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Department of Medicine Announces Inaugural Recipients of Clinician-Educator Faculty Grants


​The University of Colorado Department of Medicine has selected the first ever recipients of its new Program for Academic Clinician Educators (PACE). The program supports the career development of clinician-educators, faculty members who develop and improve innovative educational programs, and engage in educational research to guide how health professions learners are taught and assessed.

The PACE program provides each Scholar with up to $40,000 annually for up to 2 years, which may be used for medical education research, innovative program development in education, salary support and/or career development of the Scholar.

corral.jpgJanet Corral, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Division of General Internal Medicine). Her PACE project builds off several successful pilot programs to create a digital, just-in-time (JIT) coaching system (JITCS) for educators at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. JITCS delivers evidence-based teaching tips to faculty as they lead assigned teaching events. A local needs assessment will drive a user-friendly design of JITSC, which will then be developed and implemented in SOM courses, as well as the DOM clerkship and DOM residency. JITCS will provide CU with an innovative platform to help faculty development meet local needs in the digital era, while simultaneously building CU’s national and international reputation in best evidence medical education, just-in time faculty development, and intelligent tutors.

frasca.jpgKatherine Frasca, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases). She will use her PACE funding to create a comprehensive, inter-professional, patient-centered, educational curriculum on HIV prevention for Internal Medicine residents and allied health professions trainees. HIV prevention training in PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is critical for general medicine trainees, since this is a public health intervention that has been shown to be cost-saving in the prevention of HIV infection. The toolkit for successful HIV prevention includes not only PrEP, but also STD screening and treatment, sexual health counseling, and addressing barriers to PrEP adherence such as mental health disorders and substance use. A critical component to providing this care to a predominantly LGBT population is the establishment of cultural competency by the trainees. The format of this program will be inter-professional training in HIV prevention (including PrEP) via a structured online curriculum and hands-on clinical experience.

mastalerz.jpgKatarzyna Mastalerz, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Division of General Internal Medicine). Her PACE project will focus on incorporating an educational communication component for residents into an interprofessional inpatient unit called an Accountable Care Unit (ACU) aimed at reducing inpatient medical errors, a large percentage of which are attributable to poor communication and ineffective teamwork. Developing effective methods of teaching interprofessional education (IPE) is an important aspect of providing higher quality, safer patient care. Most IPE is done pre-clinically or in simulation settings, but research shows that poor communication and lack of effective teamwork persist on inpatient wards, making this educational intervention a key way of incorporating team- and communication-based curricula into clinical settings to improve patient safety.

katcher.jpgPaul Menard-Katcher, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology), and Associate Gastroenterology Fellowship Program Director. He will use his PACE funding to develop novel curricula and trainee assessment instruments using CBME-based tools such as entrustable professional activities (EPAs) to better train medical learners and to aid in trainee competency assessment. Medical education is in the process of a transition to competency-based medical education (CBME), at the heart of which is a focus on outcomes and abilities of the medical learner, rather than on a time-based training process. Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) are descriptions of competency that are observable and measurable, and provide a tool by which clinically-based trainee outcomes may be assessed. There is a critical need for the development of such instruments to facilitate the transition to CBME, particularly in the medical subspecialties. Successful development of this program will facilitate the overall goal to transition medical education from an apprenticeship model to CBME.

"This innovative program was designed to support faculty who have chosen academic career paths focused on education, as opposed to other areas of scholarly work," said Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine and Director of Interprofessional Education for the CU School of Medicine. "There are very few external funding opportunities in the realm of medical education, and the Department of Medicine is a trailblazer for supporting this novel approach."

The Department of Medicine expects to fund four or more recipients per year, with letters of intent due each year in October. The Department wishes to thank the PACE review committee members for helping to advance this important program:

  • Eva Aagaard, MD – Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine); Director, Academy of Medical Educators; Associate Dean for Educational Strategy, SOM; Director, Center for Advancing Professional Excellence
  • Adrian Hendrickse, MD – Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
  • Pamela Jones, PhD – Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
  • John Kendall, MD – Professor of Emergency Medicine; Director of Education
  • Anne Libby, PhD – Professor of Emergency Medicine; Vice Chair for Academic Affairs
  • Augusto Miravalle, MD – Associate Professor of Neurology
  • Kristina Tocce, MD – Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology