We're proud to announce the launch of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Safety Net Value Champions Fellowship and the selection of six clinical providers from across the United States as fellows, including a New York City emergency room physician, a Washington State pediatric nurse practitioner, and a New Mexico physician assistant. 

The Value Champions serve medically vulnerable patients in a diverse array of safety net settings and have just started their culture, organizational, and behavior change efforts to reduce medical overuse in their home institutions. The fellows convened for the first time earlier this month in Seattle, to meet one another and start the unique curriculum designed by program faculty, program mentors, and our team.  

Medical overuse (or low-value care) is widespread, and includes unnecessary diagnostic tests, treatments, and hospitalizations. Unnecessary services can drive up costs and, most importantly, cause physical, emotional and/or financial harm to patients. Reducing overuse is a long-term proposition that requires new approaches to what were once standard ways of delivering care. And overuse reduction is a team-based sport that can involve all clinic staff.

The 2019 Safety Net Value Champions are:

  • Lauren D. Demosthenes, MD, obstetrician/gynecologist at Prisma Health–Upstate in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Leslie Dunlap, MSPAS, PA-C, board-certified physician assistant at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, the only Level I Trauma Center and Academic Medical Institution in the state
  • Josh Moskovitz, MD, MPH, MBA, practicing emergency room physician and Associate Director of Operations for the Emergency Department at NYC Health + Hospitals Jacobi Medical Center in New York City.
  • George Hoke, MD, hospitalist with the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Roberto Diaz Del Carpio, MD, MPH, academic primary care physician specializing in both internal and preventive medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo, New York.
  • Elizabeth Vossenkemper, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, pediatric nurse practitioner with Tri-Cities Community Health in Pasco, Washington.

Reducing low-value care requires cultivation of an environment where change feels safe, possible, and supported at every level of an organization. The Safety Net Value Champions will help build cultures where clinical teams can take ownership for reducing overuse —for all populations, and with special emphasis on those with fewer resources to access care.

The nine-month Safety Net Value Champions Fellowship offers training based on our Taking Action on Overuse framework—a roadmap for action and behavior change that leads to reductions in medical overuse—and what our team has learned so far from implementing it since its publication in December 2017. The fellowship curriculum also includes in-person meetings, monthly webinars, and one-on-one mentoring by faculty as fellows implement projects in their home institutions.   

Fellowship faculty include practicing physicians, psychologists, academic professors, and program administrators. They all have strong backgrounds in quality improvement, health systems and health equity to help guide and support the fellows as they work within their home institutions.

This fellowship  made possible by support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.