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What is Health is Primary?

Our health care system is at a tipping point. During the last decade, we have seen a major transformation, from the development of patient-centered medical homes to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now that health care reform is underway, family physicians across the country are ready to harness the renewed focus on prevention, population health, and reducing health disparities to build a robust primary care infrastructure that reflects the values of family medicine and puts patients at the center of care.


Health is Primary is a communications campaign to advocate for the values of family medicine, demonstrate the benefits of primary care, and engage patients in our health care system. The aim is to build a primary care system that reflects the values of family medicine, puts patients at the center of their care, and improves the health of all Americans.


Family Medicine for America's Health, a collaboration among the eight leading family medicine organizations in the United States, launched the campaign to help strengthen the primary care infrastructure and make America healthier.


Health is Primary is a place where:

  • Doctors and patients work together in true partnership;
  • Doctors have long-term relationships with their patients and see and treat the whole person;
  • Technology supports and fosters the connection between doctors and patients;
  • Everyone has access to a primary care home where most, if not all, of their health needs can be met and a coordinated medical neighborhood that provides additional care when needed;
  • Prevention and health promotion are as important as treating disease;
  • Doctors are working in partnership with community leaders to address individual and population health;
  • Health disparities are reduced by increasing access to primary care; and,
  • Financial incentives line up with good care and better health outcomes.



What Does Health Is Primary Do?

Primary care is the cornerstone of health and health care in America. A strong primary care system is essential to enhancing the value and improving the quality of health care American’s receive. Evidence shows that access to primary care can help us live longer, healthier lives. Through enduring partnerships, family physicians can help patients prevent, understand, and manage illness, navigate the health system and set health goals.


The Health Is Primary campaign provides specific tools to increase collaboration between patients and doctors on important health issues, including smoking prevention and cessation, nutrition and fitness, immunizations, and chronic disease management. The campaign also engages local stakeholders across the country – patients, employers and policymakers – to accelerate collaboration and expand access to true primary care. The goal is to arm patients with information that will help them understand what primary care is and how to get the most from their medical home.


The campaign also travels around the country to showcase examples of how true primary care works. The goal is to use these stops to bring together local stakeholders—patients, employers, and policymakers— to look at community-level interventions that are working to enhance and expand primary care and improve health. In 2016 and 2017, Health is Primary will be collecting local stories of innovation and transformation, with a focus on the following markets: California, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Arizona, Minnesota, Mississippi and Rhode Island. The campaign will highlight stories from these and other markets in national events and outreach with patients, payers, policymakers and purchasers. Our aim is to continue to build awareness about the value of primary care and the important role of primary care in improving the health of our nation. 

Across the country, primary care teams are transforming health care. Individuals and companies across the country are building on major shifts in our system to deliver better care, better health at lower costs.


How Can Physicians Get Involved?

  1. Join the campaign by signing up for regular updates
  2. Follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook. Retweet and Share campaign communications. Promote the campaign on social media: @healthisprimary#MakeHealthPrimary
  3. Download the 2017 desktop calendar for weekly and monthly reminders about how you can be a champion for primary care.
  4. Post a link to on your website using the website badges here.
  5. Wear your favorite campaign message on a t-shirt and spread the word about the value of primary care.
  6. Print campaign posters and hang them in your office waiting room. There are two versions—one with Health is Primary logo only and a customizable version that allows you to add your practice name and logo.
  7. Share Health is Primary patient information sheets with your patients. They are available in English and Spanish.
  8. Volunteer to give a presentation in your community—to local employers, news media or patient advocacy groups—about the importance of a strong primary care foundation. Use the campaign video in your presentation.
  9. Share your story with the campaign.
  10. Sign up to be part of coordinated Health is Primary activities during Primary Care Week. Email to be notified about plans and tools to #MakeHealthPrimary during the Primary Care Week in October.


Beyond a media campaign, how do family physicians plan to deliver on their campaign promise to make health primary?

The Health is Primary communications campaign coincides with a five-year strategic implementation effort by Family Medicine for America’s Health, which will work simultaneously to transform the specialty and deliver on the promise of primary care. The strategic effort will focus on shifting to comprehensive primary care payment, furthering the evolution of the patient-centered medical home, advancing the use of technology, and ensuring a strong primary care workforce.


Health Is Primary Resources

Physician Resources

Student & Resident Resources

Patient Resources