The Role of FQHCs in Public Health

Over the past several years, there has been increasing attention towards the importance of primary care health systems and workforce in taking into account the factors beyond the walls of clinical practice that influence their patients’ health.

 The social and physical environments in which patients live, work, play, pray, and age, otherwise referred to as the social determinants of health (SDOH), which have historically been addressed through public and population health, are now increasing becoming integrated into primary care clinical workflow, including FQHCs, whose population is disproportionately impacted by adverse SDOH.

Similarly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Weitzman Institute, along with other entities and subsidiaries within the Moses-Weitzman Health System, rose to the occasion of spearheading various activities, from addressing misinformation about the pandemic, including preparing policy briefs and meeting with policymakers across the country, to standing up statewide mass vaccination sites, which have historically fallen under the umbrella of public health.

In 2020, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
re-released a Call to Action to its members about the importance of and urgency for greater integration of primary care and public health. AAFP highlighted several areas of overlap between public health and primary care including, and not limited to, health promotion, chronic disease management, preventive care screenings, care coordination, community engagement, among others.