Internal Medicine

The following grants/research projects are currently under way within the Deparment of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine at Meharry Medial College.

The Meharry Medical College (MMC) and the Vanderbilt-lngram Cancer Center (VICC): partnering for survivorship
John J. Murray, M.D., Ph.D.
Funding Source: National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Project Summary: The Meharry Medical College (MMC) and the Vanderbilt-lngram Cancer Center (VICC) Survival from cancer in adults now exceeds 65 percent, although disparities exist between African Americans and Caucasians for reasons that are only partly understood. With this growing cohort of survivors, little research has been conducted to assess long-term outcomes, especially among cancer survivors and particularly in minority survivor populations where baseline health disparities exists. A partnership between Vanderbilt-lngram Cancer Center and Meharry Medical College is addressing the lack of data.

Meharry Medical College-CHC Community Networks Program Center
Margaret Hargreaves, Ph.D.
Funding Source:National Institutes of Health
Project Summary: The purpose of the Meharry Medical College-Community Health Centers (CHCs) Community Networks Program (CNP) is to reduce cancer health disparities among African Americans by conducting community-based participatory research in select urban and rural communities in Tennessee (Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis) and Mississippi (Jackson, Canton, Mound, Bayou). Overall program goals are to significantly improve access to and utilization of beneficial cancer interventions in these CHC communities and provide a cadre of well trained researchers who continue to reduce disparities in these communities. An umbrella coalition of organizations and individuals has been formed to make joint plans for community networking activities and to develop an infrastructure that facilitates research participation in the target population. Meharry serves as the Coordinating Center.

Screening Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
Researcher: Marquetta L. Faulkner, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P., F.A.S.N.
Funding Source: Department of Human Health Services/SAMHSA
Project Summary: The Internal Medicine Primary Care Clinic of Nashville General Hospital at Meharry (PCC) implements the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment initiative (SBIRT). The focus of SBIRT is to screen individuals visiting the PCC to proactively address risky alcohol and/or drug use in clients before those risky behaviors become a more serious problem. Research has shown that intervening early with individuals at moderate risk is effective in reducing substance use, preventing co-morbid health conditions, and reducing health care costs. In addition, SBIRT provides support for our primary care attending clinics and training for our residents in our Internal Medicine Residency Program.

Meharry Community Wellness Center
(Ryan White Part C outpatient EIS program)
Vladimir Berthaud, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P.
Funding Source:
Health Resources and Services Administration
Project Summary:
This HIV/AIDS program includes a wide range of early intervention services and focuses on expanding access to and retention into high quality care, reducing health disparities, and improving health outcomes. The target population (African Americans in north Nashville) are characterized by high rates of non-insurance (43%), poverty (87.5%), incarceration (20%), low education (86%), and family breakdown (85%). Among clients seen at MCWC, the primary mode of transmission is heterosexual contact (56%) but MSM category is increasing (23%). The primary goals of this program are 1) to reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS and 2) to improve the health outcomes of low-income and medically underserved African Americans living with HIV/AIDS primarily in North Nashville.