Pipeline program receives funding at UMKC, publication cites Ohio-based universities

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From the National Program Office

We are pleased to share the news that UMKC received a mini-grant from the Kansas City STEM Alliance to establish a summer HPAC program: “Healthy KC Affinity Groups.” UMKC hopes to expand this summer program into a year-long program, similar to the HPAC program modeled by NEOMED. 
 
An executive summary of our most recent annual meeting at the University of New Mexico is available online. The summary highlights key accomplishments and outcomes of the meeting, as well as anticipated next steps.
 
Finally, in our last newsletter we mentioned that several members of our Learning Collaborative participated in a briefing on health workforce diversity in Ohio, hosted by the Health Policy Institute of Ohio. The Institute has published a policy brief on the topic, citing both Urban Universities for HEALTH and individual efforts of our Ohio-based institutions.  The publication is now available online.
 

Funding Opportunities

NIH has posted an FOA aimed at higher education institutions to establish a Coordination Center to facilitate and support activities for NIMHD Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers (TCCs) for Health Disparities Research.  One $2 million grant will be awarded. Letters of intent are due May 19, 2014.
 
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, CDC Academic Partnership Project is pleased to announce a call for proposals for two small evaluation projects to increase the evidence base in the impact of academic/practice partnerships in public/population health.  Eligible applicants should be current members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing involved in an existing graduate or undergraduate academic/practice partnership that has been functional for at least 2 calendar years. Two grants in the amount of $5,000.00 each are available to support a small evaluation project. Please contact Mary Paterson, Project Director, at mpaterson@aacn.nche.edu to learn more about how to apply. Deadline: May 31, 2014.
 
HRSA has posted a grant opportunity to establish Regional Public Health Training Centers (as described in the Affordable Care Act).  Although any university may apply, applications from accredited schools of public health will be given preference. The deadline for applications is June 9, 2014.  Additional funding for technical assistance is also available.
 

News

The Supreme Court’s decision to affirm Michigan’s ban on affirmative action sparked an interesting conversation online among experts and researchers on how the ban has impacted minority enrollment, and whether or not alternatives to affirmative action have been effective. An op-ed in Time magazine argues that universities should seek out ways to support disadvantaged children earlier in the educational pipeline to increase academic preparedness and level the playing field years before potential students apply for college.
 
The American Medical Association assembled a convention of medical schools last month as part of an initiative called “Accelerating Change in Medical Education,” a competition challenging schools to create their best proposal for innovative medical training. Each winning college received a $1 million grant to implement their proposal over five years.  Proposals included learning communities to provide coaching and mentorship, early graduation for students with prior experience in health fields, and changes to admissions and residency processes that would recruit more students with problem-solving skills.
 
A recent U.S. Senate Subcommittee Hearing focused on "Addressing Primary Care Access and Workforce Challenges.” Testimony was provided by a number of community health organization representatives, health care executives, and medical residents. Individual testimony is available for download, as well as a video of the proceedings.

Upcoming Events

Population health is receiving increased attention for its role in improving health care, specifically its impact on health care disparities. Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence will hold a webinar on Tuesday, May 30 from 2:30-3:30pm Eastern Time entitled "Serving the Most Vulnerable: Population Health and the Reduction of Health Care Disparities." This webinar will examine how hospitals, health care providers and clinicians are using population health to advance equitable care and its overall benefits to the work they do.
 
The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved will hold their 2014 Annual Meeting and Health IT Forum on June 25-27 in Alexandria, VA.  The meeting will bring clinical leaders and top government officials together to focus on improving access to care for millions of people living in underserved areas of our country.
 

Publications and Resources

The University of Massachusetts Medical School published a perspective piece on the dynamics of state university participation in state Medicaid administration, using cases from Maryland, Massachusetts, and Ohio as examples of success. The authors argue that the appropriateness and benefits of state universities engaging in Medicaid administration have been well established, and that such partnerships have the opportunity to strengthen the Medicaid system through preparation of the clinical workforce.
 
Current measures of access to care have intrinsic limitations and may not accurately reflect the capacity of the primary care system to absorb new patients.  A study published in JAMA assesses primary care appointment availability by state and insurance status. The researchers found that access varies widely across states and insurance status, and recommended increased use of patient navigators to alleviate disparities.
 
The University of Michigan Medical School has developed a resource called “Caring with Compassion” that uses gaming to improve skills needed to serve at-risk and vulnerable populations. CME credits are offered for participation.

 

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