In July, A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) received an award of $23,360 to improve opioid-related training for future primary care physicians.
The one-year funding came as a supplement to a five-year, $1.2 million award from the Health Resources and Services Administration, a federal agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The award’s third year of funding, a workforce development grant titled “Preparing Primary Care Trainees to Transform Health Care Systems,” seeks to enhance primary care instruction to reduce health disparities and barriers to better care for vulnerable populations while also improving patient engagement, said ATSU Post-award Project Manager Taylor Grimm, MHA.
The supplemental funding focuses specifically on opioids, training students and faculty in the areas of opioid use disorder diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, placing special emphasis on the use of medication-assisted treatment, Grimm said.
ATSU-KCOM Dean Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, serves as project director for the grant, with Associate Dean of Curriculum Patricia Sexton, DHEd, FNAOME, ’08, serving as deputy director.
“This is a timely opportunity for ATSU-KCOM to be at the forefront of training physicians on how to address what is currently a national crisis in opioid abuse,” Dr. Wilson said. “We look forward to creating resources and meeting educational objectives to help better prepare students and physicians in dealing with this critical need.”
A summary of the supplemental funding project cites a distinct concern: Missouri’s high prescribing rate of 82.2 to 95 prescriptions for every 100 people. This, combined with the fact that family and internal medicine practitioners account for nearly half of all opioid prescriptions, shows a focus on educating healthcare professionals could mitigate dangers of the current opioid epidemic, the summary says.
Required source disclosure language:
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Primary Care Training and Enhancement award number T0BHP28556 funded for $1,204,968 (43% of the project is financed with nongovernmental sources). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.