WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine receives major grant for Institute of Primary Care

Published 6:12 pm Friday, May 5, 2023

The William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCUCOM) has received a $20 million infrastructure grant through AccelerateMS, the leading office for workforce development in Mississippi, to establish a new Institute of Primary Care.

The announcement came May 5 during a press conference at WCU’s Hattiesburg campus.

“We are extremely grateful for this impactful grant. The institute will be a beacon to transform and improve health care for all of our Mississippi communities,” said Dr. Italo Subbarao, dean of WCUCOM.

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The Institute of Primary Care will enhance WCUCOM’s mission to increase the number of primary care physicians in rural and underserved areas in Mississippi and the Gulf South. It will train student doctors and primary care resident physicians, help community physicians and other healthcare providers advance their training and certifications, and provide a medical education space for advancements related to primary care.

“William Carey University has focused on workforce areas in our state which need the most attention – the fields of education and healthcare,” said Mississippi Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann.

“Under the leadership of Dr. Ben Burnett, and in partnership with the legislature, this $20 million grant will directly result in an infusion of new doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals into rural Mississippi.”

The Institute of Primary Care will have a large, state-of-the-art osteopathic manipulative medicine lab and a point-of-care ultrasound skills lab. It will also include an innovative skills simulation center and a large conference room for continuing medical education events.

“Our College of Osteopathic Medicine was established with a primary purpose to do just as Christ did, to serve the underserved. That was the main mission of our namesake, William Carey,” said WCU President Dr. Ben Burnett.

“We’re not just named after Dr. William Carey, we want to continue the ministry that he started more than 200 years ago. Today’s announcement is a culmination of a year and a half of work by Dr. Subbarao and his team. The fruits of their labor will strengthen the mission we created exponentially.”

The $20 million Mississippi Health Sciences Training Infrastructure Grant funds are allocated from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund program, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Under 2022 House Bill 1006, AccelerateMS is responsible for the management, oversight, and monitoring of these funds.

“We are honored and privileged to participate in a team that is focused on trying to improve the lives of Mississippians in a very palpable way. I cannot think of a workforce sector more important than supporting people who have a heart for serving those in the most vulnerable positions,” said Ryan Miller, executive director of AccelerateMS.

For more information about the Institute of Primary Care, call (601) 318-6235 or email com@wmcarey.edu.