Annual Report 2017 Annual Report - Page 15

13 VISTA , Volunteers in Service to America, was conceived by President John F. Kennedy as a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps and was started by President Lyndon Johnson as part of the War on Poverty. The Wright Center was awarded its first ever three-year sponsorship of four VISTA members to address the areas of our project which focus on antipoverty, community empowerment, sustainable solutions and capacity building in 2017. “These are not easy times in primary care. And yet, when I think of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education and their leadership, I know in my heart that the collective ‘we’ in primary care will ultimately prevail. I can think of no more dedicated, passionate, creative, visionary and resilient group in primary care right now.” DR. ANDREW MORRIS-SINGER PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF PRIMARY CARE PROGRESS Providing Unique Opportunities for Learning and Leadership to Improve Patient Care and Access Through our continued partnership with Primary Care Progress (PCP), a national 501(c)(3) leadership development organization, our local chapter of PCP at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine embarked on a student- led, inter-professional learning collaborative called the Catalyst Project in 2017. In tandem with influential regional leaders in northeast Pennsylvania, teams of up-and- coming medical, pharmacy and social work students analyzed our region’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and interviewed a diverse group of community stakeholders. The goal was to develop culturally sensitive solutions to the region's primary care delivery issues, including access to behavioral healthcare, affordability of care and lifestyle diseases. The Catalyst team decided to focus on affordability of care, particularly around prescription medications. The students met with a team of information technologists and In the first quarter of their service to The Wright Center, our Center of Excellence and School-Based Health Center VISTAs contributed research, writing and Geographic Information Systems mapping to the Department of Grants and Strategic Initiatives that resulted i n funding and in-kind resources of more than $1 million. VISTA Grace McGrath contributed an additional 270 hours of her time, outside of her VISTA service hours, educating patients and community members on the importance of advanced care planning. She also engaged the help of 16 emerging medical professionals to learn about the root causes of high healthcare utilization through her active involvement with Primary Care Progress’s physician leaders in the community to discuss drug cost Catalyst Project. Her efforts to go above alternatives to possibly reduce the financial burden on and beyond, and work closely with patients and their families. individuals struggling with complex medical and social needs, set a The students' work will continue as they gather more patient precedent for what it means stories and create a survey to distribute in primary care clinics to deliver a patient-centered throughout the area. The Catalyst Project team will then use “The approach within our the survey results to assess whether or not Pennsylvania community. prescription medication costs are a barrier to care in northeast Pennsylvania and, if so, how to innovate drug cost alternatives directly into the electronic medical record (EMR), educate providers about the cost of prescription medications and promote consideration of prescribing equally effective, less expensive options to ease the financial burden on patients. Catalyst Project team membership varies from year to year, and because of the strong foundation set by this year's project, the 2018 team members plan to continue this impactful work throughout the community. State Office is excited to engage VISTA members through our partnership with The Wright Center to increase our impact to fight community health issues, including the opioid epidemic in northeast Pennsylvania.” JAMES KERRIGAN PROGRAM OFFICER, PENNSYLVANIA STATE OFFICE, CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE