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Alluvion Health is working to develop a rural medical residency program

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Posted at 9:53 AM, Apr 07, 2023

GREAT FALLS — Alluvion Health has been awarded a Teaching Health Center Planning and Implementation grant to develop a community-based primary care medical residency program. This new medical residency program will focus on expanding access to primary care physicians in rural North Central Montana.

Casey Schreiner, who serves as the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation for Alluvion Health, explained the purpose of the program.

"Essentially, this grant allows us to stand up a family practice residency. There is only one in the entire state of Montana, and there's only a handful across the country. What it will really allow for us to do is expand access for family practitioners, which there's a huge shortage of not just nationally, but in rural states like Montana."

Currently, 52 of 56 counties in Montana are considered primary care shortage areas. Click here to view the Montana Health Professional Shortage Area Designations.

Alluvion Health says the goal is to bring new medical professionals into these counties, ensuring rural Montanans have the medical services they need.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (MT), who worked to secure funding for the program, noted the challenges that come along with the shortage of medical professionals.

"For too long, our future doctors have been forced to leave the Treasure State to get trained, and too often they never return. This program changes that by allowing medical professionals to get trained and go to work in communities across Montana. That means we'll be growing the workforce and keeping hospitals staffed, all while ensuring that folks everywhere have improved access to life-saving healthcare. I am proud to support this program, and it's a big win for folks that want to practice medicine in Montana."

The program will continue the ongoing effort by Alluvion Health to fill gaps in health care across North Central Montana.

Schreiner says this program is a win-win for Alluvion Health, and residents of Montana.

"One, it provides more grounding in North Central Montana in being a hub for high quality healthcare. For Montana, it provides more access to doctors in our state, brings more folks in and gives them experience in a rural setting. Doing healthcare in a frontier state is quite a bit different than in downtown New York or uptown San Francisco. For Alluvion, it allows us to expand our services and take care of our patients in our communities even more. We have clinics in Choteau as well as Great Falls, and we're expanding into other places throughout Cascade County and across North Central Montana. All of those areas will have more access to high quality healthcare due to this program.

Alluvion Health is currently working to gain accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The first resident cohort is expected to start the program in July 2025.

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