For Health Professionals

Summary of Grant Proposal

Summary of Project

Abstract
Rationale
Objectives
Methodology
Evaluation

Abstract
This application supports the continuation and further innovation of a successful collaborative interdisciplinary (pediatrics, internal medicine, and medicine-pediatrics) primary care faculty development program at the University of Pittsburgh. The overall goal of the program is to provide primary care faculty members with the research and leadership skills, cultural knowledge, and motivation to advance Healthy People 2010 goals in the most vulnerable primary care populations of our nation. During the 2-3 year program, highly qualified physician fellows will do the following: (1) complete a program of rigorous coursework leading to a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research or Medical Education; (2) design and conduct innovative research on topics of disease prevention, chronic disease management, health care disparities, and quality of care under the supervision of experienced faculty mentors; (3) disseminate research findings to local, regional, and national audiences; (4) complete an innovative curriculum in health care quality improvement and health disparities; and (5) participate in a rich variety of experiences including interdisciplinary primary care research seminars, individual leadership and cultural competency learning plans, and clinical teaching and evaluation. The evaluation of fellows in this collaborative program will be performance-based, will consist of both qualitative and quantitative performance measures of effort, will maximize feedback at the time of performance, and will include immediate-, short-, and long-term measures of impact.

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Rationale
The Institute of Medicine has identified disparities in health care and gaps in quality of care as major issues for our entire nation but particularly for racial and ethnic minorities. Although much of the high-quality research on health disparities and quality of care has been conducted by academic primary care physicians, the continuing disparities and gaps underscore the need for a larger workforce of well-trained researchers. High-quality, interdisciplinary training programs are required to train the new generation of faculty leaders in primary care and patient-oriented research.

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Objectives
The overall goal of this collaborative program is to provide primary care faculty with the research and leadership skills, cultural knowledge, and motivation to address disease prevention, chronic disease management, health care disparities, and quality of care in the most vulnerable primary care populations of our nation. The objectives to achieve this goal are:

  1. To prepare future leaders in interdisciplinary primary care research to address Healthy People 2010 focus areas and objectives related to chronic illness and disease prevention across the lifespan.
  2. To prepare future leaders in primary care with the expert knowledge, attitudes, and skills to address health care quality and health disparities via research, medical education, and clinical care.

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Methodology
This collaborative program uses a comprehensive set of integrated methods and the substantial resources of the University of Pittsburgh to achieve the objectives.

Objective 1: Preparing future leaders in interdisciplinary primary care research to address Healthy People 2010 focus areas and objectives related to chronic illness and disease prevention will be accomplished through the following activities:

Fellows will:

  • obtain rigorous training in clinical research and will be encouraged to obtain advanced degrees in clinical research or medical education.
  • establish a long-term relationship with a career and research mentor.
  • be active participants in two seminar series: the Introduction to National Health Priorities Seminar and the Interdisciplinary Research Seminar.
  • design and conduct a research project related to Healthy People 2010 focus areas and objectives.
  • present their research findings to community stakeholders and to local, regional, and national audiences.
  • complete leadership training and career development training through the University of Pittsburgh.

Objective 2: Preparing future leaders in primary care with the expert knowledge, attitudes, and skills to address health care quality and health disparities via research, medical education, and clinical care will be accomplished through the following activities:

Fellows will:

  • complete training in health disparities via the AMA Health Literacy Curriculum and special sessions of three seminiar series: the Introduction to National Health Priorities Seminar, the Interdisciplinary Research Seminar, and the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion Seminar.
  • be encouraged to participate in the Health Disparities and Underserved Populations Area of Concentration of the Clinical Research Training Program (CRTP).
  • incorporate health care quality and health disparities into case-based learning in resident continuity clinic conference curricula.
  • learn the Action Research method and other methods of total health care quality improvement and will apply these methods to case studies of health care quality improvement.
  • be encouraged to attend the elective course entitled Quality Improvement in the CRTP.
  • will apply quality improvement interventions derived from the fellows’ research to at least one issue of health care quality in pediatric and general internal medicine clinical settings.
  • complete coursework in health disparities/cultural competency, will complete an individual cultural competency needs assessment (The Culture and Quality Quiz), and will receive training in the development of a cultural competency learning plan.

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Evaluation
Evaluation in this collaborative program will be performance-based and will maximize feedback at the time of performance. The evaluation measures will be qualitative and quantitative; formative and summative.

We will evaluate our progress toward completing the first objective through several mechanisms. We will ask fellows involved in the training program to evaluate the leadership curriculum and to create a portfolio of their leadership activities and plans. Each fellow will consult with his or her mentoring committee at least twice a year as a formative evaluation. The portfolios will be presented to a faculty committee at the end of the year for purposes of a summative evaluation. We will determine the number of fellows who successfully completed the intensive summer research curriculum and the number who enrolled in and successfully completed an advanced degree program. We will carefully track how closely our fellows’ research projects address the Healthy People 2010 objectives of disease prevention and chronic disease management in primary care, and we will perform short-term and long-term tracking of the fellows' accomplishments in terms of their research abstracts, oral and poster presentations, and peer-reviewed publications that stem from their work during the fellowship. In the long run, our success will be measured through following the academic careers of our graduates and the number and level of leadership roles they assume.

Our evaluation of progress toward completing the second objective will also be concrete and outcomes-based. We will assess the fellows’ training in health disparities by tracking completion of the health literacy curriculum, attendance at the health disparities directed seminar series, completion of the health disparities area of concentration in the CRTP, and the performance of research in health disparities. We will use an updated version of our preceptor observation tool to evaluate the fellows’ skill in applying knowledge of health disparities, cultural competence, and health care quality to their clinical teaching. To evaluate our quality improvement curriculum, we will track the fellows’ attendance at health care quality improvement sessions, their completion of the quality improvement course, and their application of a quality improvement initiative to pediatric and general internal medicine clinical settings. To evaluate our cultural competency learning plan, we will assess whether fellows and faculty completed the devised training program and individualized cultural competency learning plan and will measure pre- and post-training knowledge and change in practices. We will track the fellows’ completion of the formal Clinical Educator Training Program course in cultural competency and teaching.

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Last Update
April 17, 2008
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Last Update
April 17, 2008
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