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Skilled Communications Workshop

November 14, 2018

An NPAF Event Held in Partnership with
the National Medical Association
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The third of NPAF’s three Skilled Communications Workshops funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation took place in Philadelphia in partnership with the National Medical Association, the largest, oldest organization representing African-American physicians and their patients in the United States. The event brought together 35 NMA members representing a very broad, experienced and diverse group of practitioners with strong roots in their communities.. Edith Mitchell, MD, a clinical professor of medicine and program leader of gastrointestinal oncology at Thomas Jefferson University took the lead role in organizing the dinner meeting.

The participants opened the evening by talking about the challenges they face in providing high quality care to their patient communities, issues that go far beyond taking care of their patient’s medical conditions. Insurance coverage, high costs of care both resulting both from direct costs and those related to the impact of financial toxicity on people’s lives, immigration concerns are among the daily barriers to health care access that patients and their physicians confront.

Gwen Darien

NPAF executive vice president, talked about the relationship of skilled communications to personalized care and outlines the resources that PAF makes available to patients. Dr. Mitchell presented the data from PAF surveys that demonstrate the far reaching effects of the financial burden on patients and their deep interest in discussing cost of care issues.

Christine Wilson

of NPAF talked about the importance of recognizing, respecting and listening to patient stories in the clinical encounter. The program closed with an open discussion of the need to be open to new approaches to overcoming barriers to communicating with patients.

Edith Mitchell, MD

said “Many of the people we serve are dealing with multiple issues, in their health care and their lives. It’s critical that we have the communications skills to hear their stories and integrate their goals and values into the care we provide.”