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Dr. Hayes Baker leads internal medicine residents in lecture.

Magnolia Regional Health Center (MRHC) and the University of Mississippi Medical Center have jointly received a $20,000 grant from leading internal medicine organizations to rebuild trust and address inequities in medical education and training.

The award, presented by the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), the ABIM Foundation, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, is one of 32, totaling $287,500.

Physician shortages, patient mistrust, and trainee bias all contribute to the difficulty in delivering safe, effective, high-quality primary health care in Mississippi. As the state ranked 49th in the country for overall health and 50th for worst health outcomes, Mississippi needs well-trained physicians to provide healthcare to its residents.  The MRHC/UMMC project entitled Enhancing Education, Building Trust, and Eliminating Bias in Primary Care: A Novel Approach to Primary Care Track Resident Education in Inner-City and Rural Mississippi seeks to do just that.   

This grant will allow MRHC and UMMC to work together to address the health disparities in the state.  The University of Mississippi Medical Center, the only academic medical center in the state, is located in the urban state capitol of Jackson.  UMMC has numerous physician training programs, including an Internal Medicine program with 78 resident physicians.  Magnolia Regional Health Center, by contrast, is located in a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) and is designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).  Magnolia’s Internal Medicine program has a total of 19 resident physicians.  The two programs, one academic and one rural, will work together to help build the doctor-patient relationship by increasing patient trust in their physicians.  They will also work to train Internal Medicine residents in both programs about physician bias and patient mistrust.  The work will be accomplished with a lecture series for the resident physicians and community events held jointly with residents and patients.  The project will span over two years, from July 1st, 2021 to June 30th, 2023.   

“As a lifelong Mississippian, I have seen the mistrust that can occur within the medical system,” said Dr. Hayes Baker, Program Director for Internal Medicine at Magnolia Regional Health Center. “I am excited to work with my partners at UMMC to train our Internal Medicine residents to provide unbiased, equitable care in our state.  I am hopeful that our work will enhance the doctor-patient relationship at all levels, in order to deliver the best healthcare possible in both Corinth and Jackson.  Magnolia and UMMC are honored to be selected as a grantee to tackle mistrust and address health care diversity, equity and inclusion in medical education and training.”

Dr. Baker will be partnering with Dr. Lyssa Weatherly, Assistant Dean of Students at UMMC School of Medicine and Associate Program Director for UMMC Internal Medicine Residency and Dr. Jessie Lavender, Primary Care Track Director for the Internal Medicine residency at UMMC.

Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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