The Department of Family Medicine www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/fammed within the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU) has received several large grants this year to improve primary healthcare in rural areas. Totaling $4.5 million, the grants were awarded by HRSA www.hrsa.gov within HHS.
The largest grant funding for $2.5 million over five years is focused on training future healthcare professionals to provide primary care especially since care will move towards a patient-centered medical home model.
The grant funding will work to equip ECU’s primary care graduates the ability to lead clinical practices through the transformation process with plans to optimize care outcomes for rural, underserved patient populations.
The grant funding will also be used to restructure potions of existing curricula for medical, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and clinical psychology students. This is necessary to help students develop the skills necessary to deliver data-driven collaborative care that will be part of future medical practices.
Third year medical students will have the opportunity to go to sites where providers would like to learn more on how to transform their practices into patient-centered medical homes and visit other sites where providers are already incorporating these changes into their practices.
A second HRSA grant awarded for $1.2 million will enable the Department of Family Medicine to increase access to primary healthcare in rural Duplin County in North Carolina. Plans are to build on the department’s existing telemedicine program and its relationship with Goshen Medical Center www.goshenmedical.org, which is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in the state.
The grant will fund the establishment of telehealth connections in three Duplin county schools. Through these links, teachers, staff, and students will be able to consult with physicians at Goshen Medical Center and the Department of Family Medicine.
The third HRSA grant for $800,000 will help a cross campus collaboration attract more doctoral students in clinical psychology. The principal investigators are Dr. Dennis Russo, Section Head for Behavioral Health in Family Medicine and Sr. Robert Cares Director of Clinical Training for the Department of Psychology.