CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati (UC) has been named one of five urban universities to participate in the Urban Universities for Health learning collaborative, a national academic learning collaborative focused on investigating approaches to health care workforce development that lead to improved health outcomes and reduced disparities in local communities.
Urban Universities for Health has awarded UC’s Academic Health Center a four-year grant totaling over $400,000 toward the research endeavor.
"To be one of only five universities chosen is testament to where UC stands in academic excellence and dedication to best practices in health care,” says UC College of Nursing Dean Greer Glazer, PhD, who co-wrote UC’s grant proposal with Barbara Tobias, MD, Robert & Myfanwy Smith Endowed Professor, UC Department of Family and Community Medicine, and medical director of the Health Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati.
The Academic Health Center comprises the colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy and allied health sciences and other programs and institutes on UC’s Medical Campus.
Says Tobias: "Cincinnati is a national model for health care improvement. With our health systems, payers, providers and employers aligned around improving quality and decreasing cost through other recent public and private initiatives, this is an important opportunity to tap into academic leadership to improve disparities in our community.”
According to the Urban Universities for Health, the collaborative is meant to engage top university and health professions leadership across disciplines in order to assess and improve institutional effectiveness, share information on what works and translate the knowledge into tools and resources for broader application.
It’s a health care workforce "think tank,” says Glazer, where everyone involved will learn from each other how to attract, maintain and graduate students who mirror the U.S. population.
"UC is committed to examining and retooling institutional practices based on our work with this project because these proven programs will assist in graduating a more culturally competent health care workforce—especially in urban communities, where health and education disparities exist,” she says.
One aspect of the project will be for the learning collaborative to develop a set of metrics that universities can use to better track progress and improve health workforce efforts.
The other urban universities named to the collaborative are: Cleveland State University/NEOMED, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of New Mexico and State University of New York-Downstate.
The Urban Universities for Health is a partnership effort between the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU), an association managed by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Urban Universities for Health is a cooperative agreement between the AAMC and USU and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, which aims to expand and enhance a culturally sensitive, diverse and prepared health workforce to improve health and health equity in urban communities.