Release Date: 07/14/2015
The U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) recently awarded a five-year, $1.25-million grant to the Department of Family Medicine at Memorial Hospital, a Care New England hospital, to improve the availability of primary care for children and adolescents in underserved areas.

The grant, entitled “Transforming Family Centered Primary Care for Children and Adolescents in Underserved Areas,” will focus on care provided by Memorial’s Family Care Center to families in Pawtucket and Central Falls.

“The purpose of this grant is to enhance the training of medical students, family medicine residents and family medicine faculty at Memorial, as well as community faculty throughout these two underserved communities,” says Melissa Nothnagle, MD, MSc, residency director for The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University Family Medicine Residency Program at Memorial, and principal investigator on the grant.

In addition to cultivating a workforce of primary care providers who are well prepared to deliver patient and family-centered care for children and adolescents, the intent of the grant is to encourage practitioners to work in underserved communities. “We will be looking to these practitioners to become the future leaders in transforming primary care delivery systems,” Nothnagle explains.

The nation’s health care system is evolving to be more focused on keeping people well instead of helping people when they are sick. This grant, according to Jeffrey Borkan, MD, PhD, chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Memorial and chair of the Department of Family Medicine and assistant dean for Primary Care-Population Health Program Planning at Alpert Medical School, will help further the efforts to strengthen the primary care services at Memorial and broaden their availability.

"This grant is a wonderful accomplishment and it will directly benefit the training of our residents and the patients for whom they care - both now and in the future. An incredible family medicine residency team put together a top-notch grant and this award will support continued educational innovation and the care of Rhode Islanders," Borkan says.

The Family Care Center at Memorial offers care for patients of all ages. For more information, call (401) 729-2304 or go to

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Melissa Nothnagle, MD