New funding brings medical residents to Spokane | Health
Spokane will see an influx of medical residents in 2014. A health consortium comprised of Washington State University Spokane, Empire Health Foundation and Providence Health Care has been awarded a $900,000 appropriation that will bring six new residents to the area.
Currently there are 1,600 residencies in Washington, but only 105 of those are in Eastern and Central Washington.
“These six additional residency slots bode well for our region since one of the most significant factors determining where a primary care provider will practice is where he or she completed his or her residency,” said Elaine Couture, Regional Chief Executive of Providence Health Care.
The appropriation funds will go to the Spokane Teaching Health Center which is set to open at the WSU Spokane campus in 2015. Residents will work alongside medical, nursing and pharmacy students at WSU. Until the center opens, residents will work out of Sacred Heart.
“Creating a clinic for our community while providing training for students on our campus has been a goal we’ve been working toward for some time,” said Lisa Brown, chancellor of WSU Spokane. “Getting new residency slots is icing on the cake for our land grant mission of serving the underserved. ”
The clinic will be funded jointly by WSU, Empire Health Foundation and Providence Health Care. For now, the appropriation fund will fund one round of three year residents, but it has potential to be renewed for three years. If that happens, a total of 18 residents could potentially come to Spokane.
“This funding represents a unique opportunity to increase the pipeline of future primary care providers in Eastern Washington, ultimately leading to improved health care access and health outcomes in underserved communities,” said Antony Chiang, President of Empire Health Foundation.