ABFM and Stanford Support CDC to Monitor COVID-19 Incidence, Prevalence and Long-term Symptoms

Image courtesy of the American Board of Family Medicine

December 16, 2021. The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) and the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences (PHS) have entered into a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to apply a new initiative to monitor social inequalities in COVID-19 and assess the prevalence and severity of long-term symptoms of COVID-19.

While numerous studies are starting to report the long-term complications from COVID-19 illness, few have included diverse populations from primary care practices or have the ability to address health disparities. This contract utilizes electronic health record data from millions of Americans and will provide insight into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic that can be applied to clinical practice to improve outcomes for patients and their families. Many rural areas have limited access to specialists, so more responsibility falls on primary care to identify and manage COVID-19 and long-term COVID-19.

“This project brings together three groups—the CDC, ABFM, and Stanford PHS—with complementary knowledge in a project that is focused on understanding social inequalities in COVID-19 incidence and long-term complications, using new data that includes millions of people not captured through other health data sources,” said David Rehkopf, Associate Professor and Director of Stanford PHS. “We are honored to be able to work with the CDC to support their mission of understanding the burden of COVID-19 in the population, in particular among groups underrepresented in other data sources."

“The clinicians of the PRIME Registry care for a diverse, national swath of the United States,” adds Dr. Bob Phillips, Executive Director of ABFM’s Center for Professionalism & Value in Health Care. “The reach of these practices into small and rural communities make them an important window for understanding the course of a pandemic through America. We anticipate that this contract with CDC will enable our understanding of health and health care in primary care, where most people go for care.” 


Founded in 1969, the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is a not-for-profit private organization whose mission is to improve the health of the public through board certification, residency training, research, leadership development, and promoting the development of the specialty of Family Medicine. As of fall 2021, ABFM has more than 101,000 Diplomates and is the third largest of 24 boards that make up the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).  

ABFM’s PRIME Registry is an outpatient Qualified Clinical Data Registry certified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2016 to report clinical quality measures for federal and other reporting requirements. It was established to help provide family physicians and primary care clinicians a faster, easier way to evaluate practice performance. 

Founded in 2015, the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences mission is to improve the health of populations by bringing together diverse disciplines and data to understand and address social, environmental, behavioral, and biological factors on both a domestic and global scale.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish their mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.