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School of Medicine receives $1.22 million to promote primary care

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The department of family and community health at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has received a five-year, $1.22 million grant from the federal government to develop ways to educate and train new physicians in novel methods of primary care, specifically geared toward the patient-centered medical home and its team approach to health care.

In announcing the grant, Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, praised Stephen M. Petrany, M.D., department chair, and his team in family medicine.

“Marshall has a long-standing track record of excellence in preparing family physicians,” Shapiro said. “Steve Petrany and many others in the department of family and community health have put together an outstanding program for us. The awarding of this grant allows our school to grow its efforts in developing new and innovative ways to train medical residents and others health care professionals.”

The competitive grant was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

“With this grant, we will be able to train doctors to direct the care of patients in an increasingly complex and sometimes impersonal health care system, particularly in rural and small-town communities,” Petrany said. “We’ll also be able to grow our efforts to collaborate with other health care professionals, including psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, nurses, and others, to provide cutting-edge medical care to our patients in a supportive and caring environment that continues to focus on the central doctor-patient relationship.”

Petrany said the project will focus on family medicine residents in training, but will also include training of faculty and staff in support of those efforts, as well as continuing medical education for recent residency graduates and community primary care physicians.

Other members of the grant team are James B. Becker, M.D., senior associate dean for clinical affairs and associate professor in the department of family and community health, and Jennifer T. Plymale, associate dean for admissions and director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health.   Staff members on the team included Christy Adkins, Debbie Curry and Amber Vance, as well as research assistant Karl Shaver, who is an incoming member of the School of Medicine’s Class of 2019.