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10.11.2011

Miller School Divisions Win Grant to Develop Primary Care Faculty

Three Miller School primary care divisions have launched a bold and historic collaborative effort aimed at significantly advancing UHealth’s scope of primary care in research, education and direct clinical care, and helping to relieve the shortage of physicians who work and conduct research in this field.

With a $1-million, five-year grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Division of General Internal Medicine in the Department of Medicine, the Division of General Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health have joined forces to establish the University of Miami Primary Care Faculty Development Program. The first research-focused primary care fellowship in Florida, the program is expected to provide two years of training to nine fellows who will conduct primary care research and also work clinically in medically underserved communities.

“This is an exciting program that builds on the Miller School’s efforts to make primary care much more accessible and remove disparities in health care,” said Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the Division of General Medicine and principal investigator for the HRSA grant. “To achieve this, however, we need to increase the number of physicians in the pipeline who are conducting research, teaching and doing clinical work in primary care. The groundbreaking collaboration is a big step toward making top-notch primary care a common reality.”

Physicians who complete a residency program in a primary care discipline are eligible for the Primary Care Faculty Development fellowships. The fellowship includes course work for a special research-focused Master of Public Health degree at the Miller School, which will be awarded upon successful completion. At the conclusion of their fellowships, Carrasquillo hopes the fellows will join the Miller School faculty to focus on research and teaching, ultimately becoming leaders in the field of primary care.

Plans call for the first two fellows to begin in July, with additional enrollees joining the program for each of the next four years of the grant. The fellowship program will be administered by the Miller School’s Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity, where Dr. Carrasquillo is the medical director. Prior to his Miller School appointment, Dr. Carrasquillo led Columbia University’s HRSA-funded Primary Care Faculty Development Program through three funding cycles over nine years.

John G. Ryan, Dr.P.H., associate professor and director of research for family medicine, and Jeffrey P. Brosco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of clinical pediatrics and director of the Pediatrics Bio-Ethics Program, will co-lead the UM program.

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