FAMILIES, SYSTEMS, & HEALTH®
A Brief History of the Families, Systems and Health and its Relationship with the
Collaborative Family HealthCare Association
In 1983, Donald Bloch, MD, founded Family Systems Medicine: A journal at the confluence of family therapy, systems theory, and modern medicine. The Journal’s subtitle reveals the relationship between the Journal’s birth and major changes in the conceptualization and delivery of health care. Two fields, Family Medicine and Family Therapy, both founded on the principles of systems theory, were emerging from their infancies. Family Systems Medicine provided a home to publish learning from this estuary of health care disciplines. The reader is referred to the inaugural editorial by Don Bloch where he eloquently describes the foundation of a journal, soon to become a field (Bloch, 1983).
This name change followed the formation of the Collaborative Family Health Care Coalition (CFHCC) in 1994 with its first national conference held in Washington, DC the following year. In their inaugural editorial, McDaniel and Campbell review the journal history and emphasize what would remain the same—a focus on the intersection of family function, systems thinking, and health care. (McDaniel & Campbell, 1996) The new journal and the new organization recognized the importance of collaboration between health care disciplines and between any health care provider and the patients and their families. Several years later, the CFHCC was renamed the Collaborative Family Health Care Association and membership included a subscription to Families Systems Health. The Journal is indexed in PsychInfo and Index Medicus. FSH consistently features articles from many CFHA members often emerging from presentations at CFHA annual meetings.
In 2008, Alexander Blount, EdD became editor and the Journal enjoyed increased submissions, special issues on timely themes, and higher numbers of articles cited in the literature. In 2013 by Colleen T. Fogarty, MD, MSc and Larry Mauksch, M.Ed became the newest editors. A review of both inaugural editorials (Blount, 2009; Fogarty & Mauksch, 2013) reveals that the journal focus has not wavered but its scope is wider. FSH publishes research, literature reviews, health policy briefs, conceptual explorations, educational and clinical models, narrative essays and poetry at the intersection of family functioning, systems thinking and health and health care.
Bloch, D. A. (1983). Family Systems Medicine: The field and the journal. Family Systems Medicine, 1(1), 3-11.
Blount, A. (2009). A vision for Families, Systems, & Health. Fam Syst Health, 27(2), 129-130.
Fogarty, C. T., & Mauksch, L. B. (2013). Inheritance and vision. Fam Syst Health, 31(3), 237-238.
McDaniel, S., & Campbell, T. (1996). Expanding our Mission. Families, Systems, and Health, 14(1), 1-4.