The Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA)

In March of 1993, 15 colleagues from the fields of family medicine and family therapy met to think about a better way to deliver primary care.  They concluded that integrating the expertise of biomedical and psychosocial providers with family and community as key elements in the practice model would be ideal. They called their idea the “collaborative family healthcare model”, formed the CFHA and, in July 1995, held their first national conference in Washington, D.C.  It was well attended and received glowing reviews.  Last week I spoke about Stress Illness at their 12th national conference in Louisville, KY, attended by over 350 people.

The CFHA promotes a comprehensive and cost-effective model of healthcare delivery that integrates mind and body, individual and family, patients, providers and communities. Integrating mental health clinicians into primary care practices is a fundamental concept in their model.  They CFHA works towards its goals via education, training, partnering, consultation, research and advocacy.

From the CFHA website: “By adding the essential ingredients of psychological and family care at the front end, and continuously throughout the healthcare process, and by coordinating and integrating the expertise of these and other healthcare professions, wasteful and repeated diagnostic procedures are minimized, as are costly sub-specialty referrals. 

It is a profoundly ethical approach that conserves resources for all participants: patients and their families, clinical providers, administrative and financial entities.”

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