Creating Customized DOH Resource Guides for Physician Practices

Pennsylvania Medical Society

Drivers of health (DOH), like food security and housing stability, play a pivotal role in health and well-being. The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) launched an initiative to empower medical practices to address DOH for patients managing chronic health conditions.  

The initiative brought together a diverse group of medical practices, including three primary care practices, one specialty practice and one free clinic. Each practice focused on one chronic condition and its associated DOH, such as diabetes, asthma and cardiovascular disease. Kevin Bartolomucci, MD, with Bartolomucci Family Medicine, chose to focus on diabetes, with a particular emphasis on food access and nutrition as key DOH impacting diabetes management. 

To help physicians and patients navigate the complex landscape of available resources for DOH, PAMED created a comprehensive guide, complete with localized resources for each practice. This tool was designed for practical use and includes free and low-cost resources organized by category, including housing, transportation, internet access, food, nutrition and more. It was shared with practices as a PDF, enabling physicians to easily consult it during patient appointments and print relevant sections for their patients to take home. 

“The community resources guide has been a game-changer for my practice, enabling us to more effectively connect patients with the resources they need,” Dr. Bartolomucci said. “As physicians, we often have limited time to research these kinds of resources. The guide provides me with a comprehensive list of resources, like nearby food banks and physical activity opportunities, that I can share with patients during our appointments. This support is instrumental in facilitating meaningful conversations around DOH and addressing patient needs.”

At least 325 patients have benefited from this initiative so far. Practices have shared that due to PAMED’s initiative, they are having more regular conversations with patients around DOH and feel more equipped to refer patients to resources that address DOH and ultimately improve their health.

This program was made possible by funding from The Physicians Foundation as part of their DOH grant program. Learn more here.

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