The grant will expand opportunities for the USA College of Medicine students to work with health centers located in underserved areas in southern Alabama.
By Brittany Otis
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently awarded the University of South Alabama College of Medicine a $4.4 million grant to improve the health of underserved areas and increase the number of primary care physicians. USA was one of five institutions across the United States who received grant funding through the HRSA Population Care Pathway Program.
“This funding allows us to expand the curriculum for our medical students in order to better serve the needs of citizens who live in underserved and under resourced areas of our county,” said Allen Perkins, M.D., M.P.H., chair and a professor of family medicine, who also serves as the principal investigator for the project.
According to Perkins, the grant will expand opportunities for the USA College of Medicine students to work with health centers located in underserved areas in southern Alabama. Through a partnership with Franklin Primary Health Center and Alta Pointe Health, students will also be able to complete rotations locally in these community health centers.
“Our college of medicine is known for providing students with outstanding training experiences,” explained Perkins. “The care our alumni provide to citizens throughout our region – particularly in underserved areas – is a reflection of the mentoring our faculty provides as well as the extensive clinical experiences of our program.”
Benjamin Estrada, M.D., assistant dean for educational strategies and faculty development and Terry Hundley, M.D., assistant dean for medical education and student affairs – both USA College of Medicine faculty members – are key personnel for the project as well.
The USA College of Medicine has more than 2,000 medical student graduates. There are 43 percent of alumni from the College of Medicine practicing in Alabama, 36 percent in underserved areas, 27 percent in primary care disciplines and 10 percent in rural areas.