The Detroit Wayne County Health Authority (Health Authority) and
Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSU) have
been funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
to establish a teaching health center in Wayne County. Teaching Health
Centers are central to the Affordable Care Act as a tool expand primary
care in medically underserved areas and increase the supply of primary
care health providers over time.
The teaching health center grant, which amounts to $21 million over
three years, will involve post-graduate rotations through federally
qualified health centers, free clinics, community mental health
services, and other provider sites. HRSA has approved funding for 85 new
primary care positions in internal medicine, family medicine,
pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and geriatrics.
The DWCHA GME Consortium was created to establish an innovative
community-based model for residency training that will enhance
physicians' skills and broaden their perspectives in the service of
diverse, vulnerable populations. Further, in anticipation of the
expansion of the Medicaid-eligible population in 2014, the DWCHA GME
Consortium aims to increase the supply of health professionals working
in medically underserved communities.
"We're very pleased to establish this teaching health center in Detroit
together with an outstanding, progressive-thinking medical school," said
Chris Allen, CEO of the Health Authority. "The first step toward
alleviating the chronic provider shortage in medically-underserved areas
is to train primary care physicians in this setting. We believe that
many of these physicians will choose to locate here permanently
following their residency."
"This collaboration at this level is a win-win situation for MSU, the
Health Authority, and the health care safety net," explained William D.
Strampel, D.O, dean, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic
Medicine. "We are excited to work with the Health Authority to create
new post-doctoral training opportunities generated as a result of HRSA
funding. By establishing six new residency programs based in community
health centers offering primary care to the medically underserved, the
Health Authority will improve the quality of medical care in the
communitis it serves. For our medical school, we will be able to offer
new ambulatory sites to train medical students and address the need for
additional training programs. The Statewide Campus System will oversee
curricular implementation, provide educational programs, and assume
responsibility for meeting accreditation standards.
"Our collective goal as a Consortium is to create an environment that
produces primary care physicians that train and remain in medically
underserved areas of greater Detroit."
Other members of the consortium include federally qualified health
centers: Covenant Community Health Center; Detroit Community Health
Connections; The Wellness Plan; Western Wayne Family Health Center, and
Family Medical Center; as well as the Detroit Medical Center, Botsford
Hospital and Garden City Hospital.
The Teaching Health Center initiative, announced in 2011, is a five-year
federal program designed to increase the number of primary care medical
and dental residents training in community-based settings. Residency
funding comes through the Affordable Care Act.
"This initiative has several anticipated benefits," explains John
Sealey, D.O., who will coordinate the residency program. "The direct
involvement of the medical school will improve the quality of medical
care provided to the underserved. This patient population provides a
wealth of clinical pathology essential for the training of primary care
physicians. It is anticipated that osteopathic physicians who receive
their postdoctoral education in this educational setting will be more
likely to remain in the community which will help address the shortage
of healthcare providers in Detroit and Wayne County. It is also a
reflection of the Land Grant commitment of Michigan State University to
serve for the betterment of citizens in Michigan."
By augmenting residents from the traditional hospital experience, young
physicians will come to understand community health issues from the
grassroots level, adds Allen. "This collaboration, which brings a major
academic educational institution together with community health centers
in Wayne County demonstrates the utility of the Health Authority's role
in the regional safety net. We hope to encourage other academic programs
to join us in training the next generation of community health
professionals, including dentists, nurses, pharmacists, among others."
For community health centers, resident physicians will help increase
their capacity to serve their communities, explains Ed Larkins,
Executive Director of Family Medical Centers Michigan, Monroe. "Family
Medical Center of Michigan is extremely pleased to be part of this
exciting and innovative medical teaching program. It will be a great
benefit to the residents of the communities served by us and other
Federally Qualified Community Health Centers in southeastern Michigan.
This program will bring additional needed medical resources into
The Health Authority is chartered as a public body corporate based in
Detroit, Michigan with the mission of "ensuring access to health care
for all." In fulfillment of this mission, the Health Authority is
responsible for increasing the health care workforce in medically
underserved communities, Medicaid enrollment and access to other health
benefit programs, and expanding the capacity of primary care health
facilities serving vulnerable populations in Detroit and surrounding
Wayne County. The Health Authority coordinates the Primary Care Network
Council, a collaboration of community health centers, free clinics, and
other primary care programs.
The MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is based in East Lansing,
Michigan, providing medical education and training to 1,610 physicians
through its statewide campus system, including a D.O. - PhD. program. In
Detroit, MSU is affiliated with the Detroit Medical Center, a major
academic health system in Southeast Michigan.
MSU's program "Future Docs," outreach and recruitment program in
Southeast Michigan that encourages young people to enter health careers,
particularly osteopathic medicine. Local outreach staff engages local
community stakeholders and promotes health science careers among
students who would otherwise not be exposed to opportunities in the
field. The program also provides medical residents with an opportunity
to teach and mentor young students. MSU has also implemented
telecommunications systems to link its remote students with academic
resources at its main site in East Lansing.
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