Writing a grant is all about trying to convince an agency/not-for-profit/rich person that their money will make a difference in the activities of your organization. Being in a medical school, I typically look to several federal agencies who are looking to improve medical education when I’m asking for money. This money typically cannot go towards “operating expenses” but must go towards changing the activities of the applying organization to bring them more in line with the goals of the granting agency. This is why it is important that the agency shares the goals of the person or group requesting the money.

The agency that typically funds family medicine education is the Health Resources Services Adminstration (HRSA). This agency has been charged with “improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.” Over the years that I have been involved with this agency, I have sought and acquired funding for Community Oriented Primary Care, care of victims of domestic abuse, care of underserved rural Americans, and care of underserved urban Americans. Fortunately, the goals of this agency dovetail with my interests and the interests of the department.

The Patient Protection and Affordability Act has outlined what the primary care priorities are going to be for HRSA this year (listed below). Wish me luck:

  • Programs that develop programs between academic administrative units of primary care;
  • Programs that Propose innovative approaches to clinical teaching using models of primary care, such as the patient centered medical home, team management of chronic disease, and interprofessional integrated models of health care that incorporate transitions in health care settings and integration of physical and mental health provision;
  • Programs that have a record of training the greatest percentage of providers, or that have demonstrated significant improvements in the percentage of providers trained, who enter and remain in primary care practice;
  • Programs that have a record of training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or from a rural or disadvantaged background;
  • Programs that provide training in the care of vulnerable populations such as children, older adults, homeless individuals, victims of abuse or trauma, individuals with mental health or substance-related disorders, individuals with HIV/AIDS, and individuals with disabilities;
  • Programs that establish formal relationships and submit joint applications with federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, area health education centers, or clinics located in underserved areas or that serve underserved populations
  • Programs that teach trainees the skills to provide interprofessional, integrated care through collaboration among health professionals;
  • Programs that provide training in enhanced communication with patients, evidence-based practice, chronic disease management, preventive care, health information technology, or other competencies as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry and the National Health Care Workforce Commission established in section 5101 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; or
  • Programs that provide training in cultural competency and health literacy.