A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) has received a $1,999,650 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The funding, which will be distributed over five years, will support an innovative primary care fellowship for physicians and physician assistants, strengthening the healthcare workforce in underserved communities nationwide.

Led by Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD, FACP, professor and chair of the public health department, the ATSU-SOMA team is uniquely positioned to address community health needs. The School has a national track record in curricular innovation, a charge to serve vulnerable populations, and a strong relationship with the National Association of Community Health Centers. The Primary Care Transformation Executive fellowship will prepare healthcare providers to address social determinants of health, improving population health and enhancing primary care in America’s community health centers.

“Building on our work with the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, this HRSA-funded initiative will join health systems science with community-based research experiences to better position primary care champions to address the social determinants of health,” says Dr. Lewis.

“The grant will advance the training of practicing primary care physicians and physician assistants in the areas of leadership, team-based integrated healthcare, quality improvement, population health, social determinants of health, health policy, and health education – all components of health systems, and all elements of healthcare delivery we want our students to understand and practice,” says Jeffrey Morgan, DO, FACOI, CS, dean of ATSU-SOMA. “Our medical students, whose training is embedded in CHCs and the communities served by CHCs, will be the direct beneficiaries of this focused education in the science of health systems.”