HILO, Hawaii – An important new residency program on Hawaii Island has gotten its accreditation.
On Tuesday, October 22, 2013 the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) informed Hilo Medical Center officials that its Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency program has met the requirements for a 2-year accreditation, effective July 1, 2014.
A Hilo Medical Center media release says the program will now look to attract candidates “who are interested in learning the art of Family Medicine along with a team of pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners and psychologists”. It will welcome the first class of four residents next summer.
Its an important initiative for the Big Island. Hawaii Island saw a 34 percent physician shortage in 2012. According to a report by the “Hawai’i Physician Workforce Assessment Project” presented at the 2013 Legislative Session, there were 341 physicians in supply, but the demand called for 514. Because of these numbers, the Hilo-based residency program found support from state lawmakers this year. Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program – HHSC PCTP for short – was appropriated $1.8 million with the passage of House Bill 417. Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui signed the bill in August and released the money in October.
July 2013 – Big Island takes home the bacon
The program will be looking to sustain funding in the 2014 legislature.
News of the accreditation was met with excitement throughout the Hilo Medical Center. In the HMC media release.
“The accreditation of the HHSC Primary Care Training Program is one of the most important milestones in the history of our program,” said Howard Ainsley , East Hawaii Regional CEO of HHSC . “Thanks to the collective effort to achieve accreditation, we will be able to move forward in solving the primary care physician shortage in our state and bring better health outcomes to our community.”
“I am so excited that this final piece of the training program has fallen into place,” said Dr. Kristine McCoy, Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Director. “Beginning in 2017, we will graduate at least four new family physicians into the community along with their teams of colleagues from the other disciplines. In the meantime, these resident physicians and our faculty will play a significant role in caring for the people of East Hawaii in many settings, including the clinic, the hospital, our community’s long term care facilities, and in hospice care.”
Support for the program has come from other sources, as well. In August, UnitedHealthcare, presented a $250,000 check in support of the program.
August 2013 – Hilo Primary Care Training Program gets $250,000 grant
The program also boasts a new website: www.hifmr.org. Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to visit.