SANTA ROSA BEACH — A partnership amongst Ascension Sacred Coronary heart Emerald Coast hospital, the College of Florida School of Medication, and the Walton County Well being Division is working towards a medical residency program that ultimately will see a rotating provide of 18 household drugs residents working within the county.
Work on this system is underway, with a aim of incomes accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Schooling by the primary of subsequent 12 months and bringing an preliminary group of six residents to the county by June 2023, in keeping with Dr. Joshua Hodge, director of the College of Florida Household Medication Residency Program.
Six docs shall be introduced into this system every year, that means that over the primary three years of this system, 18 residents will come to the county. From then on, there’ll at all times be 18 residents working in the neighborhood, as incoming residents substitute residents shifting out of this system.
Extra information from Ascension Sacred Coronary heart: COVID-19 hospitalizations stay excessive throughout Northwest Florida. Listed below are the important thing statistics.
The primary three years of funding shall be supported by Ascension Sacred Coronary heart Emerald Coast, Ascension Medical Group and the Walton County Well being Division, together with anticipated assist from the state for major care coaching packages, in keeping with a Friday information launch from Ascension Sacred Coronary heart.
A residency program gives in-depth coaching for brand spanking new physicians who’ve just lately graduated from medical college. In Walton County, this system will present medical college graduates with three years of coaching in household drugs at Ascension Sacred Coronary heart Emerald Coast, on the Walton County Well being Division’s Coastal Department Clinic in Santa Rosa Seashore and in space physicians’ workplaces.
On the Well being Division, the residency program will enhance the present employees — now comprising of 1 doctor, a number of nurse practitioners, and a doctor assistant — as residents work underneath the supervision of an attending doctor.
Moreover, in keeping with Well being Division Administrator Holly Holt, this system will transfer the county towards addressing a scarcity of major care physicians.
In a Tuesday presentation to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners introduced the residency program, Holt referenced the County Well being Rankings & Roadmaps report, an annual nationwide initiative of the College of Wisconsin Inhabitants Well being Institute and the Robert Wooden Johnson Basis.
Based on the 2021 report, Walton has one major care doctor for each 1,830 residents. That is decrease than the statewide ratio of 1 major care doctor for each 1,380 folks, and a nonetheless worse quantity than what the report calls “high performer” counties throughout the nation, the place there’s one major care doctor for each 1,030 folks.
Neighboring Okaloosa County to the west has one major care doctor for each 1,310 residents and neighboring Bay County to the east has one major care doctor for each 1,780 residents.
The residency program “will assist us, as a result of we hope that when we get the physicians that undergo the medical resident program and so they study concerning the neighborhood, they’re going to need to keep right here,” Holt mentioned in a Friday interview.
Holt mentioned she was contacted by the College of Florida and Ascension Sacred Coronary heart — which operates hospitals and medical amenities throughout Northwest Florida — about beginning a residency program.
Holt mentioned Hodge with the College of Florida and different physicians will start figuring out of the Santa Rosa Seashore clinic inside the subsequent few months as they start to construct this system. Within the meantime, she mentioned the Well being Division is transforming the clinic in anticipation of the incoming docs.
Hodge mentioned the residents will work within the emergency, obstetrics and different specialty clinics at Ascension Sacred Coronary heart Emerald Coast, however their time additionally will embrace working not less than sooner or later every week within the Well being Division’s Coastal Department clinic.
Hodge mentioned outpatient clinics just like the county’s Santa Rosa Seashore facility had been “a cornerstone of household drugs,” and mentioned the residency program might carry after-hours and weekend service to the clinic.
At Tuesday’s County Fee assembly, Commissioner Danny Glidewell, whose district consists of northern parts of the county, requested whether or not this system may also enhance Well being Division companies past its Santa Rosa Seashore clinic.
“The farther north you go, the much less docs you could have,” Glidewell informed Hodge, Holt, and others concerned in establishing the residency program.
Holt mentioned Friday that getting residents into different Well being Division clinics “is a aim.”
“We’d like to see them transfer into our completely different clinics,” she mentioned.
Within the Friday information launch, Ascension Sacred Coronary heart officers famous the scarcity of major care physicians within the space.
“With the expansion happening alongside the Emerald Coast, there’s a important scarcity of major care physicians. The projections are that the scarcity will worsen within the years forward,” Dr. Peter Jennings, chief medical officer at Ascension Sacred Coronary heart Pensacola and an affiliate professor of pediatrics within the College of Florida School of Medication, mentioned within the launch.
“The residency program will carry new physicians to coach right here, however we additionally count on that numerous those that graduate from the household drugs coaching will select to stay and apply long-term on the Emerald Coast,” Jennings added.
“UF Well being, Ascension Sacred Coronary heart, and the Division of Well being share a typical aim of bettering the well being of our Florida communities,” Hodge mentioned within the information launch. “There’s a actual want for extra major care physicians in Walton County and throughout the Florida Panhandle. The household drugs residency program shall be an enormous step ahead in reaching our aim.”
On a associated be aware, the Security Internet Hospital Alliance of Florida and the Florida Hospital Affiliation are asking state lawmakers to contemplate doubling the amount of cash the state spends on medical residencies. This 12 months, $38 million was put aside for scientific coaching of aspiring physicians.
“In the event you don’t broaden your well being care workforce and your well being care infrastructure in a smart approach, it truly can act as a brake on progress as a result of folks don’t essentially need to transfer to a spot or relocate to a spot that doesn’t have what they view as a powerful well being care infrastructure,” Justin Senior, CEO of Security Internet, mentioned within the information launch.
This text initially appeared on Northwest Florida Every day Information: Walton County: Ascension Sacred Coronary heart plans medical residency program