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Heritage College primary care programs receive $600,000 in MEDTAPP funding

(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 the program.

“Our program gives medical professionals the tools they need to recognize trauma in their patients and cope with their own stress,” said Shaub.

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 care.”

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.


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Last updated: 01/28/2016