Grants prepare future providers, enhance care in rural areas

Clinical Catalysts

Grants prepare future providers, enhance care in rural areas

The Department of Family Medicine at East Carolina University has landed several large grants this year aimed at enhancing primary health care in rural areas.

Collectively totaling $4.5 million, the grants were all awarded to the Brody School of Medicine by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), the primary federal agency for improving health care for people who are geographically isolated or otherwise economically or medically vulnerable.

“HRSA wants to support caring for underserved populations and training providers who will practice in underserved areas,” said Dr. Doyle (Skip) Cummings, director of research for the family medicine department. “They’re a good fit with institutions like ours who aim to teach learners at every level how to work with this population.” 

The largest of the three awards – weighing in at $2.5 million over five years – focuses on training future health care professionals across multiple primary care disciplines to deliver the type of primary care that will be increasingly important as our national system moves toward a patient-centered medical home model. It emphasizes high quality, patient-focused, interdisciplinary team-based care.

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