Project DOCC


Jacqueline R. Ray, MD
Program Director
Principal Investigator

Shellie Mellert
Grant Coordinator

Michelle Norweck
Parent Liaison

Delivery of Chronic Care Training

The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine prepares its trainees to better serve the needs of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Through its Parent Partners in Education Project (PPIE), parents serve as teachers known as “family faculty.” In this role, they emphasize family-centered care specific to families of children with special health care needs.

The innovative training, adapted from the national curriculum known as Project DOCC (Delivery of Chronic Care), is delivered to third- and fourth-year medical students as well as second-year family medicine and pediatric residents. PPIE is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health and the departments of pediatrics and family medicine at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health. Specific topics and issues addressed by Project DOCC include:

  • Early intervention and community resources
  • Family adjustments to chronic illness and coping strategies
  • Coordinated care and the concept of the family-centered medical home
  • Partnerships between health service providers and parents
  • Needs of children with chronic illnesses and their families
  • The chronic illness history
  • Family-centered care
  • Medical home and coordination of care
  • Home modifications and adaptations
  • Effective communication with families


To promote an understanding of the issues involved in caring for a family living with special heath care needs regardless of age, diagnosis or prognosis; Project DOCC seeks to put the family at the center of the health care system. 

Project DOCC was founded at Marshall University in 1998 and is funded by ongoing grant support from the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources. It is now part of the training for more than 18 residents and 90 medical students annually.