A new study on admissions, and a new home for CSU/NEOMED’s Partnership for Urban Health

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From the National Program Office

The National Program Office is pleased to announce the launch of a national study on the use of holistic admission practices in the health professions. The study will examine how universities are using holistic review and other promising practices, with the goal of improving evidence in support of admission strategies that lead to a more diverse and culturally competent health workforce. The study will be led by Dr. Greer Glazer, dean of the College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati.  A supplemental grant has been awarded to the AAMC and USU/APLU to fund additional research and activities associated with the study, which we expect to complete by the end of October 2014.

Funding Opportunities

Three new funding opportunities have been announced as part of the NIH Enhancing the Diversity of the NIH-Funded Workforce Program: the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) initiative, the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), and the Coordination and Evaluation Center (CEC). Awardees funded through these initiatives will work together as a consortium which will be coordinated by the CEC. Letters of intent are due February 18, 2014, and applications are due March 18, 2014. Public and private universities that receive less than $7.5 million (total costs) of NIH research project grant (RPG) funding annually and have an award-eligible pool of undergraduate students, at least 25% of whom are supported by Pell grants, are eligible to apply. 

The goal of Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE) is to enhance the diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research workforce, and to encourage the development of creative educational activities. Activities will be supported and complemented by the Coordination Center for Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research (PRIDE). For both funding opportunities, letters of intent are due February 13, 2014, and applications are due March 13, 2014.

CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) have announced a Health Disparities Service Fellowship in NCHS' Office of the Center Director.  The Fellow, reporting to the Director of Extramural Research, will develop a research program to examine health disparities using data from across the Center. Applications are due January 15, 2014.

The Reducing Health Disparities among Minority and Underserved Children initiative encourages research that targets the reduction of health disparities among children.  Standard dates apply, and applications will be accepted beginning January 5, 2014. Both R1 and R21 funding opportunities are being offered.

News

Cleveland State University to Debut New Interprofessional Model for Health-Care Education
Cleveland State has broken ground “on a state-of-the-art facility where future physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals will learn to work together at the forefront of collaborative health-care education and research.” In addition to housing CSU programs offered by the School of Nursing and the School of Health Sciences, the building will also house the Cleveland cohort of NEOMED’s programs within their College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Graduate Studies and will serve as the home of the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health. The 100,000 square foot, $45 million building is scheduled to be completed in June 2015.
 
The Kaiser Permanente Burch Minority Leadership Development Program has announced its 2014-2016 awardees, which include two scholars from our Learning Collaborative.  Lisa Cacari-Stone, PhD is an Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine-Public Health Program and a Senior Fellow, Robert Johns Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. LeConté J. Dill, DrPH is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center.  These awards are designed to facilitate the establishment and maintenance of connections and dialogue with health policymakers in federal, state and local governments and to develop and sustain the visibility and emerging leadership of these minority researchers.
 
Obama administration awards $55 million to boost health-care workforce
The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $55.5 million in grants to help bolster a health-care workforce that is stretched thin and possibly due for more strain under the Affordable Care Act. About 82 percent of the money will go toward nursing to provide low-interest educational loans, pay for advanced training and encourage racial and ethnic minorities to enter the profession. A smaller portion of the funding will help address dental-workforce needs, support residency programs in the field of preventive medicine and train doctoral-level psychologists.

Safety-Net Hospitals Lose More Under Medicare’s Quality-Based Payments, Analysis Finds
Medicare’s effort to reward hospitals for quality is leaving many of the nation’s safety-net hospitals poorer, a new analysis finds. Hospitals treating the most low-income patients on average had their payment rates reduced by 0.09 percent in the latest round of Medicare’s program that rates hospitals’ quality. In contrast, the hospitals with the fewest low-income patients received an average bonus of 0.6 percent.
 
In South Los Angeles, A Bold Plan to Address Health Disparities
The third installment of Forbes’ “Profiles in Innovation” series describes how the leader of a network of FQHCs in South Los Angeles has been tackling health disparities through the creation of “wellness trusts.”
 
Tackling a Racial Gap in Breast Cancer Survival
This article explores some of the reasons behind the widening racial divide in breast cancer survival rates.  Although breast cancer is diagnosed more frequently in white women, black women are far more likely to die of the disease.  The article includes an interactive graphic, showing state-by-state differences in mortality rates between black women and white women with breast cancer since 1975.
 
Medical Schools Expand with Little Change in Demographics
“We learned that there are a number of things we will need to address as we work to create a pipeline program,” said principal investigator Greer Glazer, PhD, University of Cincinnati College of Nursing dean in a written statement. “We need to build the confidence of students at an early age, expose them early on to the possibility of a career in healthcare, educate parents about career opportunities for their children, engage entire communities around the topic, and build--and in some cases, rebuild--trust.”
 
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has hired its first permanent associate director of data science-- a formal signal by the biomedical agency that the age of "big data" has arrived in scientific research.

 

Upcoming Events

The 2014 LGBT Health Workforce Conference will be held on May 1-3, 2014 in New York, NY.  The focus is "Engineering Institutions and Empowering Individuals to Better Serve LGBT Communities."  Although the conference is designed for health professionals, educators, and students (pre-health professions, professional schools, and graduate), all who are interested are invited to attend. CME credit will be available.
 
The AAMC will hold a webinar entitled "Charting a Course as a Clinician Investigator: Many Alternatives to the Demands of Being a PI" on Thursday, January 30, 2014, from 2:00-3:00pm EST.  A second webinar, "Navigating through the AHRQ's Career Development Opportunities, Application Preparation and Review Process,” will be held on Thursday, February 13, 2014, from 2:00-3:00pm EST

Publications and Resources

HRSA’s National Center for Health Workforce Analysis has released a new report, “Projecting the Supply and Demand for Primary Care Practitioners Through 2020.” Findings from the report include: “demand for primary care services is projected to grow, mostly due to population aging and growth; the primary care NP and PA workforces are projected to grow far more rapidly than the physician supply; and, increased use of NPs and PAs could somewhat alleviate the projected primary care physician shortage if they are effectively integrated into the health care delivery system.”
 
Numerous forecasts have predicted shortages of physicians in the United States, particularly in light of the expected increase in demand from the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  However, an analysis by the RAND Corporation suggests that several recent innovations a attempting to change the way primary care is delivered — by expanding who provides care (e.g., physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants) and how care is coordinated (e.g., through teams), may reduce the severity of the shortage. 
 
A new study in JAMA Psychiatry examines the impact of insurance acceptance by psychiatrists on access to mental health care. The authors found that acceptance rates for all types of insurance were significantly lower for psychiatrists than for physicians in other specialties, and that these low rates of acceptance may pose a barrier to access to mental health services.
 
The Centers for Disease Control has issued “CDC Health Disparities and Inequalities Report — United States, 2013.” This is the CDC’s second health disparities report. It provides new data for 19 of the topics published in 2011 and presents 10 new topics.

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) has made available a recording of their recent webinar on how a social determinants approach may be applied in practice and incorporated into education for public health to strengthen the health ecosystem. 
 
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