On July 19, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program, now in its third year, will receive $12 million in funding to aid primary care residency training programs in 32 teaching health centers (THC) across the United States. This funding will support the training of more than 300 primary care residents during the 2013-2014 academic year—double the number of primary care residents from 2012-2013—as well as increase the number of states with THCs from 14 to 21.
Administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), under the U.S. Department of HHS, the THCGME Program is an innovative approach to addressing physician workforce needs and access to patient care by expanding residency training through community-based THCs in a variety of settings, including medically underserved urban, rural and tribal communities. Residents participating in these programs will be trained in family and internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, and general and pediatric dentistry.
Because of its strong emphasis on meeting current physician workforce needs and providing access to primary care in medically underserved areas, this program is of particular importance to the osteopathic medical education community. Of the 32 THCs receiving funding through this program, at least 17 offer American Osteopathic Association (AOA)-accredited or dually-accredited (DO/MD) programs, including:
- Cahaba Medical Care Foundation
- Primary Health Care, Inc.
- Appalachian Osteopathic Postgraduate Training Institute Consortium (A-OPTIC)
- Detroit Wayne County Health Authority
- Long Island FQHC
- Institute for Family Health
- Tahlequah Medical Group
- Choctaw Nation Health Services Authority
- Osteopathic Medical Education Consortium of Oklahoma
- Cornerstone Care, Inc.
- Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education
- Lone Star Community Health Center
- Puyallup Tribal Health Authority
- Community Health of Central Washington
- Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic
- Community Health Systems
- Ozark Center
While the THCGME Program has not been reauthorized or funded beyond FY 2015, AACOM will continue its legislative efforts to advocate for the continuation of this program. For more information on the THCGME Program, visit the HRSA THCGME webpage.