SMHS-affiliated physicians appointed to the National Quality Forum Workgroup
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—David Schmitz, M.D. (right), professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS), has been appointed the American Academy of Family Physicians’ representative to the National Quality Forum MAP [Measure Applications Partnership] Rural Health Workgroup.
Similarly, SMHS graduate Aaron Garman, M.D., medical director and family practice physician at Coal Country Community Health Center (CCCHC) in Beulah, N.D., has been named co-chair of the NQF workgroup.
Founded in 1999, the National Quality Forum (NQF) is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, membership-based organization that works to catalyze improvements in health care. NQF measures and standards serve as a critically important foundation for initiatives to enhance health care value, make patient care safer, and achieve better outcomes. The federal government, states, and private-sector organizations use NQF’s endorsed measures to evaluate performance and share information with patients and their families.
“As a practicing rural family physician, I am very happy that this workgroup was created,” noted Dr. Garman (right). “Rural health care needs metrics that are easily measurable, practical, and important for rural providers and the patients that they serve.”
According to Dr. Schmitz, NQF-endorsed measures are considered the gold standard for health care measurement in the United States. “As health care continues to move toward improving quality and value, having a rural voice from family physicians will help benefit rural people and our communities, right here in North Dakota and across the country,” he added.
The MAP Rural Health Workgroup, with oversight from the MAP Coordinating Committee, provides recommendations on issues related to measurement challenges in the rural population. Additionally, the Workgroup works to identify a core set of the best available (“rural relevant”) measures and identify rural-relevant gaps in the measurement of health outcomes.
A leader in rural health issues, the UND SMHS houses the nationally renowned Center for Rural Health and typically produces twice the percentage of M.D. graduates entering family medicine—many of whom go on to practice in a rural setting—relative to the national average.
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