The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care (AFMC) has received a grant award totaling $1,902,095 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration.
The grant is for a five-year project, entitled “Primary Care Training and Enhancement: Training Primary Care Champions,” and will train at least 20 health care professionals in leadership, team-based health care, practice transformation to value-based care and expanded use of trauma-informed care, according to AFMC.
The healthcare group said it will work with the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) in Fort Smith and ARcare, a federally qualified health center. The three partners will work to strengthen the primary care workforce and health care in medically underserved communities in rural Arkansas, where many of ARcare’s 42 primary care clinics are located.
AFMC, a nonprofit quality-improvement education organization, will plan, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the project’s activities.
“We are excited to launch this collaboration with ARCOM and ARcare clinics,” said AFMC President and CEO Ray Hanley. “Training doctors to be more effective in treating the trauma of adverse childhood experiences and developing community-based health care teams can make a difference in the health of rural Arkansans over the long term.”
ARCOM will establish a fellowship program to train five fellows each year the grant is in effect. They must be practicing primary-care physicians – medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) – or physician assistants (PAs).
Each fellow will continue working at his or her local practice while implementing a nine-month health-care practice transformation project. The projects will match the needs of their primary care practice, including the social determinants of health.
According to AFMC, healthcare transformation has the triple aim of improving patient outcomes, controlling costs and improving patients’ satisfaction with their care.
The fellows will establish multidisciplinary teams within their communities that include the medical, educational, faith and social services communities. Through these teams, the fellows will teach practical strategies to implement trauma-informed care.
“Arkansas has the highest percentage of children who have experienced ACEs and who continue to live with both the physical and emotional effects of that trauma,” Daphne Gaulden, AFMC’s program director for the overall project, said.