Ball Brothers Foundation awards grants to enhance medical education in Muncie

The Ball Brothers Foundation has recently awarded a total of $500,000 in grants to help support the future of doctors and physician training in the Muncie community.

The grants were awarded to four institutions including the IU School of Medicine – Muncie, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation, Meridian Health Services and Ball State University, according to a news release. The grants were developed as a collaboration between various organizations under the project title “Optimus Primary.”

“Outside of Indianapolis, Muncie’s physician training program is the largest in the state of Indiana,” said BBF president Jud Fisher in a news release. “The Optimus Primary grants are the result of two years’ worth of conversations about how our community can reimagine medical training. By strengthening the existing four-year medical school program and the three medical residency programs, we want to make Muncie’s offerings even more attractive to aspiring doctors.

“Our hope is that by giving doctors a great experience while they are training in Muncie, they will choose to practice medicine in our region and state for years to come.”

A first-of-its kind “joint-training and team-building program” that will emphasize teamwork, problem-solving, resiliency and working collaboratively under highly stressful conditions will be one of the projects funded through the grants. 

Other projects supported through the “Optimus Primary” grants will offer future doctors opportunities to gain specialized training in integrated health care, mental/behavioral health and healthy lifestyles.

Funding will also support opportunities for medical students, medical residents, post-doctoral fellows, and Ball State undergraduates working to receive training. The grant will also expand beyond programming innovations to improve housing options for medical students.

“Despite the availability of excellent access to medical care in our community, Delaware County ranks 87th in health outcomes among 92 counties in Indiana,” said Lenny Kaminsky, Director of Ball State’s Fisher Institute of Health and Well-Being in the release. “We simply must do a better job of training physicians to support patients in developing healthy behaviors including good dietary habits, regular physical activity and sound mental health practices.”


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