Dr. Tracey conti believes the current time is a pivotal moment in how the medical community can improve health for underserved populations and treat disparities. The pathway to this is primary care.
Conti stated that it was a great opportunity to elevate the voice and importance of primary care.
Conti is better informed than anyone else about the importance of good, strong primary health care in reducing disparities that have existed for years but were made even more serious during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic brought more attention to these areas, as well as what is called social determinants in health. These are non-medical factors which determine an individual's wellbeing.
Conti was inspired to become a doctor after she accompanied her mother who worked at West Penn Hospital when she was young. She attended college, then medical school. She always knew that she wanted a specialization that focused on the community.
Conti has focused on a strong, vibrant primary care system throughout his career, first as a physician, and then as a medical director at UPMC Latterman Family Health Center, McKeesport. This facility not only provides healthcare to thousands of McKeesport residents every year, but it also acts as a training center for medical students and residents.
She was appointed chair of the Department of Family Medicine by UPMC in 2021. Since then, she has made sure that the department and its professionals are trained in primary care.
Conti stated that he was proud of the fact that the department focuses on prevention and whole-person health care. Lifestyle medicine is a new clinical initiative that has been adopted by all the family medicine residency programs and even beyond Pittsburgh.
Lifestyle medicine is a way of life. It informs all aspects, from how to eat healthier and better take care of your body to ways to reduce food insecurity.
Conti has also been a strong advocate for underserved communities, having served on the Black Equity Coalition which helps improve health outcomes for Pittsburgh’s Black Community. She also was a board member at UPMC Health Plan. She considers advocacy to be an important part of her work.
Conti stated that 'health disparities will not end with Covid'. I always said that Covid brought it to light. We continue to push this agenda now that people have recognized it.
She stated that the country needs to do more work.
She said, "If you don’t have policies that address equity issues in a meaningful way, you won’t be able make any substantive changes." Every (health) measure should include some form of health assessment. It is not possible to make a policy that does not consider the impact on health.
Married to Rev. Dr. Christopher Conti has seven children: Christopher Jr.
Education: B.S. in biology from Prairie View A&M University, M.D. at Temple University, family medicine residency, and fellowships in faculty development/women’s health through the University of Maryland
Title: Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, UPMC/University of Pittsburgh
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