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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:

  • Hiring key personnel for the program.
  • Developing program curriculum.
  • Preparing for program certification by the national certifying body, the Council on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs.

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:

  1. To recruit and train additional rural physicians so the victims of child sexual abuse receive the medical and psychological treatment they deserve; and
  2. To provide telemedicine equipment for consultations at remote sites to make available more exams and services for abused children.

Project activities include:   

  • Evaluating children in eastern Kentucky who are suspected victims of sexual abuse.
  • Providing the appropriate medical and psychological intervention. 
  • Recruiting and training physicians to provide clinical examinations to children who have been sexually abused.


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.