Connecting Primary Care to Community-Based Education: Michigan Physicians’ Familiarity With Extension Programs

Tamkeen Khan, Cheryl Eschbach, Courtney A. Cuthbertson, Cathy Newkirk, Dawn Contreras, Kate Kirley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical–community linkages enhance health care delivery and enable physician–patient partnerships to achieve better health. The Michigan State University (MSU) Model of Health Extension includes a strategy for forming these linkages by focusing on increasing primary care patient referrals and enrollment in health programs. This article shares the results of a survey of Michigan internal medicine and family medicine physicians (n = 323) to better understand attitudes toward and familiarity with community-based education (CBE) programs and to assess the logistical requirements to make CBE referrals efficient and sustainable. Survey results showed that at most, 55% of respondents were aware of at least one CBE program implemented by Cooperative Extension. Of those who were aware, over 85% agreed that the programs have positive benefits for patients. Thirty-five percent reported at least one referral barrier, and familiarity with the CBE programs was a significant predictor for reporting all referral barriers. The results suggest that increasing physicians’ familiarity of CBE health programs is a key first step in identifying ideal strategies to overcome referral barriers. Data from this study may help determine scalable state level models for increasing awareness of chronic disease prevention and other CBE programs in efforts to improve the health of the nation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • community-based education
  • health extension
  • patient barriers
  • physician referrals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Connecting Primary Care to Community-Based Education: Michigan Physicians’ Familiarity With Extension Programs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this