KeyBank grants $2 million to Cleveland medical schools for integrated learning model

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and CWRU School of Medicine to expand minority fellowship and interprofessional education

medical educationThe KeyBank Foundation announced a grant of $2 million to Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University, which will support a combined effort to enhance and expand medical students’ interprofessional education experiences. The interprofessional education model, which focuses on integrating all disciplines in teaching and learning environments, is “a necessary step in preparing a ‘collaborative, practice-ready’ health workforce,” as well as improving patient health outcomes, according to a report by the World Health Organization.

“With this grant, we are excited to expand our relationship with Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University,” said CEO of KeyBank Foundation Margot Copeland. “The interprofessional model is the future of medical education, and supporting two top medical institutions as they transform how medicine is taught and delivered is an honor.” 

The grant support is two-fold. At Cleveland Clinic, it will renew and grow the KeyBank Minority Medical Student Fellowship in place at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University by doubling the number of scholars to a total of 10 during the grant period to receive support throughout their education towards graduation.

The scholarships help to ensure the student body is diverse and reflective of the communities served. Additionally, the grant will help fund Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine’s outreach initiatives aimed at underserved communities, including the annual Minority Men’s Health Fair and Celebrate Sisterhood.

“We are committed to making sure that all students, especially underrepresented minorities, who want a career in healthcare have access to the best education opportunities,” said James Young, executive dean of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU. “A diverse pool of students is essential to delivering quality health care. It enhances our ability to understand and effectively communicate with all of the patients and families in the communities that we serve. Through the generosity of KeyBank, scholarships of this kind are making a big difference.”

The KeyBank Foundation-endowed scholarships are awarded to incoming students each year and provide support throughout their education toward graduation.

“I am both honored and grateful for KeyBank for believing in me. Their generous gift through the KeyBank Minority Medical Student Fellowship has allowed me to focus my energy on my medical education without the added stress of financial burdens,” said Noble Jones, a second-year medical student. “Furthermore, their faith in me through their gift encourages me to press forward in my dream to serve the community as a physician.”

Secondly, the grant will support the KeyBank Health Education Program, a compilation of new and existing services aimed at supporting the interprofessional educational model. The model will be the focus of both a soon-to-be-built 11-acre Health Education Campus and the current CWRU Student-Run Free Clinic. The KeyBank Health Education Program will allow KeyBank Minority Medical Student Fellows to learn and work alongside interprofessional teams from CWRU, including students from the university’s School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. This model allows medical students to learn in an integrated environment—rather than in the silos that comprise a traditional medical education—promoting interdisciplinary learning, creating holistic views of patient lives and providing students with team-based, practical experience.

“We deeply appreciate KeyBank’s recognition of the importance and opportunities inherent in this educational collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, as well as their generous support of our efforts to enhance diversity and engage more students in our community,” said Pamela B. Davis, dean of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs. “The Student-Run Free Clinic provides extraordinary learning experiences for our students across the health professions, and at the same time allows local residents to receive high-quality care under the supervision of experienced clinicians. We see enormous potential in this program, and cannot thank KeyBank enough for its support.”

“The more that our students interact with one another in health care settings, the more they understand about one another’s disciplines and knowledge,” said Mary E. Kerr, dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. “By emphasizing interprofessional experiences during their time with us, we prepare our graduates to practice effectively with one another as they engage in an increasingly integrated health care system. We are immensely grateful to KeyBank for its generous support of this important work.”