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Happy Birthday Families and Health Blog!

Posted By Randall Reitz, Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Welcome to the 1st anniversary of the Families and Health Blog. Let’s take a minute to look back and look forward. This blog started in November 2011 through the efforts of CFHA’s Medical Family Therapy Work Group. For most of the first year I partnered with Dan Marlowe to recruit and post excellent pieces to promote the role of families in healthcare. Many have been from leaders of our field, others from the rising generation to whom the collaborative torch has been passed. The topics have varied from clinical, to policy, to scientific, to Clinician-as-Self.

Here are a few highlights:

Clinical: Last week provided a saucy review of sex therapy in primary care by Kenny Phelps and Tina Schermer Sellers. Previously, Joe Scherger delineated the value of family therapy in the patient-centered medical home. Matt Martin recalled an 80’s fastfood ad in describing his surprise that family medicine is often bereft of families. Harold Starkman described team-based and family-focused care for high-risk teens with diabetes. Theodora Ooms and Jana Staton described clinical pathways that fully integrate spousal caregivers. And,Lisa Zak-Hunter reviewed systemic care for adult eating disorders.
Baby eating cake

Policy: Jessie J asserted that it’s not about the money, money, money, but Barry Jacobs begged to differ. Dan Marlowe described a big tent vision for family therapy in medical settings.Deepu George revealed his scheme for positive deviance. And, JoEllen Patterson reviewed JAMA’s October 2012 advocacy for families in healthcare.


Scientific: John Rolland provided a reaction to research documenting the relational sequelae of a wife’s breast cancer. And, in separate posts, Melissa Lewis and Tai Mendenhall conceptualized a research paradigm that moves beyond reductionism.


Clinician-as-Self: Jeri Hepworth evoked Rosie the Riveter in calling for stronger leadership.Jackie Williams Reade delineated the connections between reality, hope, and denial. And, Stephanie Trudeau Hern shared how treating her patients’ breast cancer educated her on life.

Our most widely read post was from Carol Levine and Barry Jacobs on geriatric spousal murder/suicides. It was picked up by the New York Times’ New Old Age Blog and resulted in over 3000 hits to the Families and Health blog.


Moving Forward

At the meeting of the MedFT Work Group at the CFHA Austin conference, the group voted to change the name of the blog to better match the broad perspectives that the blog attracts. Our advocacy for family-oriented care extends beyond any one discipline and we felt that the blog’s name should reinforce that. We also hope to better align ourselves with CFHA’s journal, Families, Systems, and Health. So, we settled on the new name "Families and Health”.

In addition, starting in 2013 Matt Martin will assume co-editorial duties from Dan Marlowe .

We will always warmly welcome insightful posts on the role of relationships in healthcare. Please inquire or submit your ideas to me or Matt. And, if there is one thing I would change about the blog, it would be to increase the conversation in the comments section. You will need to log-in to the website to add your thoughts, so please track down your username and password. If you don’t have one, you can create one for free. If you have trouble logging in, please check with Bill Steger.

A special thanks to Dan Marlowe and everyone else who has posted with us.

Thanks for a great first year. We look forward to many more to come!


Randall Reitz
Randall Reitz is CFHA's Director of Social Media and the Director of Behavioral Sciences at the St Mary's Family Medicine Residency in Grand Junction, CO. He is the founding editor of CFHA Blog and Families and Health blog.


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