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North Country News

Hospital Creates New Residency Program

The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh announced the establishment of a new family medicine residency program today. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, it’s supported by a million dollar grant.

New York’s North Country is projected to have a shortage of 100 primary care doctors by 2020.  The CVPH Medical Center began work in 2013 with the University of Vermont Medical Center to create a “Family Medicine Residency” program that would also establish CVPH as a teaching hospital.  Since then CVPH has become part of the UVM Health Network.  It has also received accreditation for the residency program.

University of Vermont College of Medicine Chair and University of Vermont Medical Center Chief of Family Medicine Tom Peterson says the value of making CVPH a teaching hospital cannot be overstated.   “The network is committed to medical education, to family medicine. For CVPH, which is the vigorous regional hospital, for it to become a teaching hospital is an important complement to the programs at the medical center in Vermont and our other partners. But also the Family Medicine Residency will elevate the academic stature and the appeal of the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and it certainly will boost the likelihood of attracting important workforce members including residents, medical students and other allied health professionals.”

The William H. Miner Foundation continues the legacy of William Miner, a philanthropist who in the 1920’s funded construction of the Chazy Central Rural School;  built Heart’s Delight Farm, which became the Miner Agricultural Research Institute;  and built and equipped Physician’s Hospital in Plattsburgh, the precursor of the CVPH Medical Center.  Trustee Dr. Joseph Burke announced that the foundation is providing one million dollars to support the Family Medicine Residency program.   “Recruiting physicians is difficult. You know you’re competing all across the country. There’s a national and certainly a big regional market. So it’s difficult to recruit.  But once they come here the Adirondacks and everything captures them.  So this is what excites me as a chance to really recruit the best and the brightest.”

CVPH President and CEO Stephens Mundy says the money will  be used for startup and other for ongoing expenses.  “It signals a lot of things.  First of all the academic nature of our organization and the growing nature of that. We’ve got a school of radiology based at CVPH.  It’s our school. With the College of Medicine we’ve now got medical students coming through and rotating here on a monthly basis. Then you get family medicine.  We’re looking at several other residencies that wouldn’t be based here but would be spread across here and that would be more system based.  That’s exciting.  I think it’s just an exciting future for us right now.”

The Family Medicine Residency program is a three-year training program for physicians who want to enter primary care when they finish medical school.  Participants will rotate through different specialties.

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