John Muir Health Awarded Grant to Help Expand Services to Underserved Communities

Grant will support the training of future physicians to meet the diverse needs of East Bay residents

Walnut Creek, Calif. (January 24, 2018) – John Muir Health will be able to expand its primary care outreach to families in the East Bay’s underserved communities thanks to nearly $1 million in grant funding over a three year period, awarded through the Song-Brown program of the California Office of State Health Planning and Development’s Healthcare Workforce Development Division. The grant will fund current and future programs that help expand the role of John Muir Health’s Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP) and extend vital services to populations facing barriers to care.

The Song-Brown program’s goal is to increase the number of medical residents and students receiving quality primary care education and training in areas of unmet need throughout California. Grants are awarded to programs that demonstrate the ability to place graduates in medically underserved areas, attract and admit underrepresented groups, and have established locations in communities with the greatest need.

“We are committed to improving the overall health of our community by extending access to care to those who need it most,” said Cal Knight, President and CEO of John Muir Health. “This funding will help us further this goal by growing our Family Medicine Residency Program, which provides care to vulnerable populations, including uninsured and under-insured patients.”

The FMRP, which welcomed its inaugural class of residents in June 2017, is a three-year, clinical training program for Family Medicine residents. Residents gain firsthand experience in serving patients with the greatest needs who might otherwise go without care. Residents work in hospital settings and in the Family Medicine Residency Clinic at the Walnut Creek Outpatient Center at 1450 Treat Blvd. Residents also spend time in John Muir Health’s Mobile Health Clinic, which provides free health care to underserved communities. More than half of the patients served by residents are on Medicaid or are uninsured.

The new grant funding will establish secondary training sites at La Clínica de la Raza’s Monument and Pittsburg clinics where residents will provide care. Future plans also call for using the FMRP and Mobile Health Clinic to strengthen access to care in East Contra Costa County.

“Our community is diverse and includes a wide-range of socioeconomic backgrounds,” said Jeremy Fish, MD, program director of John Muir Health’s Family Medicine Residency Program. “Our program is providing our residents with the opportunity to learn how to address the needs of a broad array of patients so access to care is within reach for everyone in the East Bay.”

In the FMRP’s unique training curriculum, residents spend 12 weeks focused on team-based care training and six weeks focused on vulnerable population health training, all within their first year in the program. Residents also attend workshops on culturally responsive, team-based care.

“We are committed to ensuring our residents gain invaluable experience working in underserved settings, understand the scope of needs for vulnerable populations, and learn how to best apply their experience to improve the health of the overall community,” said Dr. Fish.

More information about the FMRP can be found on the John Muir Health website.  

About John Muir Health
John Muir Health is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco serving patients in Contra Costa, eastern Alameda and southern Solano Counties. It includes a network of more than 1,000 primary care and specialty physicians, nearly 6,000 employees, medical centers in Concord and Walnut Creek, including Contra Costa County’s only trauma center, and a Behavioral Health Center. John Muir Health also has partnerships with Tenet Healthcare/San Ramon Regional Medical Center, UCSF Health and Stanford Children's Health to expand its capabilities, increase access to services and better serve patients. The health system offers a full-range of medical services, including primary care, outpatient and imaging services, and is widely recognized as a leader in many specialties – neurosciences, orthopedic, cancer, cardiovascular, trauma, emergency, pediatrics and high-risk obstetrics care.    

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