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Ryan Family Center for Global Primary Care

Our mission is to strengthen the global and local effort to improve global primary health care quality, access, and impact through partnerships and innovations in research, education and service.

As defined by the World Health Organization, primary health care is people, rather than disease, focused care that includes health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.

A primary health care approach includes three components:

  • meeting people’s health needs throughout their lives;
  • addressing the broader determinants of health through multisectoral policy and action;
  • empowering individuals, families and communities to take charge of their own health.

As initially defined at the Declaration of Alma-Ata in 1978 and then revised with the Astana Declaration in 2018, sustainable primary care appropriate for the local context is the cornerstone of achieving health goals. However, over 50% of people worldwide lack access to these essential health services.  In addition, while many programs do focus on health care needs of pregnant women and children, longitudinal care for adults has often not been prioritized.

The Lancet Global Health Commission on quality estimated that more people die from poor quality of, rather than access to health care services, with the undue burden occurring in low and middle income countries (LMICS). Measure of quality of primary health care delivery readiness and delivery show large gaps in meeting the needed 5 “C’s” including first contact, comprehensiveness, coordination and continuity plus care being people-centered. In addition, the growing role of private sector, as well as largely ignored challenges of PHC in urban settings, offers opportunities where innovation is needed.

Quality primary care provides the critical infrastructure needed to anchor all effective health systems. Improving global health on a large scale simply has to start here.”

Robert J. Havey, MD, Deputy Director, Havey Institute for Global Health

Our Mission and Vision

Mission

Our mission is to strengthen the global and local effort to improve primary health care quality, access, and impact on a global scale through partnerships and innovations in research, education and service.

Vision

We aim to utilize an approach that builds on new and existing partnerships that help to identify opportunities for research, training, and capacity building within these institutions. Through our foundation built on collaboration, our vision is to strengthen global primary care approaches and help to bring expertise to the field through building procedures and focus based on landscape review.

Featured Projects

COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Awareness Campaign and Telehealth System in Liberia

COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Awareness Campaign and Telehealth System in Liberia

Northwestern PI: Kara Palamountain

Snapper Hill Clinic is a private health center in Liberia that provides primary care services for ~30,000 patients annually. Snapper Hill is currently the only medical institution in Liberia that is accredited by SafeCare, an international quality healthcare standard.  In partnership with Snapper Hill, and with support and collaboration from Northwestern University, we have developed additional QI at Snapper Hill, which will not only strengthen primary health care but will also build the foundation for QI in primary health care across the country. This will be accomplished by using the funding to implement the following three primary aims: to strengthen and improve the quality of primary care at Snapper Hill, to conduct quarterly case conference virtual Webinars where expert clinicians can consult in topic areas, and to convene a virtual meeting with the Healthcare Federation of Liberia to share learnings and develop proposals to scale up prioritized areas on the SafeCare learning and QI work in Liberia.

Chronic, Non-Communicable Disease in the Dominican Republic

Chronic, Non-Communicable Disease in the Dominican Republic

Northwestern PI: Darren Eblovi

One World Surgery (OWS) is a non-profit organization that provides 1,400 free surgeries per year in the specialties of orthopedics, general surgery, otolaryngology, urology, gynecology, and ophthalmology to patients of low socioeconomic status in rural Honduras. In 2017, the organization initiated preliminary steps toward opening its second center in the Dominican Republic, scheduled to be completed in January 2022. Funding from the project award from the Havey Institute for Global Health will pay the salaries of a local physician and health promoters, plus shipping of donated medications to improve chronic disease control of 300 high-risk patients, which will substantially augment the number of individuals benefiting from this program.

Identifying Effective PHC Service Delivery Models for Integrated Management of Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases in Resource Constrained Settings

Identifying Effective PHC Service Delivery Models for Integrated Management of Non-Communicable Chronic Diseases in Resource Constrained Settings

Northwestern PI: Lisa Hirschhorn

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the leading cause of death worldwide, with nearly 80% of the deaths in low and middle-income countries (LMIC). Primary care health systems of LMICs, historically oriented to infectious disease and maternal and child health, are not well designed to integrate NCD care. We propose a new collaboration between Northwestern, the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) Research Network and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Primary health care research consortium (PHCRC) to leverage existing funded studies of models to integrate NCDs into primary care in LMICs. The main 3 research aims are: 1. To identify key components of PHC service delivery models for NCDs in LMIC settings from the work funded by the GACD 2. To identify what has been learnt by the GACD on how to implement these components 3. To describe the contextual factors that influence the service delivery models and implementation strategies and outcomes. All funding from this catalyst grant will go to the George Institute for Global Health, India to support the research fellow, administrative support, overhead cost for PHRCR and IRB and publication expenses. 

Using Systems Modeling to Improve Retention in Care for Hypertensive Patients in PC Settings in Nigeria

Using Systems Modeling to Improve Retention in Care for Hypertensive Patients in PC Settings in Nigeria

Northwestern PI: Lisa Hirschhorn

Elevated blood pressure (BP) is one of the leading modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality in both high-income countries, such as the United States, as well as low- and middle-income countries. Approximately 1.4 billion adults have elevated BP globally, including as many as 44% of adults in Nigeria, the most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on the burden of disease, need for strengthening retention, and existing infrastructure, we propose a research study that uses systems modeling for improving retention in hypertension care in primary care settings. This proposal will be embedded within the HTN Program in Nigeria, and the research findings will provide quantitative and qualitative data on facilitators, barriers, strategies, and context of system-based approaches to improve retention in Nigeria as an example for resource-limited settings.

Combatting Poverty and Malnutrition in the Kigezi Sub-region in Southwestern Uganda: The Rabbit Breeding Project

Combatting Poverty and Malnutrition in the Kigezi Sub-region in Southwestern Uganda: The Rabbit Breeding Project

Northwestern PI: Danielle L. Steker

Poverty and poor nutrition remain key hindrances to attainment of an integrated Primary Health Care delivery in Uganda. Uganda suffers from high rates of child malnutrition, of which 80% is due to a lack of protein in the diet. We aim to combat poverty and malnutrition in the Kigezi sub-region in Southwestern Uganda via rabbit breeding to promote protein intake, income generation, and food security in selected households. Rabbit meat is one of the most nutritious meats, similar in calories to chicken with a lower percent fat and cholesterol and higher percentage of protein. We aim to recruit 100 families, train them in rabbit breeding and care, and provide them with the necessary supplies as well as technical support. Serial anthropometric measurements of children under the age of 5 will be taken and the presence of edema will be recorded as a measurement of malnutrition. The funding from this Primary Care Project Award will be utilized to fund two clinical coordinators, the purchase of breeding rabbits, and the required supplies and oversight of the project.

The Ryan Family Center for Global Primary Care Steering Committee

The Ryan Family Center for Global Primary Care is currently advised by a steering committee made up of the following individuals.

  • Robert J. Havey, MD
  • Robert L. Murphy, MD
  • Kate Klein, MA, MPH
  • Karin Ulstrup, MD
  • Shannon Galvin, MD
  • Lisa Hirschhorn, MD, MPH
  • Deborah S. Clements, MD, FAAFP
  • Rebecca Dworkin

Funding Opportunities

Research Catalyzer Funding: Primary Care

FOR FACULTY

The Havey Institute for Global Health is pleased to share this call for applications to supporting member faculty research projects focused on improving Primary Care services and systems throughout the world.

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Project Award Funding: Primary Care

FOR FACULTY

The Havey Institute for Global Health is pleased to offer support to affiliated Northwestern faculty for projects focused on improving Primary Care services and systems throughout the world.

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