NEOMED Receives Renewed AmeriCorps Funding for Service-Learning, Community Health Improvement

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Rootstown, Ohio - Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) was recently awarded renewed state AmeriCorps grant funding from ServeOhio that will support 10 full-time positions and 20 part-time positions to create a focused group of volunteers devoted to advancing the health and success of rural Ohio communities beginning in August. Year two of the three-year grant through ServeOhio, the state's governor-appointed commission on service and volunteerism, was approved to increase the number of AmeriCorps members from 20 to 30.  The increase in AmeriCorps members will allow for an increased outreach to Ohio school districts.  The grant award will total $798,000 with a portion of the ServeOhio investment matched by NEOMED.

Additionally, over $335,000 in scholarship money will be made available to AmeriCorps members through the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to use to pay existing student loans or advance their aspirations in a health-related career.

NEOMED-based AmeriCorps members develop and deliver a program that addresses health care workforce needs in communities, including rural primary care tracks, following the model of NEOMED's Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) initiative. The HPAC program is being implemented under NEOMED's leadership as part of its larger community engagement initiative to support and guide high school students with an interest in pursuing a health professions career, empowering them to develop sustainable programs that make a difference in the health of their communities.

The 30 AmeriCorps members will implement an HPAC service learning curriculum that helps students to identify pressing health concerns in their community through self-directed learning, seek and obtain resources from within their community, and combine resources and learning to formulate health improvement programs while advancing themselves toward health care careers. The HPAC curriculum will be offered through local high schools and increasingly in higher education institutions in identified regions throughout Ohio.

This project is a lead initiative of the Ohio Alliance, which is a state-based consortium organization of the national Sullivan Alliance to Transform America's Health Professions. Based out of NEOMED, the Ohio Alliance coordinates the efforts of multiple partners across the state to advance the health and economic vitality of Ohio through health professions training pathways. The goal of the Ohio Alliance is to enhance the capacity of its partners to prepare an academically competent, diverse health care workforce, committed to promoting community health and economic development in Ohio.

Northeast Ohio Medical University is a community-based, public medical university with a mission to improve the quality of health care in Northeast Ohio working in collaboration with its educational and clinical partners. With a focus on scientific and medical research, and the interprofessional training of health professionals that is unique to the state of Ohio, the University offers a doctor of medicine (M.D.) and a doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, in addition to graduate-level coursework and research opportunities leading to master's and doctoral degrees in other medical areas. Northeast Ohio Medical University is a founding member of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. Visit www.neomed.edu.