HRSA awards Duke $2.3 million grant; Karen Hills and PA Program to lead project

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
By Sarah Harrison

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded Duke University an approximate $2.3 million grant for primary care training and enhancement.

Led by the Duke Physician Assistant Program, the project will be a collaboration between the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Department of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University School of Medicine MD program.

Karen Hills, MS, PA-CKaren J. Hills, MS, PA-C, associate professor of community and family medicine and director of the Duke PA Program, is project director and Sandro Pinheiro, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and senior fellow, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, is co-project director.

The five-year project, “Transforming Health Care through Enhanced Clinical Team Training (THCECTT),” aims to “engage learners and faculty in collaborative projects to improve population health through practice- and community-based interprofessional quality improvement (QI). Medical doctor (MD), nurse practitioner (NP), and physician assistant (PA) student triads will work with clinical preceptors and program faculty on QI projects, in an innovative team-based clinical learning model that addresses the crisis in access to clinical learning. Didactic curricula will address population health, QI, cultural competence, health information technology, and community engagement. A veterans’ liaison will enhance military veterans’ entry to the program and support to improve veterans’ experience and success as PA students and graduates.”

Key personnel include:

  • Karen J. Hills, MS, PA-C, project director
  • Sandro Pinheiro, Ph.D., co-project director
  • Justine Strand de Oliveira, DrPH, PA-C, professor and vice chair for education, Department of Community and Family Medicine, and professor, Duke University School of Nursing, member, executive committee
  • Jacqueline S. Barnett, DHSc, MSHS, PA-C, assistant professor, Department Community and Family Medicine, and associate director for the Duke PA Program, member, executive committee
  • Sharron Rushton, MSN, MS, RN, CCM, assistant professor, Duke University School of Nursing, member, executive committee
  • Heather S. McLean, M.D., associate professor and vice chair for quality, Department of Pediatrics, member, executive committee

Working Group personnel include:

  • Kathleen (Katy) W. Bartlett, M.D., associate professor and associate residency director, Department of Pediatrics

Administrative and technical support:

  • Kate Holeman, Department of Community and Family Medicine
  • Andrea Martin, senior public relations specialist, Department of Community and Family Medicine
  • Amanda Gunter, MS, educational technologist, Department of Community and Family Medicine

Other significant contributors include:

  • Melinda Blazar, MHS, PA-C, assistant professor and clinical coordinator, Duke Physician Assistant Program
  • Sharon Hull, M.D., MPH, professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine, and chief, Division of Family Medicine
  • Barbara Sheline, M.D., MPH, professor, Department of Community and Family Medicine

Sarah Harrison is the communications intern for Duke Community and Family Medicine. She is a Sophomore at Belmont University and is majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Design Communications.