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CMSRU receives $2 million grant to enhance primary care through mentoring, partnerships with community doctors and physicians' assistants

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded a five-year, $2 million grant to Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) for its Champions for Health Advancement through Mentoring and Primary Care Partnerships (CHAMPP) program.

CHAMPP is the second program of the Primary Care Training Enhancement (PCTE) project to receive significant funding from HRSA. CMSRU Dean Annette C. Reboli, MD, leads the project, which is designed to strengthen primary care and the work force in southern New Jersey region, and ultimately, provide a blueprint for healthcare delivery across the nation.

“Many patients in rural and urban communities are underserved when it comes to their healthcare,” says Reboli. “By looking at novel ways to transform health care delivery, we are addressing the shortages and hope to impact the health and well-being of residents here, thus strengthening some of our most vulnerable communities.”

The CHAMPP program will enhance primary care by establishing a fellowship program to train and mentor community-based physicians and physician assistants. Through an innovative 18-month hybrid program, CHAMPP fellows will be trained in methods to improve access to care, quality and cost, and bring their training back to their community primary care practices. 

The curriculum will cover concepts such as team based integrated healthcare, quality improvement, social determinants of health, cultural competency, health policy, and population health. CHAMPP fellows will be trained in leadership skills like understanding emotional intelligence, managing a work force, financial leadership, problem-solving and environmental awareness.

Under the mentorship of CMSRU faculty, CHAMPP fellows will complete a healthcare transformation project that positively impacts the community practice. Special consideration will be given to the clinical priorities of opioid abuse, mental health, and childhood obesity.

CMSRU has evolved into a national leader in the development of innovative approaches to health care delivery, starting several years ago with the work of CMSRU faculty member and 2013 MacArthur Fellow Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, notes Reboli.

“Dr. Brenner created a comprehensive health care delivery model that addresses the medical and social service needs of high-risk patients in impoverished communities, and was recognized globally for his work in this area,” explains Reboli.  “We are extremely proud to build upon his groundbreaking important work.”