Two Health Policy Leaders Join Robert Graham Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, April 14, 2014

Contact: 
Leslie Champlin 
Senior Public Relations Strategist 
American Academy of Family Physicians 
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5224 
lchampli@aafp.org

WASHINGTON — The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care has named Kathleen Klink, MD, FAAFP, and Douglas Kamerow, MD, MPH—both national leaders in health care policy and research—to its staff. 

Klink has been named medical director for policy research at the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care. As medical director, Klink will lead the work of Graham Center staff as they conduct research focusing on the primary care workforce, as well as the quality of and access to primary care. She will enhance existing relationships with academic researchers, relevant federal agencies and health policy experts, assist in the dissemination of Graham Center products to national audiences, and continue the development of accessible information including the well-received one-pager series and policy briefs such as white papers. 

Kamerow has become the Graham Center senior scholar in residence. In that position, he will contribute to Graham Center research and mentor junior staff, analysts, Larry A. Green Visiting Scholars and Robert L. Phillips Fellows. 

“We’re extremely pleased that Dr. Klink and Dr. Kamerow have joined the Graham Center team,” said Andrew Bazemore, MD, MPH, director of the Graham Center. “Each brings a deep and broad knowledge of health care, research and public policy that will enrich and expand the Graham Center’s contributions to the national conversation on the direction our health care system will take for years to come.” 

Klink comes to the Graham Center with a wealth of experience in health policy, medical education and clinical care, particularly for the underserved. From 2010 to 2014, she served in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services as the director of the Division of Medicine and Dentistry at the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Professions. As part of her work, she oversaw implementation of Affordable Care Act’s $230 million Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, designed to increase the number and distribution of primary care physicians into the nation’s areas of greatest need. 

Before entering federal service, Klink was the director of the Center for Family and Community Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and chief of service of family medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital. As a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2008, Klink worked on formulating legislation to reauthorize Title VII of the U.S. Public Health Service Act, a key federal statute that supports primary care education and infrastructure. 

“We are at an important juncture in health care reform. It’s paramount that policy makers, the public, and the vast number of stakeholders in health care understand the pivotal role and impact primary care plays in health and health outcomes, both for individuals and populations,” Klink said. “The Graham Center is a trusted source with a proven voice in demonstrating this invaluable perspective. I look forward to contributing to, and enhancing this vitally important work.” 

Kamerow, a family physician and preventive medicine specialist, joins the Graham Center staff after serving 12 years as chief scientist in health services policy and research at the independent research institute RTI International. There, he oversaw research on health-related behaviors, preventive medicine, evidence-based care and health care quality improvement. Before that, he served in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service for 20 years, where he led programs such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the National Guidelines Clearinghouse. He retired as an assistant Surgeon General in 2001. 

Kamerow will split his time between the Graham Center and Georgetown University, where he is a professor of clinical family medicine and teaches medical students and family medicine residents. He is also an associate editor and health policy columnist at the global medical journal BMJ. In 2011, he published a book of health policy essays, Dissecting American Health Care. 

“I am delighted to be joining the Graham Center,” said Kamerow. “I look forward to working on primary care and prevention policy and research issues with their talented and experienced staff.” 

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About the Robert Graham Center

The Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care works to improve individual and population health by enhancing the delivery of primary care. The Center staff generates and analyzes evidence that brings a family medicine and primary care perspective to health policy deliberations at local, state, and national levels.

Founded in 1999, the Robert Graham Center is an independent research unit affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The information and opinions contained in research from the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the AAFP.