UNE Primary Care Training and Enhancement Grant, A Look Back at Year 1

Members of the UNE HRSA PCTE team (L-R, Melanie Caldwell, Ruby Spicer, Toho Soma, Dora Anne Mills, Ruth Dufresne)

Members of the UNE HRSA PCTE team (L-R, Melanie Caldwell, Ruby Spicer, Toho Soma, Dora Anne Mills, Ruth Dufresne)

In July of 2016, the University of New England’s (UNE) Center for Excellence in Health Innovation was awarded a five-year, $2.5 million federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As part of the requirement of the grant, UNE partnered with a Federally Qualified Health Center, Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC), to transform the primary care workforce in rural and underserved Maine, and improve health outcomes. Dora Anne Mills, MD, MPH, FAAP, Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Director of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Health Innovation serves as Principal Investigator for the grant.

Each year a cohort of UNE students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Physician Assistant Program, College of Pharmacy, and College of Dental Medicine on rotation at PCHC sites in Bangor, and a group of PCHC preceptors attend a series of five training sessions. The trainings are based on the five Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry (ACTPCMD) recommended topics: interprofessional education, social determinants of health, oral health for primary care, health literacy, and shared decision making. Trainings are facilitated by faculty from UNE, Maine Medical Center, and Tufts University. Each session was designed to provide students and preceptors an opportunity to train together, and to learn the skills needed for exemplary interprofessional practice in order to improve patient care.

Students also participate in weekly learning activities that emphasized population health. Similar to the trainings, learning activities are held in interprofessional groups and focus on implementing UNE’s Clinical Interprofessional Curriculum (http://www.une.edu/clinical-interprofessional-curriculum). UNE faculty member Jen Gunderman, MPH, and PCHC’s George Case, FNP-C, facilitate the learning activities. Additional opportunities for students to learn alongside other professions outside their program include attending the Controlled Substance Initiative (CSI) and High Utilizer Group (HUG) meetings.

As of July 1, 2017, Year 1 of the five-year grant was completed. The total number of students and preceptors reached during the first year of the PCTE grant were: 28 COM, 5 PA, 4 Pharmacy, 1 Dental, and 5 PCHC preceptors. The PCTE team evaluated students and preceptors on each component of the project and have used this important feedback to update the ACTPCMD training and learning activities format, schedules, and content. In Year 2 all five of the trainings will now occur early in the Fall and will be held over just two days, allowing students to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge throughout their clinical year. The format of the weekly learning activities in Year 2 will also change slightly to alternate weekly between topic discussions and case presentations.

UNE received an additional $80,000 supplemental funding award in Year 2 to implement training and curriculum development on medication-assisted treatment for students and community providers.

For more information, contact Project Coordinator Melanie Caldwell, MS, at mcaldwell4@une.edu.

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