West Virginia medical schools awarded grant for collaborative education project
HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia’s three medical schools have received a grant for a collaborative project that will increase the number of healthcare providers trained to provide drug-assisted treatment (MAT) by integrating MAT training into the medical school program.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided a grant of $ 448,786 for the project to Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) and West Virginia University (WVU) School. of Medicine and Office of Health Affairs, the project is also supported by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
“This effort is a prime example of how we, as academic health centers and as a state, come together as true partners to address some of the most pressing health issues facing West Virginia.” currently facing, ”said Brianna Sheppard, Ph.D., associate director of research for the WVU Office of Health Affairs.
According to Marshall University, the project will establish a MAT education coordinator for the state to help develop the curriculum and integrate MAT training for programs and students. Officials say the project was created to “channel” providers into a high-need area through education.
“The need to train health care professionals in substance abuse treatment in West Virginia has never been greater,” said Lyn M. O’Connell, Ph.D., associate director of supplementary sciences at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine who also serves as the principal investigator for the grant. “Currently, the number of MAT providers in West Virginia is well below the service requirement. By improving education on drug treatment, this project will also help develop a generation of more compassionate and equipped health care providers.
Officials say the project will build “a sustainable model of curriculum integration” over the next three years to both address prescribing practices and include awareness, recognition and stigma as key components of education.
“This grant helps us continue to focus on the needs of our population and the students we train,” said Norman Ferrari, MD, academic director of the medical education program at WVU. “Our long-standing commitment to including addiction and pain management topics in our medical curriculum, coupled with our ACGME accredited scholarships in Addiction Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, enhances the learning environment for our students at all levels. “
The project also aims to extend MAT training to other ‘prescriber disciplines’, such as nurse practitioners and medical assistants.
“Our medical students come to campus well aware of the opioid epidemic facing the nation and hungry for information on this topic, particularly on how to help those suffering from opioid-related disorders. ‘opioid use,’ said Gretchen Lovett, Ph.D., professor of clinical sciences. at WVSOM and member of the grant team. “So increasing this content in medical school curricula is going to bring this information to a very open and enthusiastic audience of future physicians. “
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