News Column

HEALTH CARE: Murray Applauds Federal Investments for Primary Care Residency Programs in Washington State

July 8, 2014

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)-- Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray applauded an announcement from Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell awarding $1.6 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support primary care residency programs in Teaching Health Centers in Spokane, Tacoma, Yakima, and Toppenish. Washington is facing a serious health care workforce shortage and will need to an additional 1,695 primary care physicians by the year 2030, according to the Robert Graham Center. Today, 26 health centers grantees operate 264 service delivery sites that provide care to 818,777 patients in Washington.

The funding will help train more primary care physicians in local health clinics and will increase access to health care in rural and underserved communities across the state. Created by the Affordable Care Act, the Teaching Health Center Program expands residency training in community-based settings. Residents will be trained in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, geriatrics, and general dentistry.

"These teaching health centers are more critical than ever, as Washington state faces a serious health care workforce shortage," Senator Murray said. "This funding will help create jobs and train the primary care physicians we need to offer quality care to families across Washington state."

More information on the Teaching Health Centers program.

Full breakdown of funding for Washington state:

Spokane Teaching Health Center * Family Medicine Spokane WA $450,000

Spokane Teaching Health Center * Internal Medicine Spokane WA $450,000

Community Health Care/Hilltop * Family Medicine Tacoma WA $900,000

Puyallup Tribal Health Authority Family Medicine Tacoma WA $1,500,000

Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Family Medicine Toppenish WA $600,000

Community Health of Central Washington Family Medicine Yakima WA $1,800,000

Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic General Dentistry Yakima WA $600,000

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Source: Congressional Documents & Publications

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