MSM and CommonSpirit Health Unite

Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit Health proudly announces a 10-year, $100 million partnership and the first nationwide initiative between two of the country’s leading health organizations to address the underlying causes of health equity, including underrepresentation of Black clinicians. The partnership will lay the foundation for patients to have more access to Black clinicians and for Black medical students and graduates to gain community-based experience. Additionally, it will allow MSM to expand its enrollment - increasing the pipeline of students recruited from underserved and rural communities

While there are 155 accredited medical schools in the U.S., MSM and the other three historically Black medical schools produce the majority of Black doctors. As one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the nation, CSH serves some of the most diverse communities in the country and cares for more Medicaid patients than any other health system in the United States. Together, the two organizations will leverage a combined 100 years of experience to address health disparities in underserved communities and continue to elevate care for vulnerable patients.

One of the greatest impacts of this partnership is the transformation of career opportunities for MSM students within the CommonSpirit network of medical facilities. Five remote medical campuses will launch as a part of the Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit partnership, enabling third- and fourth year medical and second-year PA students to complete their respective degrees while working in settings that reflect MSM and CommonSpirit’s commitment to educating student from underserved and rural communities.

Looking forward, this collaboration will afford the Morehouse School of Medicine community a tremendous opportunity to forge a new path to address legacy health disparities that are not only an undue burden on the communities impacted, but on our society as a whole. This is a unique opportunity Morehouse School of Medicine has to create equity in education and training opportunities that lead to a diverse, culturally workforce, equity in access and equity in care delivery, which we all believe are required in order to achieve health equity.

Thank you for your continued leadership and support of Morehouse School of Medicine. The world needs what we do best.

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice

This partnership is the perfect combination of two healthcare organizations that are devoted to the creation and advancement of heath equity in underserved communities,” Dr. Montgomery Rice said. “Now, more than ever, we believe society needs a unique partnership like ours that can help show the way to reducing health disparities in vulnerable communities, and, in turn, make all communities stronger”

 

Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice
President and Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine

Lloyd H. Dean

We’re immediately leveraging our partnership to address health inequities magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic, as Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” Dean said. “Together, we will foster a culturally competent system of care that includes testing, care delivery, and vaccine allocation, directed at the most vulnerable populations to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in racial and ethnic communities.”

- President and CEO Lloyd H. Dean
CommonSpirit Health

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why did Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) and CommonSpirit Health (CommonSpirit) decide to partner?

    The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice magnified health disparities impacting the Black community. MSM and CommonSpirit have a shared commitment to the creation and advancement of health equity in underserved communities that led to the development of a 10-year, $100 million initiative to help address the underlying causes of these health disparities, including underrepresentation of Black clinicians.

    Studies show that Black patients have better outcomes when treated by Black doctors. Yet, of the 21,863 students entering medical school in 2019, only 1,626 were Black – and, of that number, only 619 were Black males. 

    MSM and CommonSpirit are natural partners to address this issue. While there are 155 accredited medical schools in the U.S., MSM and the other three historically Black medical schools produce the majority of the nation’s Black physicians. CommonSpirit is one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the nation, serving some of the most diverse communities in the country, with a robust graduate medical education program including 2,200 residents in 90 different residency tracks.

  • What will the partnership include?

    The partnership will help diversify the healthcare workforce across the country by ensuring a minimum of 300 additional underrepresented minority providers complete their residency training annually and support a pipeline of students that will be recruited from communities that have a historical provider shortage. MSM and CommonSpirit will establish five new remote learning sites and graduate medical education programs in at least 10 markets in partnership with CommonSpirit healthcare facilities, to be announced in spring 2021.

    The collaboration will extend to foster a culturally competent system of care with a focus on illnesses that disproportionately impact diverse and underserved communities, such as COVID-19. This includes addressing research, testing, care delivery, and vaccine allocation, directed at the most vulnerable populations to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in racial and ethnic communities.

  • What is the financial investment associated with the partnership?

    MSM and CommonSpirit will contribute $21 million in seed money in the first two years, with a goal of spearheading a 10-year, $100 million initiative through additional grants and support from individual donors, industry partners, and philanthropic organizations.

     

  • Why is this partnership unique?

    The MSM and CommonSpirit partnership is the first nationwide initiative between two of the country’s leading health organizations to address the underlying causes of health disparities, including underrepresentation of Black clinicians. While there are 155 accredited medical schools in the U.S., MSM and the other three historically Black medical schools produce the majority of Black doctors. As one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the nation, CommonSpirit serves some of the most diverse communities in the country and cares for more Medicaid patients than any other health system in the United States.    

  • How will the partnership address health equity?

    Underrepresented Black physicians and other healthcare practitioners care for a higher proportion of Black patients in their practices and, studies show that Black patients have better outcomes when they are treated by Black doctors. However, Black clinicians comprise only 5 percent of the physician workforce and 7 percent of all medical students.

    Historically Black medical schools produce the majority of Black doctors but, with only four programs in the U.S., there is limited training capacity. Simply put, there are many more qualified applicants that could attend if given the opportunity –and the MSM and CommonSpirit partnership will help create more opportunities through five new remote learning sites and graduate medical education programs in at least 10 new markets. The partnership will focus on educating and training the next generation of culturally competent health clinicians and researchers by supporting a pipeline of students that will be recruited from underserved and rural communities that have a historical provider shortage.

  •   How will the partnership help diversify the healthcare workforce?
     

    There are currently more qualified applicants for medical school and residency programs than there are positions. The MSM and CommonSpirit partnership will help educate and train the next generation of culturally competent health clinicians and researchers by allowing MSM to expand its enrollment and by supporting a pipeline of students that will be recruited from underserved and rural communities that have a historical provider shortage. MSM and CommonSpirit will establish five new regional campuses and graduate medical education programs in at least 10 markets in partnership with CommonSpirit healthcare facilities.

  •   How will more Black physicians help address health equity and improve patient care?
     

    Underrepresented Black physicians care for a higher proportion of Black patients in their practices and, studies show that Black patients have better outcomes when they are treated by Black doctors. Cultural competency helps facilitate compliance with preventive diagnostic testing and recommendations for treatment or therapies.

     

  •   Will the partnership focus on certain specialties and subspecialties?
     

    The initiative will focus on primary care, maternal child health and surgical subspecialties.

     

     

  •   Has CommonSpirit initiated similar partnerships with other medical schools?
     

    The partnership with MSM is a first-of-its-kind partnership between two leading health organizations to help address the underlying causes of health disparities, improve health outcomes and build trust of the medical community. CommonSpirit has established academic sponsorships with other institutions including Baylor College of Medicine, Creighton School of Medicine, UC Davis, UCLA, and USC.

  •   Are MSM and CommonSpirit building new medical schools?
     

    At this time, the program is focused on leveraging the real-world training environment of CommonSpirit facilities to enable third- and fourth year medical and second-year PA students to complete their respective degrees while working in settings that reflect MSM and CommonSpirit’s commitment to educating student from underserved and rural communities. Graduate medical students will also train at CommonSpirit healthcare facilities across a wide range of health professions and specialties.

  •   What is the size of CommonSpirit’s current graduate medical education program?
     

    CommonSpirit is committed to developing the workforce of the future:

    • 2,200 residents in 90 different residency tracks
    • Graduate medical education programs in eight states
    • More than 45% of residency slots are primary care (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics)
    • More than 550 Fellows Majority at Baylor College of Medicine, Creighton College of Medicine (Omaha and Phoenix) and Barrow Neurological Institute
  •   Where will the new undergraduate and graduate programs be located?
     

    Locations will be aligned with CommonSpirit markets and chosen based on social, economic and health disparities criteria in support of creating a foundation for patients to have more access to Black providers, and for Black medical students and graduates to gain community-based experience that they need to be successful in their work.

  • When will the new undergraduate and graduate program locations be announced?

    Regional campus locations will be announced in spring 2021. MSM and CommonSpirit will identify 10 sites as teaching hospitals to submit for ACGME approval as early as July 2021.

     

     

  • When will the new undergraduate and graduate programs welcome their first students?

    The first remote campus will go live July 2021. The second and third campuses will come onboard in 2022, with the fourth and final campuses joining in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The graduate medical program will welcome the first cohort of residents in Fall 2023, after completion of government and regulatory approvals.



  • Will MSM and CommonSpirit scale this initiative to include other medical schools and health systems?

    Additional partners are not currently being considered. However, the initiative is intended to create a pathway for healthcare organizations across the nation to follow and share learnings from MSM and CommonSpirit.

     

     

     

  • Specifically, how will the initiative address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the Black community?

    The collaboration will extend to foster a culturally competent system of care with a focus on illnesses that disproportionately impact diverse and underserved communities, such as COVID-19. This includes addressing research, testing, care delivery, and vaccine allocation, directed at the most vulnerable populations to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in racial and ethnic communities.

     

     

  •   How will CommonSpirit’s Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives impact the training of MSM undergraduate and graduate medical education students?
     

    CommonSpirit currently offers graduate medical education opportunities for 2,200 residents in 90 different residency tracks, in eight states. Our students gain exceptional knowledge and skill by working alongside CommonSpirit clinicians and learning best practices that we scale across our system. As a faith-based provider, we are guided by Directives that establish important values and commitments including acting in the interests of the common good and respect for human dignity. The Directives provide guidance on aspects of care, such as end of life decisions, birth control and abortion, but students are empowered to incorporate their own personal ethics and values in their practice.

     

     

  •   How will CommonSpirit’s Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives impact the training of MSM undergraduate and graduate medical education students?
     

    CommonSpirit currently offers graduate medical education opportunities for 2,200 residents in 90 different residency tracks, in eight states. Our students gain exceptional knowledge and skill by working alongside CommonSpirit clinicians and learning best practices that we scale across our system. As a faith-based provider, we are guided by Directives that establish important values and commitments including acting in the interests of the common good and respect for human dignity. The Directives provide guidance on aspects of care, such as end of life decisions, birth control and abortion, but students are empowered to incorporate their own personal ethics and values in their practice.

     

     


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MSM and CommonSpirit are Uniquely Positioned to Impact
Health Equity

Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit Health unite for 10-year, $100 million partnership to reduce health disparities, increase access to culturally competent care.

 

13%

of the nation's population is Black

only 5%

of practicing physicians are Black

We need more Black clinicians and researchers!