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VCOM Carolinas Campus

Strategic Initiatives

Community Health

Our goals for community health research are to:

  • Increase the evidence base for the practice of medicine
  • Improve health care delivery and infrastructure in underserved communities
  • Reduce prevalence of chronic diseases
  • Increase partnerships with community groups in the areas we serve
  • Encourage individuals to become active in their own care


Global Health

VCOM’s international mission site infrastructure is built on community involvement, from the ministries of health to the participation of village community leaders. VCOM works closely with these communities through local universities, schools, churches, community clinics and orphanages. The excellent international relationships and the community trust VCOM has built over many years make these initiatives possible.

Our focus is on:

  • Increasing the community members’ knowledge of healthy living and disease prevention
  • Determining better access to care

Research studies include:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Women’s and children’s health
  • Improving access to healthcare

Appalachian/Underserved Populations

There are many factors contributing to the prevailing health disparities and health issues in Appalachia, and there is a growing recognition that traditional research methods have not been successful in eliminating these disparities. Our more community-engaged research approach is to work directly with community groups and members to assess local health issues--then design, implement, and evaluate culturally appropriate interventions.

Our focus is on:

  • Public health awareness
  • Primary healthcare delivery
  • Health disparities in chronic conditions and diseases prevalent in these areas
  • Overall quality of life and well-being

With our strong network of hospitals, area free clinics, ambulatory clinics and local community groups, VCOM is well-positioned to become a leader in Appalachian and rural community-based health research.


Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Techniques and Approach to Patient Care

Per the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the profession has an ethical and societal obligation to systematically study medical conditions and osteopathic treatment outcomes to determine better ways to improve patient health. Our initiative follows AOA’s strategic plan that encourages a culture of osteopathic research and looks to advance the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine.

Our focus is on:

  • Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) community health wellness
  • Treatment of chronic conditions
  • Investigation of OMM techniques and efficacy

Primary Care and Clinical Genetics

Because primary care physicians treat illnesses with scientifically-based interventions, preventive strategies and one-on-one patient education, they are also in an ideal position to treat patients for genetic disease.

To meet this need for training and instruction in the principles and applications of genetic medicine for primary care physicians, VCOM has established the Via Bioinformatics and Clinical Genetics Network, which is funded in part through a $1.1 million grant from the Via-Bradley College of Engineering Foundation.

Objectives of the Via Bioinformatics and Clinical Genetics Network:

  1. A primary care clinical genetics research program across all VCOM campuses.
    • This program will engage, facilitate and instruct clinicians, students, and clinical network partners in human genetic and genomic research in their primary care practices. 
    • Research will identify patients with novel traits and diseases likely to be genetic in origin, establish collaborations between clinician researchers and basic genetic researchers, and deploy best practices for dissemination and utilization of this information in clinical practice.
  2. A bioinformatics research network to support clinical genetics research. This will:
    • Promote health and wellness research activities. Faculty within the network and those at VCOM campuses will work together to conduct translational research that will determine best practices in the treatment of diseases.
    • Develop new tools, databases, algorithms and approaches to advance basic and applied research in monogenetic and complex polygenic diseases and traits.