On June 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will award more than $3.4 million in federal grants to Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Center of Excellence award program. In fiscal year 2017, $684,768 will be distributed to the school with similar amounts to follow each year for the next four years.
Geisinger Commonwealth is the now the only HRSA funded Center of Excellence in Pennsylvania. The ultimate goal of the Centers of Excellence (COE) award program is to strengthen the national capacity to produce a quality healthcare workforce whose racial and ethnic diversity is representative of the U.S. population. COE award recipients serve as innovative resource and education centers to recruit, train and retain underrepresented minority students and faculty.
As a COE, Geisinger Commonwealth will use this grant to improve the health and well-being of all citizens of northeastern Pennsylvania. We will continue our important work of building a pipeline to address regional physician workforce needs. Through successful existing initiatives, like our Regional Education Academy for Careers in Health – Higher Education Initiative (REACH-HEI) for middle school, high school and college students, we will target underrepresented minority students to increase the competitive applicant pool for health professions. We also anticipate new programs that focus on faculty, such as a Health Equity Group, which will be charged with identifying the needs of underrepresented minority faculty and to offer support for faculty development. Finally, the grant will aid the school of medicine with its efforts to improve the health system’s capacity to meet the needs of people of all races and ethnicities by promoting research into genomics and precision medicine, health disparities and minority health issues.
"This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D34HP31025, “Centers of Excellence” for $3,414,950. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government."