AAP Member Spotlight

  Cooley William Carl Cooley, MD, FAAP

Center for Medical Home Improvement,
Greenfield, New Hampshire

William Carl Cooley is a developmental pediatrician and Medical Director, Crotched Mountain Foundation and Rehabilitation Center. Dr Cooley is also the Co-Director of the Center for Medical Home Improvement in Greenfield, New Hampshire. In these professional roles, Dr Cooley works to blend his clinical passions of relationships with families with his commitment to improve pediatric primary care through implementation of the medical home model of care.

Dr. Cooley received a BA degree from Yale University in 1969 and a MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. Dr. Cooley did his pediatric residency at the University of Michigan in 1976. For 11 years, Dr Cooley practiced as a general pediatrician in New Hampshire.

After the birth of his first child, a daughter with Down syndrome in 1984, Dr Cooley began a new career path. As he took more satisfaction in the care of children with chronic conditions., he noticed an increase in the number of families with children with special needs seeking care at his practice. "Eventually, I was able to balance my feelings about routine parental worries and complex parental concerns, and I recognized that thoughtful worry management is an important part of pediatric practice for both well children and those with chronic conditions." His practice began to focus on building a medical home for all children, providing care that is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, family centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective.

Dr Cooley began to weigh his need to be either a good primary care pediatrician for all children or a better developmental disabilities specialist. In 1987, Dr Cooley left his primary care practice for a two-year fellowship in developmental pediatrics. He wanted to "bridge his love for the therapeutic partnership with individual kids and families and his desire to help train other professionals, shape policies, and improve systems of care."

With co-founder Jeanne McAllister, Dr. Cooley established the Center for Medical Home Improvement in 1998. Since then CMHI has developed many helpful materials that are used by pediatric and family medicine practices across the country to improve and evaluate their processes of care for all children, but particularly those with special health care needs. One example of these efforts is a widely adopted quality improvement methodology for primary care practices for the implementation of the medical home model in which practice-based improvement teams include a physician leader, an office-based care coordinator, and parents implement incremental changes to become more of a primary care medical home.

Dr Cooley also created and standardized a quality improvement instrument called the Medical Home Index to measure the "medical homeness" of individual practices. The Medical Home Index has been accepted across the United States and in other countries as the gold standard for assessing Medical Home in primary care pediatric practices. His contributions provided the foundation for a partnership with the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), the Maternail and Child Health Bureau, and the AAP to implement two national Medical Home Learning Collaboratives (MHLC) involving 20 states that allow Title V CSHCN Programs to collaborate with pediatric practices to further expand the Medical Home concept. Dr Cooley chaired the first national MHLC involving 11 states and 33 primary care practices and was a faculty member on the second MHLC.

Dr. Cooley is co-author of Preventive Management for Children with Congenital Anomalies and Syndromes which provides preventive care guidelines and recommendation for children with many genetic conditions. In 2001, he was named Pediatirician of the Year by the New Hampshire Pediatrics Society (chapter of the AAP). In October 2005, Dr. Cooley received the Director's Award from the US Maternal and Child Health Bureau for his efforts aimed at improving the health and well-being of children and adolescents.

For more information on the Medical Home Index and the Center for Medical Home Improvement, go to http://www.medicalhomeimprovement.org

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