$1.12 million—grant to support rural health care in North Dakota The Center for Rural Health (CRH) received $1,117,968 in grant funds. The North Dakota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (Flex), the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP), and the North Dakota Frontier Community Health Integration Project (FCHIP) have been funded to support rural health care throughout the state. The Flex program helps sustain rural health care infrastructure by strengthening critical access hospitals and emergency medical services, which helps maintain access to care for rural residents. The Flex program fosters the growth and sustainment of rural collaborative health care systems across the continuum of care. Now in its thirteenth year of funding, Flex received $708,968 in North Dakota. The SHIP program received $324,000 to provide support for small rural hospitals to help implement changes in how the hospitals deliver care. These funds will benefit rural hospitals and help ensure they have a strong foundation to provide health care to their community. The Center for Rural Health participates in these competitive federal grant programs to bring in much needed dollars to support rural health care delivery. A significant amount of these funds will go directly to rural communities to implement local solutions related to quality of care, financial viability, and future access issues related to health care. $1 million—HRSA funds UND Physician Assistant Program’s service to underserved North Dakota The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded almost $1 million to the Physician Assistant Program in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. The purpose of the five-year, $999,416 grant is to fund curriculum development, learning enhancement, and faculty development in training physician assistants who provide primary care for rural communities in North Dakota. “The UND PA Program seeks to improve North Dakotans’ access to health care by helping to alleviate shortages of primary care providers in rural areas,” said
Jeanie McHugo, PhD, PA-C, program director for the Physician Assistant Program. The federal government has designated 94 percent of North Dakota counties as either health professional shortage areas or medically underserved areas, indicating that patients must travel significant distances to reach health care services in rural areas and thus reduce their access to care. $350,000—NIA funds SMHS research on Alzheimer’s–HIV connections The National Institute on Aging (NIA) seeks to spur the research of two scientists at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Xuesong Chen, PhD, and Jonathan D. Geiger, PhD, colleagues in the Department of Physiology, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics, have piqued the interest of NIA officials, who awarded the duo a $350,000 R21 grant. The NIA, one of the 27 institutes that compose the National Institutes of Health, supports research on the nature of aging and supports the health and well-being of older adults. One of the means at the NIA’s disposal to meet its ends are R21 grants it provides to investigators to pursue what the NIA deems “exploratory and developmental research projects” that carry considerable risk of failure but may also lead to breakthroughs into the causes of diseases and their treatment. Why it all matters “When we educate medical and other health sciences students there is an increasing emphasis on using evidence-based medicine,” said Wynne. “Research is tied to clinical practice, which is tied to education. So there is a triumvirate of research, education, and practice that is inviolate. You cannot be a first-class clinician without knowing the latest developments in research and incorporating them into your practice.” Thus, Wynne argues, medical schools necessarily have both a research mission and an educational mission. “And both of those support the ultimate goal of optimizing patient care,” he said. “Research is an essential component of the educational mission, and both of them together form the foundation of optimal clinical practice out in the communities of North Dakota,” Wynne said.
... A research mission and an educational mission ... both of those support the ultimate goal of optimizing patient care.
NORTH DAKOTA MEDICINE Holiday 2012
North Dakota Medicine Holiday 2012