Doctor with patient.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded EVMS a five-year, $1.75 million grant to fund a project known as Transformative Education Advancing Community Health (TEACH).

The project is the only one of its kind in Virginia funded under HRSA’s Primary Care Training and Enhancement program and one of only 32 similar projects funded around the nation. It will bring together regional health-care providers to collaborate on improving population health and reducing health-care disparities.

Project partners include the EVMS departments of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, and Family and Community Medicine; EVMS’ Physician Assistant Program; Old Dominion University; several local hospitals; and specific free clinics in Hampton Roads. Bruce Britton, MD, Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine, is the project director.

“The grant will enable us to create a clinically integrated network that will reduce disparities in health care,” Dr. Britton says, “especially for people who have chronic diseases but no health insurance. This network will essentially mimic our nation’s new vision of delivering health care through accountable care organizations, or ACOs. What we’re developing is essentially a safety-net ACO. It won’t be easy but it is doable.”

The project will provide EVMS students and residents with interprofessional education and service-learning opportunities. “We all want to deliver better care to the community,” Dr. Britton says. “This grant will help us move health care closer to where it needs to be.”