Revolutionizing Healthcare Education: HHS Invests in Community-Based Residency Programs

Nearly $23 Million in Grants Awarded to Boost Primary Care Training in Community Settings

Key Takeaways

  • HHS awards nearly $23 million to 46 grantees for developing Teaching Health Center residency programs in community-based settings.
  • These programs aim to train medical and dental residents to serve high-need and rural communities.
  • The Biden-Harris Administration is the first to invest in the startup costs of planning and developing new Teaching Health Center primary care residency programs.

Introduction: Building a Community-Driven Healthcare Workforce

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has taken a bold step towards transforming healthcare education and addressing healthcare disparities in rural and high-need areas. Through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), HHS has awarded nearly $23 million to 46 grantees to plan and develop Teaching Health Center residency programs in community-based settings. This initiative not only addresses the pressing need for primary care clinicians in underserved communities but also ensures that the next generation of healthcare providers is well-equipped to deliver quality care tailored to the needs of these communities.

A Unique Approach to Residency Training

Traditionally, residency programs are based in hospitals. However, Teaching Health Center programs prioritize training residents in community-based outpatient settings such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) or community mental health centers. These settings primarily serve people in rural and high-need areas and are designed to focus training on patients and settings where primary care clinicians practice.

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The funding announcement will support community-based care providers who want to build primary care residency training programs but haven’t had the resources to develop and start a program that will effectively train physicians and dentists to practice in community settings.

Investing in the Future of Healthcare

The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes the importance of having a strong healthcare workforce, with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stating, “We are working hard to invest in the next generation of providers and expand access to care, especially in rural and high-need areas.” HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson also emphasized the significance of growing the healthcare workforce, as it remains a top priority for the administration.

Planning and Development: Laying the Groundwork for Success

The Teaching Health Center Planning and Development Program supports the planning and establishment of residency training programs in various medical and dental specialties. These planning grants will provide resources and staffing for building a program, developing a training curriculum, recruiting clinical faculty, retooling workflow to integrate residents, and obtaining accreditation.

Grantees will be better prepared to apply for future HRSA Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program funding rounds with the work of a planning and development grant to guide their efforts. THCGME-funded programs support and train residents in community-based settings.

Local Impact: Visiting Nurses Association of Central New Jersey

Administrator Johnson recently visited the Visiting Nurses Association of Central New Jersey, one of the grantees, with Congressman Frank Pallone, Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to announce the funding and discuss its impact on the community. This visit highlights the government’s commitment to enhancing healthcare access and workforce development, particularly in underserved areas.

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Conclusion: Paving the Way for a Stronger Healthcare System

The HHS’s investment in Teaching Health Center residency programs marks a significant shift in healthcare education, emphasizing the importance of community-based training to better serve high-need and rural areas. This initiative will undoubtedly play a crucial role in building a more resilient and accessible healthcare system for all Americans.

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