Primary Care Partnership for the Community

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and Cleveland State University (CSU) have established a partnership to address the changing health care needs within urban metropolitan areas. Through innovative health care workforce development, NEOMED and CSU seek to improve the health and economic vitality of the Northeast Ohio region. The partnership prepares a diverse group of students to enter and ultimately thrive within the state’s healthcare systems.  The main strategies through which this is accomplished are creating pathways to health professions, partnering with the whole community, and identifying, garnering, and combining assets.

NEOMED is the public medical university serving the 4.5 million citizens of Northeast Ohio. More than half of all of the graduates of the NEOMED College of Medicine have remained in Ohio, with a significant proportion establishing practices in Northeast Ohio. Most recently, 72 percent of the College of Medicine’s 3,279 graduates remained in Ohio. This is the highest retention rate of all of Ohio’s medical colleges.

The NEOMED-CSU Partnership includes an Urban Primary Care Initiative, which seeks to connect pre-med and medical students directly to urban communities in Cleveland, where they may return to serve as primary care physicians after completing their residency training.
Currently their are 68 CSU students enrolled between the two different programs.

The Post Baccalaureate/M.D. program is open to both career changers and those in need of academic enhancement who have an interest in a primary care specialty and urban medicine. The two-year Post Baccalaureate curriculum at CSU will also include urban health courses and seminars. This program currently has 56 students enrolled.

For students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in any academic areas who would like to pursue a career in medicine, NEOMED and CSU have created the Baccalaureate/M.D. program. This program allows CSU undergraduates of most majors to apply for admission to the Baccalaureate/M.D. program, which includes a reserved seat at NEOMED’s College of Medicine. This program currently has 12 students enrolled.

Students who are admitted to the NEOMED-CSU M.D. programs will have seminars and courses in urban health and opportunities to complete many of their neighborhood-based experiences at various hospital and ambulatory care sites located in the Cleveland metropolitan area.

Erik Porfeli, Ph.D., associate professor of family and community medicine and assistant dean for community engagement and admissions, said he believes that it is important for a primary care physician to maintain a strong connection with the patient and that the physician should have a full awareness of the community.

“The NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health is part of a national movement to recognize that all communities, rich and poor, have resources that can be used to promote the health and success of Ohio,” he said. “The partnership aims to help our children succeed in school, go to college, and enter needed and secure health care careers thereafter. Perhaps most importantly, the partnership helps our communities chart a path for our best and brightest children from all walks of life to remain in Ohio and help our communities grow and thrive as productive adults working in health care.”

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