Annual Blueprint for Health Conference to focus on “Primary Care Transformation”

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2008
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The fifth annual Vermont Blueprint for Health Conference will highlight the transformation underway in Vermont from standard care delivery to the creation of a patient-centered approach.

Presented by the Department of Health and the University of Vermont College of Medicine, the conference will be held on Tuesday, March 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center.

Vermont’s new approach to healthcare is changing the way primary care providers operate their practices. Vermont is one of the few states in the nation that is pushing forward, through the Blueprint for Health, comprehensive health reform toward a patient-centered “medical home” model of care. At its core, the “medical home” is an ongoing partnership between each person and a specially trained primary care physician.

“This new model offers patients well-coordinated care that leverages health information technology tools, enhances self-management, and is closely aligned with chronic care prevention efforts,” said Craig Jones, MD, director of the Vermont Blueprint for Health. “The Blueprint for Health involves sweeping health reform and this conference provides us with an opportunity to bring the key stakeholders together, share successes, review progress and refine our plan.”

Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN, will provide opening remarks at the conference at 8:30 a.m.

The “medical home” model is recommended by leading medical organizations such as The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the American College of Physicians (ACP).

Initiated by Gov. Jim Douglas, the Vermont Blueprint for Health is a public-private partnership aimed at improving health and health care for people living with chronic conditions.

The overall goal of the Blueprint for Health is to reduce the health and economic impact of the most common chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Chronic conditions are the leading cause of illness, disability and death, and touch the lives of most Vermonters. Fifty-five percent of adult Vermonters have a chronic disease or condition. Eighty-eight percent of the state’s population over the age of 65 suffers from one or more chronic conditions.

Nationally distinguished health experts including Paul E. Jarris, MD, executive director for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASHTO) will speak at this year's conference. Dr. Jarris is a former commissioner of the Vermont Department of Health.

Thomas S. Bodenheimer, MD, adjunct professor for the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California at San Francisco; and Russell P. Tracy, PhD, Senior Associate Dean for Research & Academic Affairs at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, will also speak at the event.

Registration will be available on-site the day of the conference and costs. $50 for general admission, $75 for nurses (with CEUs) and $125 for physicians (with CMEs).

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