School of Medicine Faculty Member Dr. Andrea Meyer Stinson to Serve as Partner on $200K Grant to Develop Trauma Informed Community in Middle Georgia

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Andrea Meyer Stinson

MACON – Andrea S. Meyer Stinson, Ph.D., associate director of the Master of Family Therapy Program and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences/pediatrics in Mercer University School of Medicine, will serve as a partner and consultant on a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Pittulloch Foundation, in partnership with Resilient Georgia, to integrate trauma awareness into the Central Georgia community.

The Pittulloch Foundation and Resilient Georgia have offered grants to four cities and the surrounding counties to provide a regional emphasis on trauma informed awareness, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and child sexual abuse prevention training as a basis to transform systems and procedures crossing both public and private sectors.

The Resilient Middle Georgia grant will be managed by the Community Partnership, a Bibb County collaborative that has been dedicated to making an impact in the lives of children and families for more than 20 years.

Dr. Meyer Stinson, who is a board member for Resilient Georgia, will serve as a partner on the Resilient Middle Georgia Project, alongside Jill Vanderhoek, executive director of Community Partnership in Bibb County, and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. The project will focus on building awareness and a common language around trauma, adversity, ACEs and resilience in Bibb and other Middle Georgia counties.

“Traumatic experiences often create long-lasting effects, and creating more opportunities in our area to inform providers of those effects will allow them to better serve the community,” said Vanderhoek. “We are grateful to the Pittulloch Foundation for providing this grant to help Middle Georgia and to Resilient Georgia and the Community Foundation for their support.”

The primary aim of the grant is to bring together multiple stakeholders, including education, health care, social services, mental health providers, law enforcement, juvenile justice, families and community champions, to align conversations and build awareness and trainings that will better support children and families coping with adversity and trauma.

“Adversity and challenges occur in all families, however some children and youth experience an accumulation of severe stressors that can impair their development and functioning,” Dr. Meyer Stinson said. “By bringing together our community to talk about and recognize trauma and ACEs as an important public health concern, we can move towards a common understanding and language about ways to help reduce the potential impact of these experiences.”

Dr. Meyer Stinson will serve as a consultant for the grant and liaison between the School of Medicine and Resilient Middle Georgia. She will help in developing community-wide awareness events, coordinating renowned speakers, analyzing and reporting data, as well as planning education and training opportunities for School of Medicine students, faculty, staff and physician preceptors.

“In order for individuals to thrive physically and mentally, it is essential to address both the family and the community in which they live, especially for rural and underserved areas,” said Jean Sumner, M.D., dean of Mercer University School of Medicine. “Dr. Meyer Stinson’s involvement in this project will support our mission of working with rural and underserved individuals, while also building a network of well-trained and trauma informed healthcare providers for the broader region.”

About Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)

Mercer University’s School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School’s primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master’s degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. in rural health sciences.

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Kyle Sears