Immediate Release

Hiran Ratnayake
Senior Communications Manager
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Tim Gibbs
Executive Director
Delaware Academy of Medicine

ChristianaCare Awarded $2.4 Million Grant through the American Rescue Plan to Strengthen Health Care Workforce in Delaware

Grant administered from Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association’s Delaware Health Force Initiative to ChristianaCare’s Institute for Learning, Leadership and Development

(WILMINGTON, Del. — Dec. 28, 2022) ChristianaCare has been awarded a $2.4 million grant to expand Delaware’s health care workforce and ultimately improve access to care throughout the First State.

Awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered through the Delaware Academy of Medicine / Delaware Public Health Association (Academy/DPHA), the grant will help ChristianaCare’s Institute for Learning, Leadership and Development (iLEAD) expand and enhance medical education in Delaware and grow and strengthen the state’s multidisciplinary health care workforce.

As an academic health system with more than 300 residents and fellows, and as the Delaware Branch Campus for Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, ChristianaCare already has a robust education infrastructure that supports Delaware’s health care workforce and helps to attract and retain talented health care professionals from across the country.

This new funding will help to expand those efforts, including in Kent and Sussex counties, and in underserved areas in the city of Wilmington, where there is a need for more primary care and behavioral health providers, medical assistants and other important health care roles.

“To provide care that is truly of the highest quality, we need doctors in Delaware who have the confidence and specialized training to see patients with a wide variety of issues,” said Tabassum Salam, M.D., MBA, FACP, chief learning officer at ChristianaCare. “In addition to doctors, we need more advanced practice clinicians, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Just as important, we want to foster the development of all members of health care teams, including medical assistants and aides.”

Initially, the grant will fund new training slots for psychiatrists, psychologists and advanced practice clinicians who specialize in primary care. The money also will expand training for medical assistants in order to increase the number of those professionals statewide.

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted shortages and vulnerabilities,” said Tim Gibbs, MPH, executive director of the Academy/DPHA. “Fortunately, we now have the opportunity to leverage these funds to address opportunities and build sustainable programs to eliminate those problems. ChristianaCare is uniquely positioned and qualified to undertake this work as we consider the rapid expansion of existing programs, the existing teaching workforce to support growth, and, after every dollar of our grant is invested, the financial capacity to sustain programming long into the future. In addition, the willingness of ChristianaCare to collaborate with partner institutions in Kent and Sussex counties on behalf of the wellbeing of every Delawarean is a value we hold high.”

The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also known as the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, that President Joe Biden signed into law to speed up the nation’s recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This award directly addresses health care access as a social determinant of health, connecting people to care, building trust within communities and facilitating communication between patients and health care providers.

“Through ChristianaCare’s leadership in clinical care and population health, and through partnerships such as with the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance, we are well-positioned to maximize, through this grant, workforce development in the First State,” said Omar Khan, M.D., MHS, FAAFP, enterprise chief scientific officer at ChristianaCare. “We were pleased and honored to receive these critical resources to thoughtfully develop the best programs to serve our communities.”

About ChristianaCare

Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,430 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.

ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 2nd best health system for diversity and inclusion, and the 29th best health system to work for in the United States, and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of healthcare.