NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Meharry Medical College today announced that it has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish a virtual simulation and telemedicine training program for medical students. The $20 million grant is part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and is provided through federal CARES Act funding.
The new virtual simulation and telemedicine program will be designed to enhance the training and development of future health care providers to help underserved communities overcome the disproportionate impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an incredible day for Meharry Medical College and the communities we serve,” said James E.K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., President and CEO of Meharry Medical College. “African-American and Latino communities have been hardest hit by COVID-19 due to a number of reasons. The CARES Act grant will equip us with the needed resources to enhance our curriculum and will allow us to better care for the communities who have been the most affected. I am grateful and honored to witness the extraordinary impact it will have on our students, College and community.”
On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was passed by Congress to provide fast and direct economic aid to those negatively impacted by the pandemic. Of the $2.2 trillion allotted, approximately $14 billion was given to the Office of Post-Secondary Education as the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Funds provided will help both institutions and federal government work together to overcome the impact of COVID-19.
“I often see our students accomplish great things, sometimes with very little resources,” said Regina Stokes Offodile M.D., Primary Investigator for the program and Interim Chair of the Department of Professional and Medical Education. “This grant will allow our students and staff to make an even greater impact on their communities. It is an honor to join Meharry in our efforts to teach the future physicians who ultimately make a positive impact on the underserved and the world.”
The CARES Act grant is the second largest funding awarded to Meharry since receiving $34 million from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Bloomberg Philanthropies in Sept. 2020 to help increase the number of Black doctors in the U.S. by significantly reducing debt burden.