Family health

Federal grant allows Greater Lawrence Family Health Center to expand residency program

The 10 graduates of the 2021 Family Medicine Residency at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center are, from left, Drs. Layla Cavitt, Rebecca Lee, Tuhin Roy, Jamie Ellis, Elie Ata, Sumana Setty, Caroline Komanecky, Yeri Park, Jennifer Wolf and Julia Cooper. Courtesy photograph.)

The Lawrence Family Medicine Residency Program expands to 48 physicians thanks to a federal grant.

The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, which became the first federally licensed community health center in the United States in 1994 to host a teaching residency program, is adding eight more physicians. The program is affiliated with Lawrence General Hospital.

“The Health Center for Teaching Health Resources and Services Administration Graduate Medical Education Award enables Lawrence Family Medicine Residency to further its mission of training full-spectrum family physicians to work in underserved and vulnerable communities,” said Dr. Wendy Barr, Residency Director and Vice President of Clinical Education at the Health Center.

“The past two years have clearly shown us the need to increase the number of fully trained family physicians who can flexibly respond to the needs of their communities,” Barr said. “We are proud to be able to further innovate and train physicians to serve Lawrence and other similar communities.”

While most family medicine residency programs last three years, the Lawrence program is a four-year training program that is part of a national training innovation pilot project. Residents spend an additional year of training to further expand their scope of practice, particularly in an area of ​​concentration, and to develop additional expertise in population health, health systems management and leadership, and the integration of such care in the communities. Resident physicians also participate in a nationally recognized program where they learn to speak and provide medical care in Spanish. The goal of the training program is to train family physicians who provide comprehensive primary care to vulnerable populations and can improve the health and health equity of these communities.

Barr said the class size for incoming residents is increasing from 10 to 12 physicians and the program is currently interviewing for the class of 2026. With this grant and expansion, from 2009 to 2025, the number of residents in training at the health center will be doubled. and 50% more family physicians graduate from the program each year.