The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences has received a $2 million, five-year grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to establish a five-year program that will improve health care in rural Oklahoma communities.
The OSU Primary care Enhancement and Training for Excellence’s, “PETE’s Champions” project will collaborate with the Osteopathic Medical Education Consortium of Oklahoma (OMECO) to provide leadership, health care transformation and community education training to primary care physicians working in rural, medically underserved communities.
The project will be carried out in four community-based primary care sites with high rates of poverty and deaths by heart disease, cancer and opioid overdose. OSU-CHS will support trained fellows to enact transformative health care projects in their primary care sites. The program will train at least four fellows each year during the five-year grant period. Sites selected are: Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority in Talihina, Tahlequah Medical Group in Tahlequah, AllianceHealth in Durant, and Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada.
“At OSU Center for Health Sciences, we are mission driven to train the next generation of primary care physicians to serve in rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma. This new grant provides additional funding for continuing education and training for physcians practicing in rural communities. We are pleased to be able to offer this training to these selected doctors where they live and work,” said Dr. Kayse M. Shrum, president of OSU-CHS, and Dean, OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Lesley VanVolkinburg, executive director of OMECO, and Denna Wheeler, Ph.D., Krista Shumacher, Ph.D., and Chad Landgraf, all from the OSU Center for Rural Health, collaborated to write the grant for the PETE’s Champions project. The OSU Center for Rural Health is dedicated to supporting rural practitioners, hospitals and clinics to ensure Oklahoma’s rural residents have access to quality health care. The Center for Rural Health is part of the OSU Center for Health Sciences.