Mon General Hospital has entered into a partnership with Cornerstone Care Teaching Health Center and Mountain State Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institutions, Inc. (Mountain State OPTI) to offer a Family Medicine Residency program.
"With a projected shortage of primary care physicians in the north central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania region in the coming years, offering a Family Practice Residency Program at Mon General Hospital is a way to recruit new physicians to the area," said Mon Health System President and CEO Darryl Duncan.
The new Family Medicine Residency program is funded by a federal Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) grant.
"Support from Senators John D. Rockefeller and Joe Manchin and Representative David McKinley enabled us to secure the funding for the residency," Duncan said. "Their recognition of the need for this program has made our vision for this critical training program a reality."
Cornerstone Care is a federally qualified health center with central offices located in Greensboro, Pa.
Mountain State OPTI was accredited by the American Osteopathic Association in June 1999. The consortium is comprised of a central member, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, or WVSOM, located in Lewisburg, W. Va., and its partner training institutions.
"The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine is now the largest medical school in the state of West Virginia, graduating 200 physicians per year. They have an extensive network of residency sites throughout West Virginia," Duncan said.
A recent study from the West Virginia Rural Health Association and the Rural Health Research Center shows the state continues to lack medical coverage in 50 out of 55 counties, according to Lorenzo Pence, D.O., Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.
"The demand for health care providers, including family physicians, will continue to grow, particularly if more than 300,000 new state residents become insured under the Affordable Care Act," Pence said. "WVSOM remains committed to educating primary care physicians who will provide care in those underserved areas. The new Family Medicine Residency Program associated with Mon General is a huge step in the right direction."
The new Family Medicine Residency Program will begin on July 1, 2013. The three year program is approved for 12 positions and can accept up to four qualified residents each year.
Two Mon General medical staff members, both graduates of WVSOM, will serve in leadership positions for the program. William Minor, D.O., who is board certified in Family Medicine, will serve as the Family Medicine Residency Program Director. Dr. Minor practices at the Cornerstone Primary Care Center in Mount Morris. Mary Edwards, D.O., who is board certified in Emergency Medicine, will serve as the Director of Medical Education. Dr. Edwards is an Emergency Room physician at Mon General.
"The dual-study program provides a broad inpatient experience, to allow residents to feel confident practicing hospital-based medicine," Minor said.
Mon General Hospital is a 189-bed facility with state-of-the-art technology and an outstanding physician staff, with a highly respected reputation in the tri-state area, he continued. The ambulatory care component of the program takes place in Continuity of Care clinics and physician offices. The Cornerstone Health Centers offer a full spectrum of family medicine experiences. They provide comprehensive medical care for many of the underserved patients in the region, exposing the program residents to exceptional training in rural medicine.
During the first year of training, the resident will be exposed to a broad range of disciplines. Rotations will be spent at Mon General Hospital in the Hospitalist service, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Cardiology, Anesthesiology, Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology with the specialist teaching faculty. Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Sports Medicine, Pain Management and Dermatology will be primarily office based rotations.
During the second and third years of training, opportunities will be available to spend more focused rotation time in special training tracts for sports medicine, hospitalist medicine, behavioral medicine, geriatrics or women's health.
"As we look to the future, our facilities are committed and enthused about training the next generation of family physicians," Minor said.
Cornerstone Care Teaching Health Center will participate in this year's match process for incoming residents and will utilize the Electronic Residency Application Service system for program applications. Due to the HRSA affiliation, potential residents do not need to wait for the match this year in order to apply. Additional information is available at www.mongeneral.com/FMR.