CHA’s primary care model has made a significant impact internationally. A group of Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) physicians, led by Dr. Robert Janett (pictured), has been providing training and technical assistance to establish a network of patient-centered medical home (PCMH) primary care sites in southern Brazil. CHA, a leader in PCMH implementation, is working with Unimed Mercosul (a confederation of physician cooperatives in the states of Santa Caterina, Parana, and Rio Grande do Sul) to launch a new primary care delivery model in its network. The project also reinforces the close ties CHA has with the local Brazilian population as it delivers culturally competent care to Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities.
Unimed is the world's largest physician cooperative. With over 110,000 physicians nationwide and 17 million patients under its care, it has a presence in 80% of the counties of Brazil. Its current care model lacks a reliable mechanism to deliver preventive services and coordinate the needs of patients with chronic illness. The PCMH primary care model that CHA is helping to institute is designed to address these issues. Because almost all of the Unimed physicians are specialists, CHA’s program will retrain specialists in the technical knowledge needed to lead and implement primary care and to broaden their clinical skills.
The goal is to establish 16 primary care sites by September 2014, with a possibility that the program could be expanded to other regions of Brazil.