Center for Advancing Health

Center for Advancing Health CFAH works to help people find good health care and make the most of it. www.cfah.org | www.preparedpatient.org | https://twitter.com/jessiegruman

The Center for Advancing Health works to increase people’s engagement in their health care. We listen to patient perspectives. We translate what we learn into resources that help all of us participate fully in our health care and that enable policy makers and clinicians to support our efforts. CFAH is a non-profit organization founded in 1992, supported by individuals and foundations and based in Washington, D.C.

The Center for Advancing Health works to increase people’s engagement in their health care. We listen to patient perspectives. We translate what we learn into resources that help all of us participate fully in our health care and that enable policy makers and clinicians to support our efforts. CFAH is a non-profit organization founded in 1992, supported by individuals and foundations and based in Washington, D.C.

Mission: The Center for Advancing Health works to increase people's engagement in their health care.

New awards honoring the late Jessie Gruman's exemplary leadership in the field of patient engagement have been establish...
01/08/2015
Center for Advancing Health Announces Two New Awards to Honor Jessie Gruman | Center for...

New awards honoring the late Jessie Gruman's exemplary leadership in the field of patient engagement have been established at the Society for Public Health Education and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. A third organization, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, received additional funding to extend its Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement, which was established in 2014.

Center for Advancing Health Announces Two New Awards to Honor Jessie Gruman Center for Advancing Health | January 7, 2015 Follow us on Facebook The Board of Trustees of the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH) is pleased to announce that two new awards honoring the late Jessie Gruman’s exemplary leade…

After over 20 years under the remarkable leadership of the late Jessie Gruman, the Center for Advancing Health is ending...
12/16/2014
Jessie Gruman Memorial Fund to Advance Patient Engagement Through New Center at the George...

After over 20 years under the remarkable leadership of the late Jessie Gruman, the Center for Advancing Health is ending operations at the end of 2014. To expand on the CFAH body of work and enrich the growing interest in the field of patient engagement, the CFAH board of trustees has selected a proposal from George Washington University to establish the Center for Patient Engagement at the GW Cancer Institute.

Jessie Gruman Memorial Fund to Advance Patient Engagement Through New Center at the George Washington University Cancer Institute Center for Advancing Health | December 15, 2014 Follow us on Facebook After over 20 years under the remarkable leadership of the late Jessie Gruman, the Center for Advanc…

Over the past five years, Trudy Lieberman's many posts on the Prepared Patient blog have dissected the marketplace, ques...
12/10/2014
Scrutiny and Skepticism Still Needed | Center for Advancing Health

Over the past five years, Trudy Lieberman's many posts on the Prepared Patient blog have dissected the marketplace, questioned health care's conventional wisdom and assumptions, and uncovered the contradictions in the Affordable Care Act and consumer-is-king theories of health care.

Scrutiny and Skepticism Still Needed Trudy Lieberman | December 9, 2014 Follow us on Facebook Five years ago when the late Jessie Gruman asked me to contribute weekly posts to the Center for Advancing Health's Prepared Patient blog, I jumped at the offer. Jessie said she wanted a tell-it-like-it-is,…

57 percent of people reported taking steps in the last year to curb high medication costs: not filling a prescription, s...
12/08/2014
Taking Risks With Needed Drugs Due to High Cost | Center for Advancing Health

57 percent of people reported taking steps in the last year to curb high medication costs: not filling a prescription, skipping a scheduled dose, taking an expired medication. Why? And what can be done to help?

Three in ten (29 percent) reported cutting back on entertainment and dining out; 19 percent spent less on groceries, and 15 percent put off paying other bills in order to afford their prescription drugs.

U.S. military culture perpetuates the notion that using tobacco provides stress relief, reports a new study in the Ameri...
12/04/2014
Military Culture Enables Tobacco Use | Center for Advancing Health

U.S. military culture perpetuates the notion that using tobacco provides stress relief, reports a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion. Previous studies of tobacco use for stress relief among soldiers have produced no evidence supporting the theory.

Military Culture Enables Tobacco Use Release Date: December 4, 2014 | By Milly DawsonResearch Source: American Journal of Health Promotion KEY POINTS U.S. military tobacco use levels are high: 24 percent of military personnel are current smokers and 20 percent use smokeless tobacco. Military culture…

The way medical doctors initially assess, treat and refer racial and ethnic minority patients may contribute to known di...
12/04/2014
Physician Behaviors May Contribute to Disparities in Mental Health Care | Center for Advancing...

The way medical doctors initially assess, treat and refer racial and ethnic minority patients may contribute to known disparities in their use of mental health services, according to a new study in Health Services Research.

Physician Behaviors May Contribute to Disparities in Mental Health Care Release Date: December 3, 2014 | By Stephanie StephensResearch Source: Health Services Research KEY POINTS Most people who experience mental health distress first seek help from a physician rather than a mental health specialist…

Trudy Lieberman interviews Dr. Todd Sorensen, the CEO of Regional West Medical Center, a 184-bed facility serving a larg...
12/04/2014
Reflections From a Midwest Hospital CEO | Center for Advancing Health

Trudy Lieberman interviews Dr. Todd Sorensen, the CEO of Regional West Medical Center, a 184-bed facility serving a large swath of rural western Nebraska.

Reflections From a Midwest Hospital CEO Trudy Lieberman | December 3, 2014 Follow us on Facebook Not long ago I interviewed Dr. Todd Sorensen, the CEO of Regional West Medical Center, a 184-bed facility serving a large swath of rural western Nebraska. I've known Dr. Sorensen since junior high school…

New research from PwC’s Health Research Institute has found there is a big difference between what doctors and patients ...
12/03/2014
Digital and Mobile Health: Doctors and Consumers Are on Different Wavelengths | Center for...

New research from PwC’s Health Research Institute has found there is a big difference between what doctors and patients think about the self-care concept.

Digital and Mobile Health: Doctors and Consumers Are on Different Wavelengths Jane Sarasohn Kahn | December 3, 2014 Follow us on Facebook There’s growing interest among both consumers and clinicians for people to DIY health care. Consumers are even keener than their doctors about the self-care conce…

Older adults with mental health conditions, such as depression or cognitive impairment, have a higher risk of readmissio...
11/20/2014
Depression and Dementia in Older Adults Increase Risk of Preventable Hospitalizations | Center...

Older adults with mental health conditions, such as depression or cognitive impairment, have a higher risk of readmission within 30 days after a hospital stay for pneumonia, heart attack or congestive heart failure, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Depression and Dementia in Older Adults Increase Risk of Preventable Hospitalizations Release Date: November 20, 2014 | By Sharyn AldenResearch Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine KEY POINTS Major drivers of U.S. health care costs, especially those paid by Medicare, are hospitalizations and…

New research in the journal Cancer finds that Medicaid recipients are more likely to undergo cancer screening tests when...
11/20/2014
Medicaid Payments for Office Visits Impact Cancer Screening Rates | Center for Advancing Health

New research in the journal Cancer finds that Medicaid recipients are more likely to undergo cancer screening tests when their doctors receive higher reimbursements for routine office visits rather than for the tests themselves.

Medicaid Payments for Office Visits Impact Cancer Screening Rates Release Date: November 20, 2014 | By Valerie DeBenedetteResearch Source: Cancer KEY POINTS Medicaid recipients are more likely to receive cancer screening tests when their doctors receive higher reimbursements for routine office visit…

Even with the Affordable Care Act offering access to care to more people, U.S. doctors should pause to consider how high...
11/19/2014
The Canadian Doctor Who Prescribes Income to Treat Poverty | Center for Advancing Health

Even with the Affordable Care Act offering access to care to more people, U.S. doctors should pause to consider how high deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs affect low income patients. "Will patients be able to afford the care they need?" is still very much an open question.

Trudy Lieberman | Last fall when I visited Canada, I met a Toronto doctor named Gary Bloch who has developed a poverty tool for medical practitioners.

A wide divide exists between public school's written wellness policies and their actual day-to-day practices, finds a ne...
11/18/2014
Schools Often Fail to Follow Their Own Written Wellness Policies | Center for Advancing Health

A wide divide exists between public school's written wellness policies and their actual day-to-day practices, finds a new study in Health Promotion Practice.

Schools Often Fail to Follow Their Own Written Wellness Policies Release Date: November 18, 2014 | By Milly DawsonResearch Source: Health Promotion Practice KEY POINTS Public schools are required to adopt wellness policies in order to receive federal funding for student breakfasts, lunches and other…

"The cost of care is a significant problem... that I had never really considered until I was placed in a situation where...
11/17/2014
A Difficult Pill to Swallow | Center for Advancing Health

"The cost of care is a significant problem... that I had never really considered until I was placed in a situation where it directly hindered my ability to pick up a prescription," writes pharmacy student Brandon Kopper.

A Difficult Pill to Swallow Brandon Kopper | November 17, 2014 Follow us on Facebook I am currently a pharmacy student, and although I have not yet dispensed a medication, I had my first experience concerning the cost of care a few months ago. My ear hurt very badly when I woke up in the morning, an…

More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activ...
11/13/2014
Poor-Quality Weight Loss Advice Often Appears First in an Online Search | Center for Advancing...

More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physical activity. A new study in the American Journal of Public Health finds that high-quality weight loss information often appears after the first page of search engine results.

Poor-Quality Weight Loss Advice Often Appears First in an Online Search Release Date: November 13, 2014 | By Stephanie StephensResearch Source: American Journal of Public Health KEY POINTS More than 40 percent of U.S. Internet users use online search engines to seek guidance on weight loss and physi…

New research in General Hospital Psychiatry finds that homelessness, cocaine use, being on Medicare, having a personalit...
11/13/2014
Some Psychiatric Patients Are More Frequent Users of Hospital ERs | Center for Advancing Health

New research in General Hospital Psychiatry finds that homelessness, cocaine use, being on Medicare, having a personality disorder or having liver disease appears to be a predictor of frequent ED use by people with a psychiatric illness.

Some Psychiatric Patients Are More Frequent Users of Hospital ERs Release Date: November 13, 2014 | By Sharyn AldenResearch Source: General Hospital Psychiatry KEY POINTS Long waits in overcrowded U.S. emergency departments (EDs) are a public health concern. People with psychiatric conditions often…

When choosing a hospital, pay little attention to advertisements, testimonials from sick patients, boosterish stories ba...
11/13/2014
Is Having the Latest Technology the Sign of a Top Hospital? | Center for Advancing Health

When choosing a hospital, pay little attention to advertisements, testimonials from sick patients, boosterish stories based on press releases or wisdom-of-the-crowd comments you find on consumer rating websites. Look for reports that measure a hospital's quality – only these can offer clues to the kind of care you might get.

Is Having the Latest Technology the Sign of a Top Hospital? Trudy Lieberman | November 12, 2014 Follow us on Facebook Nearly every day a press release from a health care provider or health care technology vendor shows up in my in-box urging me to look at what they offer and to write about it. Most o…

A new study in the journal Health Services Research indicates that getting support from a chronic care coordinator incre...
11/12/2014
Chronic Care Coordinators Improve Diabetes Monitoring But Not Blood Sugar Control | Center for...

A new study in the journal Health Services Research indicates that getting support from a chronic care coordinator increases blood-glucose testing and foot and eye exams in people with type 2 diabetes, but it may not improve blood-sugar control.

Chronic Care Coordinators Improve Diabetes Monitoring But Not Blood Sugar Control Release Date: November 11, 2014 | By Christen BrownleeResearch Source: Health Services Research KEY POINTS Getting support from chronic care coordinators may increase the frequency of blood tests, foot and eye exams, a…

Children and adolescents who ate foods high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and processed foods appear to exper...
11/06/2014
Unhealthy Diets Linked With Mental Health of Children | Center for Advancing Health

Children and adolescents who ate foods high in saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and processed foods appear to experience more depression and low moods, suggests a new systematic research review in the American Journal of Public Health.

Unhealthy Diets Linked With Mental Health of Children Release Date: November 6, 2014 | By Glenda FauntleroyResearch Source: American Journal of Public Health KEY POINTS A new research review found evidence of a signi?cant, cross-sectional relationship between unhealthy dietary patterns and poorer me…

New research in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that when a young person moves from pediatric care to an adult pr...
11/04/2014
Coordination Eases the Transition From Pediatric to Adult Health Care | Center for Advancing Health

New research in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that when a young person moves from pediatric care to an adult practice, the transition is eased and better care is provided when formal processes are in place for the handoff.

Coordination Eases the Transition From Pediatric to Adult Health Care Release Date: November 4, 2014 | By Milly DawsonResearch Source: Journal of Adolescent Health KEY POINTS Formal processes are needed to ease the transition of adolescents from pediatric to adult health care. About 25 percent of th…

Jack Aiello is often asked, "If you were diagnosed 20 years ago and you are no longer getting treated, why do you still ...
11/03/2014
Why Attend a Patient Support Group Twenty Years Later? 'Because I Remember' | Center for...

Jack Aiello is often asked, "If you were diagnosed 20 years ago and you are no longer getting treated, why do you still keep involved facilitating a support group or attending a myeloma seminar?"

His answer? "Because I remember."

Jack Aiello | I'm often asked, "If you were diagnosed 20 years ago and you are no longer getting treated, why do you still keep involved facilitating a support group or attending a myeloma seminar?"

Not having time available may be one of the most significant barriers to achieving a healthy diet, finds new research in...
10/30/2014
Time Spent Preparing Meals at Home Linked to Healthier Diet | Center for Advancing Health

Not having time available may be one of the most significant barriers to achieving a healthy diet, finds new research in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Time Spent Preparing Meals at Home Linked to Healthier Diet Release Date: October 30, 2014 | By Valerie DeBenedetteResearch Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine KEY POINTS Having time available to prepare meals may be one of the most important factors in a healthy diet. Eating more fast f…

Young sexual minority women were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young...
10/28/2014
Health Care Shortfalls for LGBT Young Women | Center for Advancing Health

Young sexual minority women were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women and lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Health Care Shortfalls for LGBT Young Women Release Date: October 28, 2014 | By Stephanie StephensResearch Source: American Journal of Preventive Medicine KEY POINTS Young sexual minority women were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women and low…

Sometimes the doctor doesn't know what's wrong. Here are some things to do if you or a loved one is struggling with an u...
10/27/2014
What to Do If the Doctor Just Shrugs | Center for Advancing Health

Sometimes the doctor doesn't know what's wrong. Here are some things to do if you or a loved one is struggling with an undiagnosed condition.

What to Do If the Doctor Just Shrugs Bonnie Friedman | October 27, 2014 Follow us on Facebook What do you do if your doctor shrugs and says, "I don't know what's wrong with you"? It's a serious problem for the patient and, presumably, the doctor too. As patients we want an answer and a treatment – i…

About 18 million Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medication...
10/23/2014
Nearly Half of Older Americans Need Support With Daily Routines | Center for Advancing Health

About 18 million Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities like bathing, handling medications or cooking hot meals, finds a new study in Milbank Quarterly. The research shows a growing need for improved services and support for older Americans, their spouses, their children and other "informal caregivers."

Nearly Half of Older Americans Need Support With Daily Routines Release Date: October 23, 2014 | By Milly DawsonResearch Source: Milbank Quarterly KEY POINTS Nearly half of Americans age 65 and older require help with routine daily activities such as bathing, meals or taking medications. Substantial…

A new report, "The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts," is an alarming remin...
10/22/2014
Medical Errors: Will We Act Up, Fight Back? | Center for Advancing Health

A new report, "The Politics of Patient Harm: Medical Error and the Safest Congressional Districts," is an alarming reminder that the 200,000 or more preventable medical errors in U.S. hospitals remain stubbornly high and dangerously under-addressed. We revisit a piece on medical errors written last year by CFAH's late founder and president, Jessie Gruman.

Medical Errors: Will We Act Up, Fight Back? Center for Advancing Health | October 22, 2014 Follow us on Facebook "When it comes to patient safety, there is no red America or blue America," wrote Michael Millenson, co-author with John Morrow of a brand new report, The Politics of Patient Harm: Medica…

State public health programs could screen nearly eight times as many individuals and prevent nearly twice as many colore...
10/21/2014
Fecal Blood Test May Save More Lives Than Colonoscopy | Center for Advancing Health

State public health programs could screen nearly eight times as many individuals and prevent nearly twice as many colorectal cancer cases by using fecal immunochemical testing instead of colonoscopies, finds a new study in Health Services Research.

Fecal Blood Test May Save More Lives Than Colonoscopy Release Date: October 21, 2014 | By Christen Brownlee Research Source: Health Services Research KEY POINTS Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. There are several different methods available…

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