OUR NAMESAKE: LARRY A. GREEN
This Center and its directors are only one among many groups and individuals to experience “the Larry Green effect” – that known and undeniable subatomic force that at once supports, connects, and inspires through unbridled passion for personal doctoring.
Dr. Green is described by colleagues as a “national treasure” for his contributions to Family Medicine, both nationally and internationally. Graduating in 1976 from one of the first Family Medicine residency programs in Rochester, NY, Dr. Green quickly began publishing papers about how to move the discipline forward. The University of Colorado in Denver, and the mountains that surround it, have remained his home since 1977.
Dr. Green has shaped the ways of generalism, primary care, and family medicine through many national leadership positions as Board member, President, and Chair. Dr. Green has directed graduate medical education programs, helped develop rural health programs, pioneered regional
and national primary care practice based research networks, chaired an academic department, served as founding director of a national health policy center, advocated for the establishment of a federal agency and later served on the National Advisor Committee for it after it was renamed the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He has directed practice change programs funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and other large philanthropies. Dr. Green was trained by the founders of Family Medicine and remains a great philosopher, dedicated historian, and promoter of their passion for humanism and healing. His research has won him multiple lifetime achievement awards and if introducing himself, he would state simply: My name is Larry Green and I’m a family doctor.
His influence and spirit have been recognized by others. The University of Colorado's Family Medicine residents have established an award in his name for excellence in clinical practice, education, and advocacy. The University has also recognized his contributions through the establishment of the endowed Green-Edelman Chair for Practice-Based Research and Dr. Green's designation as a Distinguished University Professor. At the Robert Graham Center, the fellowship program refers to the fellows as the Larry A. Green Scholars.
For us here at the Green Center, Dr. Green is simply Larry. While his name carries decades of history and honors, Larry is perhaps one of the most genuine, open, and humble humans to walk this earth. He is the man we turn to for advice and guidance, both personally and professionally. Thankfully, he never looks at us as if we have three heads when we propose outlandish ways of thinking and performing research. His normal response has become ours: “how can I help?”
"If we are to respond to a large majority of what bothers people that prompts them to enter health care, we have no choice but to explore it in primary care settings."