Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has received a three-year award of $750,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to establish a residency program in rural South Dakota. This grant is part of a larger $20 million multi-year initiative by HRSA to expand the physician workforce in rural areas by developing new, sustainable residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry. This program will help support rural hospitals, community health centers, health centers operated by the Indian Health Service, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, and schools of medicine.
“We are absolutely thrilled the Department of Medicine at Mass General was selected for this grant,” said Katrina Armstrong, MD, physician-in-chief at MGH. “Community health is fundamental to our mission to eliminate health care inequities experienced by disadvantaged populations. We look forward to the opportunity to work with HRSA in preparing the next generation of physicians to make high-quality health care more accessible for our rural communities.”
This grant dovetails with the MGH Department of Medicine’s Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership, which provides world-class training to early-career clinicians who seek to work with rural communities to improve health. Launched in 2016, the fellowship partners with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Indian Health Service. Last year, the MGH clinical team performed 4,000 patient visits at the Rosebud Indian Health Service, representing nearly 25 percent of all outpatient visits seen there.
“The health challenges in rural America are clear: rural communities face a greater risk of poor health outcomes than their urban counterparts,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, PhD, MS. “Programs like the Rural Residency Planning and Development grants take aim at one of the most persistent disparities: access to high quality health care providers. HRSA is committed to increasing the number of providers serving rural communities and improving health in rural America.”
“At the Indian Health Service, we are excited to expand the partnership between the Rosebud IHS hospital and Mass General,” said Rear Adm. Michael Toedt, MD, IHS chief medical officer. “The successful Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership and the implementation of this new rural residency program will improve access to care for our patients and help develop the next generation of physicians.”
MGH primary care physician and the program’s director Matthew Tobey, MD, said, “The MGH Department of Medicine is delighted to participate in this rural residency program planning initiative. Gaps between the nation’s teaching hospitals and rural communities can and will be bridged if we work together through programs like this opportunity through HRSA. We are privileged to take the chance to pursue a more united future.”
About Massachusetts General Hospital
Founded in 1811, the Massachusetts General Hospital is the oldest and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The 1,011-bed medical center each year admits more than 50,000 inpatients, handles more than 1.5 million visits to its extensive outpatient programs at the main campus and four health centers, and records nearly 109,000 emergency visits. The surgical staff perform more than 42,000 operations annually, and the MGH Vincent Obstetrics Service delivers nearly 3,900 babies a year. The largest nongovernment employer in the city of Boston, the MGH has more than 25,600 employees, including more than 5,000 registered nurses. MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $925 million. MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital are founding members of Partners HealthCare System, a Boston-based integrated health care delivery system. In 2003, MGH became the first hospital in the state to be awarded Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In August 2018, the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."
HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs help those in need of high quality primary health care, people living with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. HRSA also supports the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most and improvements in health care delivery.
The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives. Its mission is to raise the physical, mental, social, and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.