(ATHENS, Ohio – Dec. 7, 2015) The Medicaid Technical Assistance and
Policy Program (MEDTAPP) has awarded more than $600,000 to the Ohio
University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine to support a
program designed to improve the retention of primary care health
workers and for scholarships that will be given to medical students
planning to practice primary care.
MEDTAPP awarded more than
$209,000 for a two-year continuation of the Integrated Mind-Body
Medicine Program. This innovative program, now in its third year,
equips early-career medical professionals with the knowledge, skills
and support they need to care for impoverished patients who are
suffering from traumatic stress.
“There are many examples of trauma-informed training programs in
behavioral health settings, but few, if any, are designed
specifically for primary care clinics,” said Assistant Professor of
Social Medicine Joseph Bianco, Ph.D. “In rural and underserved
areas, traumatic stress is pervasive and affects patients’ health
status, treatment adherence and service utilization. These
challenges can wear on primary care workers and lead to burnout.”
Bianco along with Chair and Associate Professor of Family Medicine
Tracy Shaub, D.O. (’92), and Assistant Professor of Social Medicine
Dawn Graham, Ph.D., are leading the implementation and research of
“Our program gives medical professionals the tools they need to
recognize trauma in their patients and cope with their own stress,”
The program, one of the first of its kind in the country
specifically focused on professionals working in primary care, was
piloted in Southeast Ohio and will be expanding into the Cleveland
area next year.
MEDTAPP has also awarded $420,000 for the MEDTAPP Primary Care
Scholarship. The funding will be split over two years, with 14
scholarships being given each year to students who plan to practice
primary care in Ohio and serve Medicaid populations.
“Sometimes students, despite having a strong interest in primary
care, choose higher paying specialties because of their financial
concerns,” said Shaub, who is also leading the scholarship program.
“The scholarships can help alleviate some of that concern and
incentivize students to go into a primary care residency.”
The scholarship program is in its third year and to date has
given $600,000 in funding to 40 Heritage College students.
“For many of our students, practicing primary care fits well with
their strong sense of altruism,” said Heritage College Executive
Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O. “We want our students to follow their
heart when they become physicians. Scholarships and retention
programs like these reduce the possibility of burnout and help
sustain their passion for community service and a career in primary
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a
leader in training dedicated primary care physicians who are
prepared to address the most pervasive medical needs in the state
and the nation. Approximately 50 percent of Heritage College alumni
practice in primary care and nearly 60 percent practice in Ohio.
CARE LEADS HERE.
MEDTAPP is a university Medicaid research partnership combining
nonfederal and federal funds to support the efficient and effective
administration of the Medicaid program. MEDTAPP partners include the
Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Ohio
Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Board of Regents
and the Government Resource Center.