Examples of ARC Health Care Projects
Marietta College Master's-Level Physician Assistant Program
A study conducted for ARC by Project HOPE highlighted a shortage of health care providers, particularly in the Region's distressed counties. One solution to this physician shortage is to establish a group of second-tier providers known as "physician extenders"—physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and advanced practice nurses. So, ARC contracted with Marietta College to assist in developing a master's-level physician assistant program that will graduate 20 to 25 new physician assistants each year.
Program activities include:
Recruiting and Retaining Nursing Professionals
To address the crucial nursing shortage in the Southern Tier West region of Appalachian New York, the Commission contracted with Jamestown Community College to enroll licensed practical nurses in a registered nurses' program.
The project intends to develop a regional recruitment strategy for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties. Part of this strategy involves encouraging high school students in local school districts to pursue careers in health care. To do so, health career fairs will be held in each county and will offer recruitment incentives for students.
Bluegrass Child Advocacy Outreach
Given the high incidence of reported child abuse cases in many counties in eastern Kentucky, the Commission contracted with the Children's Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, Inc. to fund the Bluegrass Child Advocacy Outreach Project, a health program for children three months to 18 years who have been sexually abused.
The project's long-term goals are:
Project activities include:
Post-graduate Training for Osteopathic Physicians
Doctors often practice close to the location of their three-year residency training. Likewise, if graduates of the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine (PCSOM), a new medical school in eastern Kentucky, move to other regions of the country for postgraduate training, they are less likely to return to Appalachia to practice medicine.
To train primary care osteopathic physicians who will remain in Appalachia to treat the medically underserved, ARC contracted with PCSOM to fund the Appalachian Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institute Consortium (A-OPTIC), a health program designed to create 200 new American Osteopathic Association accredited internships and residency slots in nine Appalachian states: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
A-OPTIC training consists of a general medicine internship for the first year after graduation, and either a family practice residency or an internal medicine residency for the final two years of the program.