Patient Care | MSE | Residency | Network | Research | Sports Med | MEDEX | Palliative Care
  January, 2017


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We are happy to report that as of January 2017, the Farber Professorship has reached full funding, surpassing the goal of $500,000. Special thanks to the many family and friends who made this possible.


Kim Harmon receives a generous donation for continued platelet-rich plasma (PRP) research from Jack and Luellen Charneski of Olympia

 DFM in the News
Bianca Frogner helps organize "Training the Future Child Healthcare Workforce to Improve Behavioral Health Outcomes for Children, Youth and Families" NASEM workshop
UWFM Researchers attend 2016 NAPCRG Meeting
The Rural Health Research Centers are featured in this history of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.
Washington Behavioral Health Workforce Assessment presented to the Legislature by McCarty, Skillman and Gattman
RUOP Preceptor Dr. Glenn Jefferson featured in Seattle Times article on living his goal of medical care for the needy at Snake River Community Clinic
UWFM's Dr. Christopher Sanford and #uwabx Dr. Paul Pottinger weigh in on the dangers of misinformation
 Hails & Farewells

Ignacio Sunkel was hired as Research Section Budget/Fiscal Analyst effective 1/3/17, He replaces Niki Koumoutsos, who left her position 10/31/16.

In December and January, the Research Section also hired several new staff to support our increasing grants portfolio: Michele Patience Staal took on the position of Director of Communications and Marketing for RuralPREP and the Web Portal project.

Andrea Corage Baden is a new Research Scientist supporting the Web Portal and RuralPREP grants.

Juan Pablo Paredes started as Program Coordinator for the CHWS and RuralPREP grants.

Jay Chohan was hired 12/3/2016 to replace Val Pruitt as the Assistant Director for Finance and Administration.  Val Pruitt retired effective 11/1/2016.

Michelle Madeen, the Program Coordinator in the MEDEX Spokane office accepted the position of Clinical Administrator, Program Operations with the School of Medicine in Spokane.  

Heidi Elder, who was the Program Assistant, accepted the position of Program Coordinator in MEDEX Spokane effective 12/1/2016. 

Mark Padillo was hired 12/5/2016 to replace Seo Song as the Residency’s Program Assistant.  Seo was promoted in October to the Residency’s HMC Administrator, Program Operations position.

 On the Calendar
4th Wednesday each month
Husky Football Team Room, Hec Edmundson Pavillion
7:15 - 8:45 a.m

Family Medicine Grand Rounds
First Wednesday of each month
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Northgate Classroom
331 NE Thornton Place, Seattle, 98125

Thursday, January 26, 2017
11:00am - 12pm noon
View a listing of our most recent publications & presentations here
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Message from the Chair

The New Year brings changes for our Department and country.

First, a very warm welcome to Dr Paul James from the University of Iowa, who will be filling the position of Chair starting April 1st. I know that he is very enthusiastic about his move to UW, and I am confident that the Department will be in excellent hands going forward!

Among the news and updates in the newsletter, you can read about an innovative new training program on homelessness, the very high ranking that our medical students give their Family Medicine clinical experiences, and the news that the Farber Endowed Professorship in Palliative Care reached full funding. Faculty and staff have also been busy with scholarly work I counted over 30 publications and nearly as many conference presentations just since November - wow!

Undoubtedly the biggest news this week is the change in the White House. I know many of our patients are worried about the ways in which our health care system may change, particularly with repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In an opinion piece in the Seattle Times, Dr Chris Sanford draws attention to some worrying statements made by the incoming President about vaccines and science. As the late Senator Daniel Moynihan once said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts”. Similarly, our patients, students, colleagues and communities are going to need see how some of the very hurtful statements/comments/tweets we have heard in this last year, will translate into actions and policies that ensure that all members of our communities feel safe, respected and welcome.

Finally, I have been privileged to act as the Interim Chair this past year, and I look forward to working with you back in my role as Vice Chair for Research!

With best wishes!

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

Department Highlights

Welcome to our new Department of Family Medicine Chair!

pauljames.pngPaul James, MD is currently professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Iowa. He was raised in rural North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his baccalaureate and medical degrees. He completed his Family Medicine residency training at the University of Virginia Hospitals in Charlottesville, Virginia and practiced family medicine in rural eastern North Carolina.

He was recruited to SUNY at Buffalo, NY in 1992 where he completed a faculty development fellowship in Rural Health. While there, Dr. James began the Upstate NY practice-based research network. In 2001 Dr. James was recruited to Iowa as the first Iowa Academy of Family Physicians Endowed Chair in Rural Medicine and founded the Iowa Research Network (IRENE). In 2005 he became Chairman/Executive Officer of the Department and in 2010 was named the Donald J and Anna M Ottilie Endowed Chair of Family Medicine.

Dr. James brings expertise to the UW Department of Family Medicine in several areas including rural medicine, ambulatory medical education, practice-based research, and measurement of health care quality for patients with cardiovascular diseases and team-based care through pharmacist-physician collaboration.

Homelessness in Seattle: An Interprofessional Training Opportunity for Students in the Health Professions.

Tent-City.jpegIn December 2016, Tent City 3 took up occupancy on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle.

The group is a democratically organized, self-managed community that operates with a strict code of conduct requiring sobriety, nonviolence, cooperation and participation. Tent City 3 relocates every 90 days to church or public lands.

While on the UW campus during the first three months of 2017, Tent City 3 has agreed to participate in health outreach efforts by students from the six different Health Science departments at the University, including MEDEX.

Experienced providers and individuals who have experienced homelessness will engage students with real-life social justice issues such as racism, mass incarceration, housing, socio-economics and its impacts. We will also examine how the healthcare system responds and doesn’t respond. Read more about the course here.

UW Medical Students rate Family Medicine clinical experiences very highly

aamclogoblue-data.jpgUWSOM students continue to rate the FM clinical experiences very highly. 76.6 % (Compared to 51.8 % nationally) of our students rated the quality of FM clinical educational experience as Excellent in 2016, according to an AAMC graduation questionnaire. Family Medicine also continues to do well with observing students, providing feedback, and effectiveness of faculty and resident teaching.

Looking at factors influencing specialty choice, things that stand out are fit with personality/interests/skills, content of specialty, work life balance, and role model influence. It is critical that we continue to have high visibility within the UWSOM curriculum as well as representation and engagement with Admissions Committees. Also worth noting is that almost half (47% compared to 29% nationally) of Family Medicine students definitely plan to care primarily for an underserved population. It makes good sense to strengthen our existing programs (e.g Underserved Pathway, RUOP, TRUST) that help our students achieve their goals, and possibly start new ones.

Thanks to all our staff and faculty based in the MSE Section and across multiple participating clinics in the WWAMI states, who make these excellent achievements possible. Our Family Medicine student experiences are truly outstanding!

John McCarthy, M.D., Named UW School of Medicine Assistant Dean for Rural Programs

jmcarthy.pngWe are very pleased to announce that John McCarthy, M.D. UW School of Medicine Assistant Clinical Dean for central and eastern Washington has been named Assistant Dean for Rural Programs. This is a new position, and is responsible for leading and developing UWSOM’s rural academic programs including the Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program (RUOP), WWAMI Rural Integrated Training Experience (WRITE), and the Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST).

In his new role Dr. McCarthy is tasked with developing and maintaining strong relationships with UWSOM departments, UWSOM faculty, clerkship directors, rural health systems, hospitals and physicians throughout the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) region, and to represent UWSOM in state and national organizations that focus on rural health and medical education. Additionally, Dr. McCarthy will be responsible for leading the WWAMI Area Health Education Center (AHEC), a program to improve the quality and distribution of all health professionals in our region.

All of you who know Dr. McCarthy have witnessed his passion for ensuring that high-quality healthcare is available in rural communities. His experience living, working and practicing medicine in rural communities for many years, and having spent the last eight years as an Assistant Clinical Dean shows he has the breadth and depth of expertise needed to ensure that the rural programs at the UW School of Medicine continue to thrive and grow.

The Healthier Washington, Practice Transformation Support Hub, Web-Based Resource Portal (The Portal) will go live January 31, 2017


UW Family Medicine’s PCI- Lab partnered with the Washington State Department of Health’s new Practice Transformation Support HUB to create an online clearinghouse of curated and vetted trainings, resources and other tools for Washington practices to move from volume-based to value-based payment structures.

The Portal contains content and resources to help integrate primary health care with behavioral health, (mental health, as well as substance abuse disorders). The effort focuses on small- to medium-sized primary care practices, community mental health, and substance abuse treatment centers.

It will provide clinical-community linkages and engender patient engagement in practice transformation in order to promote a team-based approach to medical care.

The effort is funded by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), the Health Care Authority (HCA), and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI).

Awards & Recognition


Members of the Farber family and supporters of the Stuart J. Farber, M.D. and Annalu Farber Endowed Professorship in Palliative Care Education attended an art dedication on November 30 in honor of the late Dr. Stu Farber. Dr. Lu Marchand, holder of the Farber Fellowship, and several colleagues from the Department of Family Medicine and others celebrated the artwork and its representation of Dr. Farber’s life and work. The artwork, Stu’s Sunrise, by Dr. Josh Benditt, resides in the UW Surgery Pavilion on the 2nd floor. We are also pleased to report that as of January 2017, the Farber Professorship has reached full funding, surpassing the goal of $500,000. Special thanks to the family and friends who made this possible. 

Photo caption:Saul Farber, Dr. Josh Benditt, artist and medical director of Respiratory Services at UW Medical Center, and Annalu Farber.

Section Updates


The UWDFM Residency program completed their 2016-7 applicant interviews this month.

We interviewed a total of 141 senior medical students from 73 different medical schools. Overall our applicants really enjoyed our new approach to interview day, modeling small group learning to facilitate great interactions between applicants, faculty and staff.

WWAMI Network

Help Desk Answers
Chris Vincent, MD, is the Evidence Based Medicine Faculty Lead for the Network section. He has been working in collaboration with the Family Physicians Inquiries Network (FPIN) to bring Help Desk Answers (HDA) workshops to our affiliated WWAMI residency programs. HDAs are a great way for residents to get publication credit, work on evidence-based medicine skills, and meet scholarly research and writing requirements. Dr. Vincent also functions as a HDA editor for the Network programs to make the process more efficient and timely for getting HDAs submitted and approved.

OPP Workshop
In partnership with the Family Medicine Residency Network, Pacific Northwest University is hosting an OPP Introductory Workshop for affiliated WWAMI residency faculty. The workshop travels to our programs, and is designed to foster osteopathic-focused learning environments in residency training programs. The OPP Introductory Workshop is aimed at residency program directors and faculty so that they may develop individual skills in OPP modalities and improve competencies as educators who supervise residents who perform OPP in patient care settings. The workshop is an interactive, hands-on educational activity. Through kinesthetic learning, lecture, and small group discussion, participants experience an enriched learning environment focused on 6 OPP modalities:soft tissue; myofascial release; lymphatics; counterstrain; muscle energy; high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA).

Family Physician Opportunities
The Network recently updated its website for Family Physician openings in the WWAMI region. Job seekers can find open director, faculty, locum and and practice positions. Residents can also search for clinical and research fellowship opportunities. Check out the new Family Physician Opportunities website!

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