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Skagit Regional Health Retains Graduate Medical Education Program

Oct 26, 2020, 09:56 AM
Skagit Regional Health Commissioners voted to reverse a 2019 decision to sunset the GME Family Medicine program. The program will continue and immediately begin recruitment.

Graduate Medical Education trainingMOUNT VERNON – Skagit Regional Health announced plans to retain the Graduate Medical Education (GME) program for Family Medicine Residents, reversing a 2019 decision to sunset the program. The latest decision was made following a successful review by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) which resulted in a ten-year accreditation for the Family Medicine program.  

“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to retain this fantastic program,” said Connie Davis, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Designated Institutional Officer for GME. “The Family Medicine faculty and GME staff continued their steadfast commitment to the education program, in spite of significant barriers. Additionally, the organization made substantial capital investments in the residents’ clinics and GME space ahead of accreditation review, and the ACGME accepted our justification of how those updates met the requirements. We are delighted to see those efforts rewarded with a ten-year accreditation.”

Community hospitals around the country have struggled with the mandatory requirement to transition their programs to ACGME certification. Between 2015 and 2019, 12% of programs with American Osteopathic Association (AOA) certification, like Skagit Regional Health at that time, were unable to receive ACGME accreditation or chose not to pursue it.  

“We never lost hope that we would find a path forward,” said Julie Merriam, DO, Family Medicine Residency Director. “Our faculty, residents and staff worked tirelessly to showcase the high-quality program we’ve developed over the past eight years. We also found some new opportunities to adjust our program to meet the ACGME requirements. It has been a lot of hard work and this is the best outcome we could hope for.”   

Mount Vernon Family Medicine Residency ClinicGME programs are valuable assets for communities, particularly rural communities such as Skagit County and the surrounding areas. Family Medicine Residents treat patients inside Skagit Valley Hospital and at various clinics across the Skagit Regional Health system. “Our ability to continue this program improves access to primary care in the region,” said Julie Blazek, Skagit Regional Health Commissioner and Board Chair. “Creating more options for high-quality healthcare is tremendously important. This is great news for the organization and for our patients.”

The Family Medicine Residency program also has a strong history of success, with 100% of graduates passing their Board Certifications on the first attempt. Residents consistently score very well in patient reviews and 74% of graduates of the Skagit Regional Health program are currently practicing medicine in northwest Washington. 

“We were given a new opportunity following a lot of hard work by our dedicated GME faculty and staff,” said Brian Ivie, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is an excellent turn of events and I am thrilled to see the Family Medicine Residency program continue. As our community grows, our system must grow and innovate as well. The exceptional doctors graduating from our GME programs are an important part of that long-term plan.”

The Family Medicine Residency Clinic in Mount Vernon continues to see patients as usual and the GME program will immediately begin recruitment efforts for the Family Medicine Residency class of 2024.

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About Skagit Regional Health: Skagit Regional Health includes Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington and 28 clinic locations in Skagit, Island and north Snohomish counties.

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Last post : 11/24/2020

Skagit Regional Health Retains Graduate Medical Education Program

Oct 26, 2020, 09:56 AM
Skagit Regional Health Commissioners voted to reverse a 2019 decision to sunset the GME Family Medicine program. The program will continue and immediately begin recruitment.

Graduate Medical Education trainingMOUNT VERNON – Skagit Regional Health announced plans to retain the Graduate Medical Education (GME) program for Family Medicine Residents, reversing a 2019 decision to sunset the program. The latest decision was made following a successful review by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) which resulted in a ten-year accreditation for the Family Medicine program.  

“We are extremely excited for the opportunity to retain this fantastic program,” said Connie Davis, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Designated Institutional Officer for GME. “The Family Medicine faculty and GME staff continued their steadfast commitment to the education program, in spite of significant barriers. Additionally, the organization made substantial capital investments in the residents’ clinics and GME space ahead of accreditation review, and the ACGME accepted our justification of how those updates met the requirements. We are delighted to see those efforts rewarded with a ten-year accreditation.”

Community hospitals around the country have struggled with the mandatory requirement to transition their programs to ACGME certification. Between 2015 and 2019, 12% of programs with American Osteopathic Association (AOA) certification, like Skagit Regional Health at that time, were unable to receive ACGME accreditation or chose not to pursue it.  

“We never lost hope that we would find a path forward,” said Julie Merriam, DO, Family Medicine Residency Director. “Our faculty, residents and staff worked tirelessly to showcase the high-quality program we’ve developed over the past eight years. We also found some new opportunities to adjust our program to meet the ACGME requirements. It has been a lot of hard work and this is the best outcome we could hope for.”   

Mount Vernon Family Medicine Residency ClinicGME programs are valuable assets for communities, particularly rural communities such as Skagit County and the surrounding areas. Family Medicine Residents treat patients inside Skagit Valley Hospital and at various clinics across the Skagit Regional Health system. “Our ability to continue this program improves access to primary care in the region,” said Julie Blazek, Skagit Regional Health Commissioner and Board Chair. “Creating more options for high-quality healthcare is tremendously important. This is great news for the organization and for our patients.”

The Family Medicine Residency program also has a strong history of success, with 100% of graduates passing their Board Certifications on the first attempt. Residents consistently score very well in patient reviews and 74% of graduates of the Skagit Regional Health program are currently practicing medicine in northwest Washington. 

“We were given a new opportunity following a lot of hard work by our dedicated GME faculty and staff,” said Brian Ivie, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is an excellent turn of events and I am thrilled to see the Family Medicine Residency program continue. As our community grows, our system must grow and innovate as well. The exceptional doctors graduating from our GME programs are an important part of that long-term plan.”

The Family Medicine Residency Clinic in Mount Vernon continues to see patients as usual and the GME program will immediately begin recruitment efforts for the Family Medicine Residency class of 2024.

####

About Skagit Regional Health: Skagit Regional Health includes Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington and 28 clinic locations in Skagit, Island and north Snohomish counties.