The Center for Community Health Integration offers medical educational experiences, through the center itself as well as through collaborations both inside and outside of the university, that are grounded in relevant research and practice. By fostering students' development as practitioners, scientists, researchers and scholars, we provide tomorrow’s family physicians with training, resources, experiences and perspectives to nurture leaders in the field of Family Medicine.

Affiliated Programs  

Preventive Medicine Residency

The Preventive Medicine Residency at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is a 24-month experience consisting of three overlapping components: an academic curriculum, a practicum, and a longitudinal clinical experience.  The ACGME-accredited program that provides training in the specialty area of Public Health and General Preventive Medicine. The teaching environment is strengthened by strong relationships with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the Cleveland Department of Public Health, the Shaker Heights Health Department, and the Northeast Ohio Medical University. The faculty and community partners of the residency are dedicated to training the next generation of physician leaders in Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and to improving health and health care in our large and diverse community. 

Promoting Health Across Boundaries (PHAB)

The PHAB course examines the concepts of health and boundary spanning and how the synergy fo the two can produce new, effective approaches to promoting health.

  • Interact with faculty from all 8 CWRU schools and the county health department.
  • Learn about multiple determinants of health.
  • Learn about and do case studies of boundary spanning exemplars.
  • Co-create new knowledge about boundary spanning and health.
  • Learn how to boundary span.

Urban Health Pathway

Urban Health Pathway: Developing Future Generations in Addressing Health Disparities


As part of its established and ongoing commitment to excellence in medical education, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is proud to provide its students with targeted concentrations in a diverse array of relevant concepts and specialties. These concentrations, known as Pathways, provide medical students with in depth, immersive learning experiences under the leadership of faculty experts, and are designed to complement and enhance existing curriculum. Participating students will emerge from the Pathways as well rounded advocates for their respective Pathway specialties, having bettered themselves as students, their classmates and patients as they enter the healthcare field as professionals equipped with knowledge of concepts learned through their Pathways.
The Urban Health Pathway focuses on preparing students to transform healthcare and bridge the gap between health providers and the urban populations of Northeast Ohio and beyond. There is a tremendous opportunity at the School of Medicine to foster the engagement of students with urban populations through existing and potential partnerships within our community. These interactions will directly benefit participating students, faculty and families introduced to life-changing health and wellness concepts and opportunities.

Community Health and a Pathway for All 

Amidst the robust healthcare environment in Cleveland, profound health disparities exist for economically disadvantaged and minority populations. Historically underserved and overlooked, these members of the community deserve attention and access to medical care that is equal to that of suburban residents. As a coordinating hub of medical research and collaborator with clinical providers throughout the community, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine is uniquely qualified to identify and address disparities in healthcare access and outcomes in Northeast Ohio. As an educational institution, the School of Medicine is pleased to engage students in this effort through the Urban Health Pathway.
The Urban Health Pathway is one of five Pathways ongoing or in development within the School of Medicine (the others are: Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Humanities, Wellness and Preventative Medicine, and World Health). The Urban Health Pathway is being organized under the umbrella of the Center for Community Health Integration led by Kurt Stange, MD, PhD, and Pathway Director Lisa Navracruz, MD. Cultivating medical students’ intrinsic passion to help those medically vulnerable, the Urban Health Pathway is an important element of the community health integration initiative, and key to its ultimate success as a pipeline of future community health leaders.

Pathway Goals and Development 

The Urban Health Pathway is a four-year, longitudinal experience for medical students. Interested students will submit applications for entry into the Pathway early in their first year, and those selected will engage with faculty leadership, the community, and one another in meaningful ways during their time in the program.
The preliminary structure includes monthly seminar sessions where experts deliver content and facilitate a dialogue with and among students on relevant topics in urban health. These topics, as well as supplementary urban health experiential learning opportunities, will be linked to existing curriculum when possible to increase the efficiency and impact of the program. Throughout the Pathway, a commitment to three core elements will steer students’ tailored individual experience as well as the program as a whole:

  • Experiential Community Engagement: opportunities for students to meet and learn firsthand from medically vulnerable urban populations and the community organizations and medical leaders that exist to facilitate health.
  • Education: the Pathway will deliver its experiential learning as a complement to the innovative WR2 curriculum that Case Western Reserve is known for, thereby preparing students to lead effectively in a variety of healthcare leadership roles.
  • Guidance: individualized mentorship from Dr. Navracruz and experts relevant to each student’s areas of research interest will be accessible throughout the Pathway experience to guide development.

These elements will be supported by a customizable project development and leadership opportunities for each participant, a standing learning community of peers and experts, alignment of student research and summer experiences with urban health priorities, and ongoing engagement with a growing number of urban health experts from Northeast Ohio and beyond.