Department of Family Medicine

Therese M. Zink, M.D., M.P.H., Chair

Faculty, residents and staff at the 20th Annual Family Medicine Education Consortium
Faculty, residents and students representing the Department of Family Medicine gave posters and presentations at the 20th Annual Family Medicine Education Consortium meeting in Alexandria, Va., in October 2014.

Family Medicine Research

The Department of Family Medicine is committed to growing its research efforts.

The department is involved in practice-based research networks (PBRNs). We are an active member in the Southwestern Ohio Ambulatory Research Network (SOAR-Net) and plan to partner with other PBRNs across the state of Ohio, including the Ohio Clinical Trials Collaborative (COIN).

Faculty research interests include integrating quality improvement projects in the family medicine clerkship and employing the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) app developed by Ohio University to help medical students evaluate PCMH efforts in the clinics where they do their clerkships.  The Statin/Aspirin Choice Decision Aid is being used by Anne M. Proulx, D.O., associate professor of family medicine, to help motivate patients to better adhere to or make healthier choices related to cardiovascular health.

Denise Griffith, M.D., assistant professor of family medicine, is leading the evaluation of a method to improve the quality, efficiency and consistency of hand-offs given the restrictions duty-hours pose. 

Cynthia Olsen, M.D., professor of family medicine, has mentored sixth-year Pharm.D. candidates from Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy on a variety of research projects in the long-term care and ambulatory care setting.

Lisa Kellar, M.D., associate professor of family medicine, received national funding to improve influenza and pneumococcal vaccine rates in patients who are 65 and older at Five Rivers Family Health Center and in the surrounding community.  Kellar and her team of residents are partnering with several community organizations to extend the reach beyond the walls of the clinic.

Resident physician Lara Ilyas, M.D., received a 2014 STFM/NIDA Training Award in Substance Abuse and Addiction. Her mentor, Josephine F. Wilson, D.D.S., Ph.D., director of Substance Abuse Resources and Disability Issues in the Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research at WSU, will help her grow her research skills as she tests CareText, a cell phone text messaging app using motivational interviewing messages. This research project uses a two-group, randomized control trial in which patients receiving usual treatment or CareText after screening, brief intervention and referral to training (SBIRT). Her clinical mentors include family medicine faculty Paul Hershberger, Ph.D., director of behavioral science, and Michael Jacobson, D.O., who is certified in addiction medicine.

In the classroomResearch conducted by one of our newest faculty members, Stuart Leeds, M.D., M.S., is improving chronic pain management in primary care. He is testing the Scope-of-Care-Oriented Pain Engagement (SCOPE) Protocol to help physicians and train medical students and residents to provide better pain management.

Department Chair Therese Zink, M.D., M.P.H., has conducted research to improve the care to patients living with family violence in the primary care setting. She has done educational outcomes research related to rural medical education programs. Her practice-based research has looked at the use of the electronic health record and health information exchange and implementation of the Chronic Kidney Disease Guidelines. Her current Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded project examines the process and cost for transforming a medical practice into team-based and patient-centered care.

Active research opportunities for medical students are available as electives, through the Area Health Education Center summer program and one-on-one.