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Clinical Research

Below is a description of current research projects being headed by our clinical faculty.

Go here for a listing of recent publications and presentations by our clinical and community research faculty.

HRSA Grant Activities:  Serving the Underserved, 2009-2012 and Beyond

Daniel Knight MD, Principal Investigator
HRSA #D58HP05181

In 2009, the DFPM received a three-year grant from HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) to support training our residents to serve underserved populations, especially low income African Americans, Hispanics, HIV-positive patients, and the homeless.

As part of this project, we have set up a variety of field trips that will continue even after the grant support ceases.  These field trips include:

    • Migrant Health Center (Hope, Arkansas)
    • Mexican Consulate
    • Minority Health Commission
    • Harmony Health Clinic
    • Health for Life HIV Clinic
    • Our House
    • Salvation Army
    • Circle of Friends Clinic
    • Westside Free Medical Clinic
    • Church service and a meal with an African American family
    • Hispanic supermarket
    • Meal and discussion with a Hispanic family at an authentic Mexican restaurant

We have had an impressive variety of presentations on grant-related topics, including but not limited to:

    • HIV Update
    • Understanding the Basics of Medicaid
    • Homelessness from the Primary Care Perspective
    • Hispanic Health Issues from the Primary Care Perspective
    • Health Disparities
    • Culturally Responsive Communication When Using the Mental Status Exam in Family Medicine
    • The Migrant Health Center at Hope:  Serving the Underserved in South Arkansas
    • Health Literacy:  What Do Your Patients Really Know About Their Own Health, and How Do You Find Out?
    • Providing Better Medical Care through Cultural Competence
    • Cultural Sensitivity
    • Cultural Competence
    • Latino Media Sources:  Learning More about the Culture of Your Latino Patients

We even hosted a presentation by former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders M.D. in October 2012.

Residents have enthusiastically made presentations on grant-related themes such as:

    • Prevention Project:  Preventive Health Care for the Homeless
    • PPFM:  How to Care for Low Income Spanish-Speaking People with DM2
    • Journal Club:  A Systematic Approach to Diabetes Mellitus in Underserved Populations — Improving Care of Minority and Homeless Persons
    • Journal Club:  Underserved Patients’ Choice of Kiosk-Based Preventive Health Information
    • Journal Club:  Cultural Perspectives of Death, Grief, and Bereavement
    • Journal Club:  Caring for Immigrants
    • Journal Club:  Care of Latinos
    • Journal Club:  Care of Asian Americans
    • Journal Club:  Care of Arab Americans and American Muslims
    • Journal Club:  Care of Blacks and African Americans

We use two textbooks as a starting point for our training:

Each resident is given a copy of the books to keep.

FM-II residents design and present scientific posters based on the cancer care book.

Predoctoral Training in Primary Care

Arlo Kahn MD, Principal Investigator
HRSA #D56HP20781

In an effort to increase the number of students entering Family Medicine, especially in underserved areas, the UAMS Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and the UAMS Area Health Education Centers Program have implemented comprehensive curricular activities throughout medical school to address negative factors that students associate with Family Medicine and medically underserved practice.  Strategies include a preceptorship for 60 rising sophomores, a Community Practice Learning Collaborative for first and second year students to match them with mentors, a revised clerkship didactic curriculum, and improved communication strategies to promote the importance of Family Medicine and the need for family practitioners in Arkansas.  This project is scheduled to end in June 2015.

Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening in Family Medicine Residencies

Geoffrey Goldsmith, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator
Funded by the National Cancer Institute
#R25CA126805

Regrettably, the salutary impact of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is limited in part by the low rate of enrolling patients in CRC screening in primary care settings. The nation’s CRC screening rate falls far below the American Cancer Society’s goal for 2015 of 75% of the population at risk be screened. Because of this, it has been estimated that 50% of the deaths from CRC could be avoidable, but this reduction can not be achieved unless the population at risk is screened. One way we propose to increase CRC screening is to ensure that primary care practices optimize patient screening among their patients by dissemination of best practices to primary care sites that use Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

We are using a set of effective and innovative approaches to improve CRC screening. Included in our approach to disseminate best CRC screening practices in the primary care office setting, are four complementary and synergistic approaches. We have found that many sites that have EMRs have not implemented software that maximizes the site’s ability to enhance the delivery of cancer preventive services. The value of this study is that exquisite attention is paid to assembling a set of approaches as part of an acceptable intervention package that can be generalized to primary care practices that use electronic medical records (EMRs). An experienced team of investigators will fastidiously implement the project within 5 Arkansas Area Health Education Centers.

We will focus on assisting the clinicians achieve best clinic practices in cancer screening through a combination of on site seminars, enhancements in the EMR, demonstrating how to redesign the clinical practice, and brief behavioral interventions making use of the office nurse. The sites will receive a CME lecture on CRC screening and patient education information. At the end of the study, we will disseminate the findings of the study through seminars, workshops, and consultation services.