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News and Information
Wednesday, April 25
CHI Franciscan Announces Inaugural Class of Family Medicine Residents
New Program Will Increase Access to Primary Care on Kitsap Peninsula
Bremerton, Washington - The Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency (NWFMR), sponsored by CHI Franciscan Health’s Harrison Medical Center, announced its founding class of medical residents earlier this month on Match Day. NWFMR selected eight physicians-in-training, who will move to the community and start the program in the summer. The residency program, based in Bremerton, is designed to train the next generation of family physicians, addressing the urgent local and national shortage of primary care physicians. The program will create the single largest collection of primary care physicians on the Peninsula, increasing access to care for families across the region.
“We are incredibly proud and excited to announce the medical residents of our inaugural class,” said Michael Watson, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., founding program director. “Thanks to our rigorous recruitment efforts, we are attracting the highest caliber residents to the Pacific Northwest. Our high-quality and diverse resident class will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become exceptional and compassionate family physicians, allowing our program to successfully provide much needed medical services to our most vulnerable populations.”
Nationally-celebrated Match Day is the annual event at which future physicians learn where they will spend the next three to seven years receiving advanced medical training. Eight residents from across the country – including right here in Washington – were selected from more than 1,100 applicants for the NWFMR three-year training program. Residents begin on-site orientation in June, and the inaugural class will graduate June 30, 2021. At full strength, the NWFMR will have 24 participating residents and graduate eight primary care physicians each year.
“The residency program will bring immense benefits to the Kitsap Peninsula, filling the urgent need for primary care physicians across our communities,” said David Schultz, market president for the peninsula region at CHI Franciscan Health. “We are excited to begin this new program, as we welcome the inaugural class of talented medical residents. CHI Franciscan Health is dedicated to meeting the needs of the region, and I am confident our family residency program will benefit the growing peninsula region for years to come.”
Harrison Medical Center earned certification in 2017 from the Accreditation Council for Graduation Medical Education (ACGME) to establish the residency program. According to a 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation study, only 45 percent of Washington state’s primary care needs are being met. Kitsap County averages just 60 primary care physicians per 100,000 population, less than the statewide average of 81. Over the next 20 years, the area population is expected to nearly double, and the number of individuals aged 65+ is expected to grow by 125 percent. Studies show that approximately 60 percent of physicians practice medicine within 50 miles of their residency program.
“We are eager to welcome Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency’s inaugural class of medical residents to the City of Bremerton,” said Greg Wheeler, mayor of Bremerton. “The new residency program is attracting the best and the brightest future physicians to the Kitsap Peninsula, successfully addressing our community’s increasing health care needs and primary care physician shortage.”
The community-based program, which will serve the primary care needs of the peninsula, has built an experienced, well-respected group of faculty members who will train residents in women’s health, surgery and internal medicine. The family medicine faculty members have more than 75 years of cumulative experience training residents and include physicians who are fellowship-trained in sports medicine and high-risk obstetrics. The team trains family physicians to be compassionate leaders of multidisciplinary teams providing full-spectrum, evidence-based care in remote settings and areas with varied levels of resources. It strives to be recognized nationally as a program with a commitment to patient-centered, evidence-based, service-oriented family medicine using innovative training methods for patient care and physician leadership training.
CHI Franciscan is addressing the long-term needs of the Kitsap Peninsula through its half-billion-dollar investment to expand Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale to include a state-of-the-art facility that is an integrated, sustainable part of the community it serves. The expansion is expected to open in 2020.
About Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency
Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and sponsored by CHI Franciscan Harrison Medical Center in collaboration with the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network comprised of 31 family medicine residency programs across Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Harrison Medical Center is a member of the Association of American Medical College's Council of Teaching Hospitals and is well-positioned to provide quality training for a complement of eight residents per year over three years (for a total of 24 residents in the mature program). Learn more at wwaminetwork.org.
About CHI Franciscan Health
CHI Franciscan Health is a nonprofit health system based in Tacoma, Washington, with $2.45 billion in total revenue and a team of more than 12,000 doctors, nurses and staff that provide expert, compassionate medical care at eight acute care hospitals and over 200 primary and specialty care clinics in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties. This includes St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton and Silverdale; Highline Medical Center, Burien; and Regional Hospital, Burien. Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today CHI Franciscan Health is one of the largest health systems in Washington state. The system is comprised of more than 1,200 hospital beds and over 4,000 credentialed providers offering cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neurosciences, women’s care and other health care services. CHI Franciscan’s mission focuses on creating healthier communities, including caring for the poor and underserved. In our 2017 fiscal year, the organization provided $188 million in community benefit, including $20 million in charity care. Follow CHI Franciscan on Facebook facebook.com/franciscanhealth, Twitter @FHSHealth and Instagram @franciscanhealth.