Welcome to The Kraft Center for Community Health!
The foundation of our programs is a single principle: everyone should have access to the highest quality health care. At this transformational moment in our field, new delivery models are poised to move us away from an illness care system toward genuine health care. In order to accomplish this, we must recognize and address the confluence of social and environmental factors that influence health. Therefore, communities must be collaborators in system design and implementation, and our patients and their families must be equal partners in care and treatment. Community Health Centers are the core of a remarkable system that will enable this outcome. They already provide cost effective care to 20 million people each year and they are leading in the development of new approaches to population health management. But the demand for their services severely outstrips clinical capacity. The pipeline of potential great leaders and gifted clinicians to serve these institutions is challenged by the historic gulf between community health and academic medicine, the source of magnificent young people who are the future of health care.
We will create and nurture new career paths for the next generation of community health leaders and providers by marrying the great assets of academic medicine and community health. We will ensure that young doctors and nurses “have it all”—to be dedicated clinicians, policy-makers, leaders, researchers and advocates—able to maintain dual identities as academic-community providers. We will promote the idealism of those who understand that great health care for everyone is a principle of social justice and who are committed to eliminating disparities in health outcomes attributable to socioeconomic and ethnic factors. We want people with energy, ideas and dreams.
Our focus is post-residency training through a fellowship or a practitioner track. Our programs include providers in primary care/internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and psychiatry. We provide formal degree-granting opportunities through the Harvard School of Public Health, mentorship from community and academic experts, hands-on experience in public sector health activities, and immersion in clinical community health center-based practice and a loan repayment program. We will build on our academic-community partnerships in Massachusetts to become a replicable model for widespread development and implementation nationally.
We invite you to look through our website, contact us with ideas and questions, and join us in all ways you can: apply to our programs, collaborate with our trainees, and donate to the Center. We are investing in tomorrow’s leaders and in everyone’s health, one community at a time. But we can’t do it alone.
Derri Shtasel, MD, MPH