Community health-patient care

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) announced today that EVMS is one of only eight U.S. institutions selected to participate in the three-year workshop series, Building a Systems Approach to Community Health and Health Equity for Academic Medical Centers. 

The partnership-based project has three objectives:

  • Identify crossover priorities and opportunities for communities to enhance clinical, educational, programmatic and scientific collaboration.
  • Implement plans that bring together clinical, research, educational and administrative community-health efforts.
  • Evaluate outputs and outcomes for communities, health systems and learners. 

The EVMS team will be led by Cynthia Romero, MD (MD ’93), a family physician and Director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at EVMS. Other team members include: 

  • Mekbib Gemeda, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at EVMS
  • Kaethe Ferguson, EdD, MS, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Community Health and Research, a division of EVMS Pediatrics
  • Elsie Harold Lans, EdD, Senior Director of Student Support Services for Norfolk Public Schools
  • Demetria Lindsay, Director of the Norfolk Department of Public Health
  • Grace Hines, Corporate Vice President for System Integration for Sentara Healthcare 

“Since we are looking at a systems approach,” Dr. Romero says, “we want to leverage our team members’ perspectives, along with their organizations’ data-gathering and data-sharing processes, to identify common priority areas. Issues of focus will likely include ways to promote preventive screenings and address the biggest gaps in infant mortality, cancer, diabetes and other conditions that are keeping our community from being as healthy as possible. 

“Our goal,” she says, “is to allow EVMS to work strategically with our community partners to use education, research and clinical care to transform the systems where our patients live, learn, work and play to prioritize health and wellness.” 

EVMS was chosen by AAMC from about 40 applications that were submitted.