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Thomas Jefferson University’s Department of Family & Community Medicine Awarded Hot Spotting Mini-Grant


PHILADELPHIA – An interprofessional team of five Thomas Jefferson University students were awarded a hot spotting mini-grant by the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, Association of American Medical Colleges and Primary Care Progress. The team is one of 10 selected nationwide for the grant, the only one in the Philadelphia area.

Hot spotting is the practice of identifying “super-utilizers” of the health care system and case-managing their needs to improve their health and lower the community’s overall health care costs.  According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 5 percent of the population accounts for almost half of total health care expenses in the United States.

“We assembled a dynamic, talented student team at Jefferson involving students from different health professions with a variety of backgrounds, skills and experiences,” said Brooke Salzman, M.D., Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and Faculty Advisor for the mini-grant. “Despite their differences in training, the students share a few important things: frustration with the current health care system, compassion for those with unmet health care needs, and a strong belief that they can affect change.”

Supported by Dr. Salzman and other faculty advisers, students will identify super-utilizers of the health care system, gain a deep understanding of the factors affecting their health and learn to tell the narrative story of each patient. The pilot grant hopes this process will plant seeds of hot spotting in future health care providers to benefit patients and entire communities.

The students will not be providing medical care, but rather conducting a real-time root cause analysis of why some patients are super-utilizing the health care system. The mini-grant will be used for the direct benefit of patients for items to improve their care, i.e. transportation costs, phone cards, and medical devices.

The six-month experience will culminate in a case conference presented to faculty advisors and key stakeholders at Thomas Jefferson University.

For more information, contact Gail Benner, 215-955-2240,



Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia, is nationally renowned for medical and health sciences education and innovative research.   Founded in 1824, TJU includes the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), one of the largest private medical schools in the country and ranked among the nation’s best medical schools by U.S. News & World Report, and the Jefferson Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions, Population Health and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  Jefferson University Physicians is TJU’s multi-specialty physician practice consisting of the full-time faculty of JMC.  Thomas Jefferson University partners with its clinical affiliate, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.