In Washington state, an Accountable Community of Health (ACH) is a state-recognized, cross-sectional, multi-stakeholder coalition working together to improve population health in a defined geographic region. The structure of Washington ACHs varies, but they typically include several opportunities for engagement with family physicians. These opportunities include participation on boards of directors, committees and workgroups. Some of these groups are developing programs that may have a significant impact on family doctors and their patients.
The WAFP has become aware that, while there has been some participation of family doctors in the activities of some ACHs, engagement with family doctors has been variable. Further, reports have suggested that family physicians engaged with ACHs disproportionately represent individuals whose participation is underwritten by their large health system or health plan employers. The voice of practicing family doctors and those in small systems and in rural locations seems to be under-represented. The WAFP asked the Washington Academy of Family Physicians Foundation (WAFPF) to consider development of programs to support greater participation of Washington family physicians in ACH activities in service of the WAFP and WAFPF’s missions to promote the health of Washington residents.
In response to this request, the WAFPF has created an award intended to recognize the volunteer effort of Washington family physician participation in ACH activities, particularly during workday meetings that require them to leave their clinical practices or to add to their already busy schedules.
To be eligible, participants must be current WAFP members; have at least 16 hours of clinical care per week during a typical week; and not otherwise be compensated by their employer for participating or have their participation be a reasonably expected accountability of their current position.
Members who are selected to receive the stipend are expected to submit brief reports on their ACH participation to the Foundation every six months, beginning at their notification of being awarded. Members are further expected to share their experiences at local chapter meetings or with relevant WAFP committees, as availability permits.
Funding decisions will be made solely by the WAFP Foundation’s Scholarship and Awards Committee.