulations to James Fausto for being recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. This distinction is one of the highest honors the Academy can bestow on a physician. This honor is achieved by physicians whose professional activity is devoted to the practice of hospice and palliative medicine.


Section Updates


The 2016 GME Summit was held in Spokane, Washington from Wednesday, March 30, through Friday, April 1, at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park. The Network was well represented among the presenters speaking on key issues in graduate medical education in the region.


The WWAMI Rural Health Research Center debuted its new website, modeled after the Department’s website and including enhanced functionality for users to quickly search for research studies, publications, and presentations of interest. Click to view the new site

The Center for Health Workforce Studies is excited to announce the promotion of Cyndy Snyder to the rank of Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine Research Section. Susan Skillman, CHWS Deputy Director, co-organized the Northwest Rural Health Conference that took place in Spokane, WA in March 16-17, 2016. Bianca Frogner, CHWS Director, authored an Institute of Medicine (IOM) Consensus Study Report titled, “A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health,” released on March 7, 2016. Davis Patterson, CHWS Investigator, was recently awarded a new contract from the Washington Dental Service Foundation to examine the oral health workforce in the state of Washington. Learn more on the CHWS website.

The WWAMI region Practice and Research Network (WPRN) held a lively 2016 annual meeting on March 2nd, in Seattle, WA, gathering 24 representatives from WPRN member organizations across 5 states with colleagues from the Institute of Translational Health Sciences, UW Department of Family Medicine, and Group Health Research Institute. Among the highlights of the day were a poster session presented by clinical site champions, and a keynote address and small group exercise: “Patient Voices: Creating Community Engaged Practices,” led by Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD, Director of Community Engagement for the SUNY Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center, and Pamela Harold, patient ambassador from the Patient Voices Network.



Joint Commission Advanced Palliative Care Certification for All UW Medicine Hospitals – first in the nation!

March 22-25, 2016, all 4 hospitals of UW Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC), Northwest Hospital, Valley Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center became the first health system in the country to have all of its hospitals achieve Joint Commission Advanced Palliative Care (PC) Certification. Read more on the PC website.

Palliative Care Faculty attend Annual American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine / Hospice and Palliative Medicine Assembly in Chicago, IL, in February 2016.

Dr. Melissa Bender in the DFM and section of PC presented a session, and Lu Marchand, MD presented a poster on “Existential suffering in advance cancer: the buffering effects of narrative” with Meg Wise, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin. Read more highlights on the PC website. 



Jon Drezner will be serving as:

  • Co-Chair, AMSSM Cardiac Task Force, 2015-16
  • Co-Chair, Collaborative Solutions for Safety in Sports, co-sponsored by the NATA and AMSSM. Indianapolis, IN, March 22-23, 2016

The collaborative solutions for safety in sports had representatives from every high school state association to discuss ways to keep high school athletes safe.

Jon Drezner and the rest of the sports medicine team will be featured as they explore the controversy of how to best do cardiovascular screening in sports.

Kim Harmon gave 5 lectures at the Winter Sports Summit in Park City, UT in March.
Kim was also featured on KOMO radio discussing cardiac screening.


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