News from Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Hospital Foundation
One of the biggest challenges in our community has been access to family practice physicians. To address this issue, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation (SNMHF) successfully secured a $750,000 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant two years ago to design a rural family practice medical residency program.
Led by local physician and residency Program Director Dr. Glenn Gookin, along with Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH), Chapa De Indian Health Clinic (CDIHC), and Dignity Health Methodist Hospital (Methodist) in Sacramento, the goal is to develop a training program for family practice medical residents interested in rural health. Methodist has had a very successful residency program since 1994 and is serving as the urban partner and CDIHC will be the rural clinic with training rotations at SNMH.
A virtual site visit for national accreditation was conducted in June. Once accreditation is achieved (notification is anticipated in October) the program will move forward with identifying the first two medical residents to start in July of 2022.
The goal is to bring on two family practice medical residents per year for three years resulting in six residents by year three. This program will focus on residents that have specified an interest in rural health. Most of their first year will be spent at Methodist with occasional rotations in western Nevada County. This allows residents to meet medical specialty training requirements that are not often found in a rural region. In year two and three, residents will work in Nevada County.
This program will also support a community need of physician retention. Working in a medical residency teaching facility and community is very appealing to some physicians who want to be faculty as well as continue their medical practice. Physicians that learn there is a vibrant residency program here may consider Nevada County as an option for their practice.
A testament of this effort is that SNMHF just received word that we will be the recipient of a new $2.85 million grant, our highest ever! This collaborative grant will complement the Sierra Nevada Family Medicine Residency program by adding an obstetrics (OB) training component for family practice residents.
One of only 31 projects funded nationally, this grant will further the partnership between SNMH, CDIHC, and Methodist. The funding, which will be disbursed over a five year period, will enable this team of collaborators to plan and implement a program focused on increasing the number of primary care physicians trained to provide high quality OB care in rural and underserved communities. It will also develop an OB fellowship for family medicine physicians to help improve maternal outcomes.
This team will educate and train family medicine residents and fellows in OB care and will broaden their training and scope of practice of providing evidence-based maternity care services. Together, this collaborative team will provide resources and curriculum, primary care delivery sites and systems, and high level training for both residents and primary care physicians who desire additional competencies and experiences in OB.
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