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Community Health System Continues to Invest in Next Generation of Healthcare Providers as Demand for Primary Care Providers Continues to Grow

Erie Family Health Centers Adds Two New Residency Programs, Trains Over 200 Professionals

9/20/2019, noon | Updated on 9/20/2019, noon
As the demand for primary care physicians continues to grow faster than its supply, Erie Family Health Centers continues to ...

As the demand for primary care physicians continues to grow faster than its supply, Erie Family Health Centers continues to take a leadership role in narrowing the deficit by investing in the next generation of the primary healthcare workforce trained to work in community health. As one of the first Federally Qualified Health Centers to host a Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program, Erie has been a leader for almost a decade, adding to the supply of primary care providers. Since that program’s launch in 2011, Erie has continuously added training programs to its healthcare system and is currently host to more than 200 medical and dental providers in training. Erie has scaled its training programs once again and has added two more residency programs – the University of Chicago (NorthShore) Family Medicine Residency and AdvancingPractice – allowing for nearly 30 more professionals to further their training in primary care and community health.

Erie’s newest residency program, the University of Chicago (NorthShore) Family Medicine Residency, launched this summer and is host to 19 residents that will be helping care for the growing number of Erie patients at the recently expanded Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center, as well as serving patients within the NorthShore University HealthSystem. In addition to training doctors, Erie recently received a highly competitive four-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to train advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners and midwives, to provide care and community health leadership in underserved communities. The program, AdvancingPractice, is a collaborative effort between Erie and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing to create a dynamic one-year fellowship program for newly graduated APRNs. The program will offer the opportunity to provide patient care in clinic and through specialty rotations with Erie preceptors, to receive robust ongoing education on both clinical and leadership topics and to participate in quality improvement projects supporting Erie’s mission to improve the health of underserved communities.

“Physicians trained in community health centers are three times more likely to work in similar settings upon graduation. By investing in the next generation of medical providers and advanced practice registered nurses that will deliver primary care in medically underserved areas, we are ensuring that our ever-growing patient population will continue to have access to the high quality healthcare everyone deserves,” said Erie’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Caroline Hoke. “Additionally, here at Erie, we are committed to recruiting, training and retaining a workforce that is reflective of the communities we serve and are ensuring opportunities that lead to a diverse and inclusive environment for our staff and patients.”

With Erie’s extremely diverse population of patients, providing culturally-sensitive healthcare and employing a diverse medical workforce is a priority. To Erie, it is important for its residents to develop the skills necessary to practice medicine in highly diverse and underserved communities. By training in high-need environments, the residents gain first-hand experience treating a variety of patients who may have culturally-unique health needs that require that specific skill set.

Erie Family Health Centers has more than ten training programs across its system ranging from family medicine to podiatry to oral health. Located on the campus of Swedish Covenant Hospital, Erie Foster Avenue Health Center is the busiest residency program site with family medicine, internal medicine and podiatry residents, as well as two pulmonary fellows. Erie Humboldt Park Health Center is home to the Northwestern McGaw Family Medicine Residency Program, one of the 11 original Teaching Health Centers. Other host sites include Erie HealthReach Waukegan Health Center, Erie West Town Health Center, Erie Lake View School-Based Health Center and Erie Amundsen School-Based Health Center for programs including the Northwestern McGaw Family Residency at Lake Forest, the University of Chicago’s Pediatric Residency Program, the Northwestern McGaw Internal Medicine Residency and the Advocate Family Medicine Residency Program at Illinois Masonic, as well as the UIC College of Dentistry.