Good Samaritan's Graduate Medical Education Program Selected to Participate in National Initiative on Teaming

The Southwest Indiana Graduate Medical Education Consortium (SIGMEC) has been selected to take part in a national initiative to improve teaming in clinical learning environments, with a focus on opiate prescribing and usage. This is a part of the National Initiative VII: Teaming for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP). The Initiative is sponsored by the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers (AIAMC), a national membership organization of independent teaching hospitals.

SIGMEC includes the residency programs at Good Samaritan, St. Vincent Evansville, Memorial Hospital and Healthcare Center, and Deaconess Hospital. The project this group will be working on is “The Effect of Teaming on Opiate Prescribing and Usage in a GME Naïve Education Consortium.”

Robert Ficalora, the Southwest Indiana Medicine Residency Program Director at Good Samaritan, stated this project was presented to the initiative, and selected, because of the high opioid-involved deaths in Indiana. “In 2017, there were 1,176 opioid related deaths in Indiana. That’s a rate of 18.8 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to the national rate of 14.6 deaths,” Ficalora commented. “Also, only nine states in the country have a higher opioid prescribing rate than Indiana.”

In the program’s application to the initiative, it was stated that there is no current information on the effect of interprofessional teaming on opiate prescribing and usage. “We see this project as a dual opportunity to impact the opioid epidemic and build relationships and infrastructure in our new residency program,” Ficalora added.

The SIGMEC team working on this project will include residency leadership, residents, nursing and pharmacists from the participating hospitals. This team will collaborate with select hospitals from across the United States in developing and implementing a plan that will positively impact both individual performance and institutional culture. Participants from SIGMEC will attend four, on-site learning sessions, as well as monthly networking teleconferences and educational webinars, during the 18-month period of the National Initiative VII.

The AIAMC National Initiative is the only national and multi-institutional collaborative of its kind in which medical residents have led multidisciplinary teams in quality improvement projects aligned to their institution’s strategic goals. Sixty-seven hospitals and health systems, and more than 1,200 individuals have participated in the AIAMC National Initiatives since 2007, driving change that has resulted in meaningful and sustainable outcomes in improving the quality and safety of patient care. SIGMEC was one of 31 AIAMC-member hospitals to be selected to participate in this initiative.

For more information on the AIAMC and its National Initiatives, visit

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