CWRU wins federal funding for health initiatives aiding underserved patients

Case Western Reserve University will build on its extensive health programs for underserved patients with an investment of $6.4 million shared between the university and the Ohio Medicaid program.

The state committed $3.3 million of federal Medicaid dollars to support efforts to prepare health care practitioners for work in a range of disciplines, from pediatrics and family practice to dentistry and psychiatry. The School of Medicine matched the state’s $2.9 million pledge for physician education with $3.1 million of its own. Similarly, the School of Dental Medicine matched nearly $144,000 awarded through the state with just more than $158,000 from its funds.

The federal dollars come through the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP), specifically its Health Care Access Initiative.

“These projects will provide unique and diverse training opportunities,” said Ohio Medicaid Director John McCarthy. “After they graduate, participants will go on to work at clinics in neighborhoods in need of doctors and other healthcare professionals. They can help people there with both their short-term and long-term health needs, and help them learn more about what it takes to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

A veteran in urban health care, Case Western Reserve has been entrenched in the treatment of Northeast Ohio’s underserved populations for decades. By leveraging this foundation and MEDTAPP support, the school is able to expand its role in recruiting, attracting and retaining a healthcare workforce focused on the needs of Medicaid patients.

The MEDTAPP HAI grants to Case Western Reserve will support the following:

  • The Department of Family Medicine and the MetroHealth System will collaborate on the preparation of health and behavior health trainees into the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model. This model emphasizes coordination among all professionals serving a patient. As part of these efforts, MetroHealth and Family Medicine also will collaborate with the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing to develop an interdisciplinary educational program designed to enhance communication and interdisciplinary skills in new graduates in a spectrum of primary care roles. In addition, the program will seek to add practitioners to serve in Ohio’s disadvantaged neighborhoods and community clinics.
  • The School of Dental Medicine will create a customized curriculum that will include training in cultural sensitivity and competency for serving the Medicaid population. The coursework also will cover the interdisciplinary Smiles for Life Curriculum, which helps train non-dental providers in oral health activities. The school also will begin training and placement of an oral health patient navigator to assist Medicaid families from area sealant programs to obtain referral care and establish a dental home.
  • The Department of Pediatrics will create Case Western Reserve University’s Children’s Access Now to expand the number of pediatricians and child health professionals serving Ohio’s pediatric Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • The Department of Psychiatry will add faculty, coursework and clinical placement opportunities to help increase the number of psychiatrists serving Ohio’s Medicaid beneficiaries. Efforts will focus on serving Ohio’s underserved Medicaid and medically indigent populations, both in the context of training experiences and following completion of training.