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Physicians Foundation seeks medical groups, doctors for new grant-funded projects to address patient drivers of health


Proposals due next month for pilot programs assisting food, housing, safety.

SDOH block letters on books: © Andrey - stock.adobe.com

© Andrey - stock.adobe.com

Financial support is available for projects to assist doctors who want to improve patient well-being by addressing drivers of health (DOH).

The Physicians Foundation is requesting proposals from medical associations to develop support systems for physicians to address drivers of health of their patients. The Foundation will offer one-year grants up to $75,000 for “on-the-ground initiatives that empower physicians to optimize integration of DOH into their practices in a way that enhances patient health and increases value.”

Additionally, the Foundation is seeking applicants for a paid fellowship for an emerging physician leader to “develop and implement a project that supports physicians in their understanding of DOH and integration into medical practices,” according to plans.

“As the U.S. health care system works to address drivers of health, it is imperative to engage the perspectives of individuals who work every day to advance solutions for improved patient care,” Physicians Foundation President Gary Price, MD, MBA, said in a statement. “The fellowship and grant programs empower physicians and medical associations to be leaders in their own communities, while driving progress that can ultimately support physicians and patients everywhere.”

Gary Price, MD, MBA
The Physicians Foundation

Gary Price, MD, MBA
The Physicians Foundation

Drivers of health

The Physicians Foundation’s 2022 survey found 80% of doctors believe the nation cannot improve patient outcomes or reduce health care costs without addressing DOH. Also called social drivers or social determinants of health (SDOH), they include:

  • Food security
  • Housing stability
  • Transportation access
  • Utilities access
  • Interpersonal safety

Those elements are the base of the Foundation’s Let’s Take Five campaign launched in the spring. It’s an effort to raise awareness and integrate evidence-based approaches to address DOH. There are conversation starters and a five-step implementation guide for medical practices.

Associations involved

For the grants, The Physicians Foundation is seeking up to five state or county medical associations who can recruit physicians willing to integrate or enhance DOH screenings and resource recommendations into their practices. Participating doctors must provide feedback and data on the process, with the aim of compiling a guide of social service organizations who can assist patients with DOH.

Proposals are due Sept. 18, with funding decisions by Oct. 31 for a project to start at the beginning of 2024. Applicants must have capacity to commit time and staff to support five practices, with a focus on the smaller practice community.

Leadership needed

The Foundation is recruiting new or early career physicians for the fellowship program. Applicants must have experience or interest in DOH, health policy and equity, and clinical or care delivery innovation.

There will be virtual meetings and full-day commitments with the Foundation’s board of directors. The fellow is expected to spend up to 15 hours a month for project development and implementation.

The project will include counsel from Foundation leaders and collaborating organizations such as The Health Initiative and the Center for the Study of Physician Practice and Leadership at Weill Cornell.

Applications are due Sept. 19.

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