January 21, 2014
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

Grant Helps Expand Graduate Medical Education to Increase Access to Health Care in Rural, Underserved Areas

MADISON-More than $1.9 million awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) will allow three graduate medical education programs to expand their residency programs and place more medical residents in rural and underserved areas over the next five years, state health officials announced today.

The three grantees and their projects are: Fox Valley Family Medicine Residency Program, funding three family medicine residents in the Appleton/Fox Valley area; Gundersen Health Systems, funding one general surgery resident in La Crosse and the surrounding area; and UW Hospital and Clinics, funding three psychiatry residents in Madison and the surrounding area.

"I am very pleased to make these awards to expand access to high-quality health care in our rural and underserved areas," said DHS Secretary Kitty Rhoades. "Research suggests that providing graduate training in rural areas significantly increases the likelihood that physicians will return to their training sites to practice."

Funding to create new opportunities for medical school graduates to train in the state's rural and underserved areas was authorized in the state's 2014-2015 biennial budget. Up to $750,000 per year is allocated to expand existing graduate medical education (GME) programs and $1.75 million is available to develop new programs. Both components target five specialties - family medicine, general internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics and psychiatry. Additional funding opportunities will be announced this spring.