Grant aims to improve health care for patients with disabilities

Funding will help increase education, training for health care students

| Author: Aaron Mills

The Central Michigan University College of Medicine, in collaboration with the CMU College of Education and Human Services, Special Olympics Michigan, and the Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, has been awarded a $130,000 Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation grant. The grant will help increase education and training for health care students with a focus on patients with disabilities.

The principal investigator on the grant is College of Medicine faculty member Neli Ragina. Her team includes co-principal investigators Ariel Cascio, College of Medicine faculty, and Shay Dawson, Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration faculty; with co-investigator Dr. Sarah Yonder, College of Medicine faculty.

They will work toward incorporating an innovative approach to CMU's health care curriculum that will help to diversify health care students' knowledge of a vulnerable patient population and foster compassionate practice techniques with regard to patients with disabilities.

"Our goal is to decrease negative stigmatization about patients with disabilities and create better prepared and more knowledgeable future health care professionals," Regina said.

Ragina also will collaborate with Dr. Lisa Iezzoni, professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Raymond Curry, clinical professor of medicine and medical education at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, to successfully develop and expand the CMU initiative nationally and internationally.

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