Primary care is a function known to favorably impact health status and to serve efficiently as the foundation of successful health care systems. It is not the solution to all problems, but it is an important element of best health care for all people. Family practice is known to be a successful and highly versatile approach to accomplishing primary care. Particularly in the United States, there is a relative, persistent neglect of both primary care and family practice from a health policy perspective, to the detriment of many people.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is committed to assuring the best possible primary care for all, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, geographic location or socioeconomic status. As part of its effort, the AAFP launched in June of 1999 the Center for Policy Studies in Family Practice and Primary Care in Washington, D.C. The purpose of this Center is to bring a family practice and primary care perspective to health policy deliberations in Washington. The Center is a discrete entity with editorial independence, staffed by a small research team focused on analyses that can elucidate primary care and family practice in terms that relate to important policy issues.

Initial themes guiding the work of the Center include the need for critical infrastructures for primary care, the problems associated with lack of universal coverage, and confusion about the functional domain of family practice and primary care.

The Center welcomes collaborations with individuals and organizations seeking similar goals