The concept of relationship-centered care (RCC) grew out of collaborative efforts between the Pew Health Professions Commission and the Fetzer Institute which began in 1992. The Pew-Fetzer Task Force brought national experts together to provide direction for medical education programs that would reflect an integrated biomedical-psychosocial perspective. The report of the task force, Health Professions Education and Relationship-Centered Care was published in 1994 and has had wide circulation and consistent demand leading to a second printing in January, 2000. A national RCC movement is growing with hubs of activity in communities and institutions around the country. The second national RCC conference attracted about 200 participants, to Scottsdale, AZ in December, 2000.
Locally, The Forum of Greater Kalamazoo began partnering with the Fetzer Institute in 1998 to facilitate the development of a local RCC network. Organizing efforts culminated in the formation of the Relationship Centered Care Network - SWMI in the fall of 1999. The network participant list grew from 72 to 146 through year 2000 and continues to grow. We continue to operate as a program of The Forum of Greater Kalamazoo, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
Locally, RCCSWMI employs a strategy described by Parker Palmer as a "movement model" of change. As stated by the Fetzer Institute, "Relationship-centered care is not an attempt to reform the health care system." "The strategy is meant to encourage individuals who have a readiness to engage in this kind of work, thus allowing them to go into the institutions, practices, universities, and other organizations that they represent with renewed vision, vigor, strength, and the support of a caring network."