AFMC : A CLOSER LOOK AT QUALITY targeting primary care physicians in rural Arkansas to be trained and provided a stipend to offset clinical time or support out of practice time to learn and develop new strategies for addressing health issues related to obesity , opioid use , and mental health . During the life of this grant , an average of five fellows have and will be selected to participate in this fellowship program . The first cohort is nearing completion and currently finalizing their projects . A second Cohort has completed the curriculum phase and are developing their projects to implement over the next few months . Applications for the third cohort opened July 31st . By completion , 20 primary care providers will have completed training and projects to disseminate potentially best practices to address these and other complex health care issues .
Acknowledging the impact of ACEs and Social Determinants of Health , fellows develop new treatment strategies , care plans , community interventions , and resources through a Trauma Informed Care lens . ( For more information about Trauma Informed Care : https :// www . chcs . org / topics / trauma-informed-care /)
A twelve-week educational curriculum was developed by AFMC in conjunction with Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine ( ARCOM ) who has also incorporated elements into their graduate medical education program . The curriculum is broken down into six 2-week modules to be completed on the Primary Care Physician ’ s own time with online discussion boards , technical assistance calls , and support from AFMC and ARcare staff .
The modules included subjects related to Social Determinants of Health , Adverse Childhood Experiences , Public Heath and Population Management , Practice Transformation , and Physician Leadership . The modules were developed using multiple formats including recorded lectures and power point presentations , articles and other related readings , case studies , followed by online
discussion questions . During the second cohort , short calls at the end of each module were held to allow for interactive discussion between fellows and faculty as well as support staff for any technical assistance questions .
With completion of the educational course , fellows began to develop the plan for their project to address issues related to obesity , mental health , and opioid use . Brief abstracts of the projects were submitted and literature reviews started . Technical assistance is provided by AFMC , ARcare , and ARCOM staff and faculty . Throughout their project , fellows will collect pertinent data and will work with the AFMC Analytics team to analyze their findings . At the end of the program period , a report is completed , and presentations made that are shared with all the fellows and shared on AFMC ’ s website .
All fellows from cohorts 1 and 2 have reported satisfaction with the program and have provided feedback to continue to improve the fellowship program to be carried forward into future cohorts . A member of cohort 1 stated , “ I enjoyed learning more about trauma-informed care , I feel this is vital especially when practicing in a small rural community .” They also have reported increased knowledge in these areas and have been able to teach their staff new ways of looking at things and doing things in their practice to improve care . Many anticipate continuing changes to their practice after the fellowship is over . A member of cohort 2 elaborated on this by saying , “ I definitely feel more knowledgeable about this subject [ ACEs and Trauma-informed care ] and research . Having that knowledge is key to understanding the patient , their health conditions , and how to approach and treat the patient .”
AFMC continues its relationship with ARCOM and ARcare as we move forward recruiting new fellows and expanding opportunities to other rural practices and learning institutions . Not only has this been a great learning experience for all , it will create new thoughts and practices about the delivery of health care in Arkansas and improve health for Arkansans . s
Dr . Chad Rodgers is Chief Medical Officer at AFMC and practices at Little Rock Pediatric Clinic . Ms . Hanna Windley , MPA , is a program and policy analyst for AFMC and is the project director of the Arkansas Good Medicine fellowship program .
AFMC WORKS COLLABORATIVELY WITH PROVIDERS , COMMUNITY GROUPS AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS TO PROMOTE THE QUALITY OF CARE IN ARKANSAS THROUGH EDUCATION AND EVALUATION . FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AFMC QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS , CALL 1-877-375-5700 OR VISIT AFMC . ORG . OCTOBER 2020
Volume 117 • Number 4 october 2020 • 91