April 23, 2013
Jennifer DeVoe, M.D., D.Phil., associate professor of family medicine, was the keynote speaker for the Institute of Medicine's April 22 Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity and the Elimination of Health Disparities.
Dr. DeVoe, physician at OHSU Family Medicine at Gabriel Park and research director at OCHIN Inc., focuses her research on the impact of primary health care on patients' overall health outcomes. She has pioneered the use of electronic health record data, reviewing primary care utilization by uninsured and underinsured populations, which has garnered her national attention, particularly relating to the Affordable Care Act.
The IOM's Roundtable is entitled "Achieving Health Equity via the Affordable Care Act: Promises, Provisions and Making Reform a Reality for Diversity Patients. DeVoe's keynote presented original research that her team conducted with broad relevance to national issues, particularly what is necessary to achieve health equality.
The passage of the Affordable Care Act is anticipated to result in better health outcomes for communities of color, and the phrase "health disparities" occurs throughout the law. However, "health equity" is a broader concept that encompasses more than just the reduction of disparities between groups. The IOM Roundtable addressed expansion of coverage, the Patient Centered Medical Home, public/private partnerships, safety net challenges and consumer engagement.
The IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves as the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The IOM works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.
Dr. DeVoe studies access to preventive care for low-income populations. She leads a multidisciplinary team with expertise in informatics, sociology, epidemiology, biostatistics, economics and anthropology. She has established a track record of developing community collaborations and using rich community electronic health record (EHR) data sources to conduct policy-relevant and practice-relevant studies. Research findings inform community, practice and policy interventions that will help to improve the delivery of care and to eliminate disparities.
Most recently, Dr. DeVoe was awarded a PCORI grant (2013-2016) for health systems research. The "IMPACCT Kids' Care" project works to provide patients and those who care for them with evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health and health-care decisions. The study, which originated with community stakeholders, has the potential to greatly impact how clinics and families engage to improve children's health insurance coverage and receipt of recommended care.