McKenzie Stine of Port Clinton High begins innovative medical program

Apr 21, 2021 | Around Ottawa County, Featured | 0 comments

Port Clinton High School and John Carroll University graduate McKenzie Stine has been accepted into an accelerated, competency-based curriculum that prepares students for careers in family medicine through a continuous experience from medical school through residency and beyond.

McKenzie Stine of Port Clinton is among eight students who have been selected this year for the innovative Transformative Care Continuum (TCC), an accelerated, competency-based curriculum that prepares students for careers in family medicine through a continuous experience from medical school through residency and beyond.

The students selected each year to join this innovative program will complete the Heritage College’s foundational Pathways to Health and Wellness Curriculum. Each student will be matched to a family medicine residency program. Stine has been selected to serve at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lakewood Family Health Center.

A 2015 graduate of Port Clinton High School, Stine excelled in swimming and academics. She is the daughter of local realtor Renee Bolte Stine and Cory Stine.

Stine graduated magna cum laude from the honors program at John Carroll University with a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology and minors in Chemistry and Population and Public Health. While at John Carroll University she was captain of the women’s swim team.

Stine also participated in immersion trips to Louisville, Cleveland and Honduras, and was a very active leader in Campus Ministries.

Stine spent the last two years in the AmeriCorps, living in Arizona and Cleveland with pregnant and parenting women and their children in residential settings that provides a safe and loving community. The life-changing programs and ongoing services helped the mothers and their children to become self-sufficient.

During their first three years at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, the students will spend one half-day per week at residency sites, where they will serve in a variety of capacities including medical scribe, medical assistant, patient educator and junior intern. Students spend another half-day per week with a health care manager examining and designing population health and quality improvement initiatives, aimed at improving primary care delivery at Cleveland Clinic.

As a member of the American Medical Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, the Heritage College is one of 32 medical schools nationwide test-piloting new ways to educate future physicians. Developed in partnership with Cleveland Clinic, the Transformative Care Continuum (TCC) is an accelerated, competency-based demonstration project that will prepare students for careers in family medicine through a continuous experience from medical school through residency and beyond. The project includes an intense emphasis on primary care, teamwork, health systems science and immersion in the patients’ community.

“A lot of the programs in the Consortium are undertaking a very specific project and applying that to all of their students, which is great,” said Isaac Kirstein, D.O., dean of the Heritage College. “But we’re the only program in the consortium that is making a wholesale change, not for all of our students, but for a cohort of eight per year. Instead of trying to see what we can slowly shift, we’re trying to create a laboratory where we can make large-scale changes in curriculum and outcomes and structure.”

“These TCC students will be practicing skills that their interprofessional colleagues perform, and learning from the perspectives of those colleagues,” explained Leanne Chrisman-Khawam, M.D., M.Ed., who directs the TCC program for the Heritage College. “It’s a process by which they’ll slowly mature into family doctors as they utilize the leadership skills, population health knowledge and health system skills that we’re teaching in the other portions of their coursework. These are proficiencies that primary care physicians need to master, but in which they haven’t always been formally trained before now.”

Heritage College Executive Dean and Ohio University Chief Medical Affairs Officer Ken Johnson, D.O., said that curriculum transformation projects like the TCC put the college “at the forefront of the growing movement to adapt medical education to changes our graduates are already experiencing in patient care.”

The major commitment to this project by Cleveland Clinic, a name long synonymous with superb specialty care, also reflects the increasing emphasis being placed nationally on the importance of primary care. And according to Sandra Snyder, D.O., program director for the family medicine residency program at Cleveland Clinic, the world-renowned health system believes the TCC can help produce the kind of physician that modern care demands – and, by so doing, help contain the rising cost of care.

A pioneering program requires students equipped to be pioneers, and the Heritage College and Cleveland Clinic have worked together to hand pick students such as Stine.

Chrisman-Khawam said she looked for attributes including maturity, self-directedness, self-awareness, leadership ability, strong communication skills, integrity and at least some history of teamwork.

“Because they’re required to be highly self-directed, they’re going to need to be lifelong learners who can work on their own, take a project, plan for it and complete it,” she said. “We also want people who have a heart for the underserved because it’s our goal to partner with the urban, underrepresented minority, and disadvantaged communities and have a lasting impact.”

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