UNMC one of four institutions selected for primary care pilot project

New paradigm involves training resident physicians in medical home setting

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has been selected as one of four institutions to participate in a pilot program designed to transform the way resident physicians are trained in primary care.

The project, the Primary Care Faculty Development Initiative (PCFDI), brings together three key disciplines – family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics – in a coordinated effort to better prepare physicians for the rapidly evolving health care system.

The PCFDI is funded by the Health Services Resource Administration (HRSA) and sponsored by the certification boards for those three specialties. UNMC was selected from a highly competitive pool of 48 applicants. The other three institutions selected were Ohio State University, the University of Minnesota and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill. 

“This is an opportunity for UNMC to define how residents are trained in the future,” said Kelly Caverzagie, M.D., assistant professor, internal medicine, and coordinator of the PCFDI project at UNMC. “With health care reform, the patient-centered medical home will become the model for effective health care delivery. This will be a ‘train the trainer’ endeavor. We are going to have to train our faculty on how to train our residents in the medical home setting.

“This is a huge paradigm shift. No institution is totally ready for this change, but I think UNMC is well positioned to make this transformation in medical education.”

The pilot project will span approximately 18 months, Dr. Caverzagie said. Over the past six months, UNMC has been in the planning and preparation stage.

Between now and April, UNMC plans to begin to operationalize the initiative through a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) process. In the final six months, the PCFDI leadership team will review what was learned in the operational stage and continue to disseminate changes to stakeholders system-wide.

“The PCFDI is unique in that it marks the first time the three primary care disciplines are working closely and collaboratively to improve residency training in the ambulatory setting,” said Eric Holmboe, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president, American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Caverzagie said the initiative will require collaboration between UNMC, The Nebraska Medical Center, UNMC Physicians and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. Some of the key resident training sites will be:

  • UNMC Physicians Midtown Clinic, 139 S. 40th St.;
  • Family Medicine Clinic, third floor, Durham Outpatient Center;
  • Children’s Physicians Clinic-Dundee, 4825 Dodge St.;
  • Baker Place Clinic, 5050 Ames St.; and
  • Bellevue Clinic, 2510 Bellevue Medical Center Drive.

“If we succeed, UNMC could become a regional site where physicians around the country come to and learn from,” Dr. Caverzagie said. “The collaboration between the three departments has been incredible. It’s an important project that will shape health care delivery for future generations.”

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Members of the PCFDI leadership team:

Internal Medicine

Kelly Caverzagie, M.D.

Rachel Bonnema, M.D.

Chad Vokoun, M.D.

Sue Burbach, R.N.

Family Medicine

Kim Jarzynka, M.D.

Nathan Falk, M.D.

Jessica Koran, Ph.D.


Patrick Doherty, M.D.

Jennifer Parker, M.D.

Erin Loucks, M.D.

Dr. Caverzagie hopes to add other interested faculty to the team over the course of the project.



Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)