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Training the Next Generation: Postgraduate Residency Training Programs in Community Health Centers

Tuesday, April 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Kerry Bamrick, MBA Director, Postgraduate Residency Training Programs 

Community Health Center Inc. and its Weitzman Institute


Kerry will discuss their Postgraduate Residency Training Programs and the Challenges, Opportunities and Outcomes of Training the Next Generation of Health Care Providers at the 2018 Spring Primary Care Conference.


The Nation's First Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Training Program


Primary care nurse practitioners are ideal candidates to serve as primary care providers in the complex setting of community health centers, given their professional orientation, interest, and training towards holistic care that integrates the personal, clinical, familial, social, and community aspects of preventive, routine, and chronic illness care into practice. However, the intensity of clinical complexity that is the "norm" for the patient population in FQHCs, coupled with the intensity of socio-behavioral challenges, presents significant challenges and a "confidence/competence gap" to new nurse practitioners seeking to join FQHCs and serve as PCPs. This gap may deter NPs from choosing FQHCs, and FQHCs from hiring new NPs. CHCI's study of the issue concluded that this gap is largely due to the systemic lack of post-graduate residency training for new NPs. While the graduate schools leading to certification as a nurse practitioner at either the master's degree or clinical doctorate level are superb and offer an excellent education, with significant clinical training, it is only the intensive, full time, extended immersion training and education experience within the service delivery organization that is the hallmark of residency training that will successfully address this gap.


In 2007, CHCI launched the country's first primary care NP Residency Training Program. Over the past 11 years, CHC has expanded its program capacity from four to ten residents per year and has graduated 66 NP Residents. In 2014, CHC launched a new venture remotely hosting NP Residency Training programs in the states of: California, Hawaii, New York, Indiana, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. In the remotely hosted model, CHCI manages all aspects of the NP Residency Training Program including recruitment and selection of candidates, program design/redesign and implementation, preceptor selection, training and evaluation, distance learning for didactic elements, and program evaluation.


From the beginning, CHC's intent was to create a program that could and would be nationally replicated. To that end, it has developed significant infrastructure including curriculum, evaluation tools, preceptor trainings, didactic content, recruitment strategies, and marketing materials. Our success is reflected in the numbers of new NP Residency Training programs that have been established, the number in development. As of January 1, 2018 there are 51 primary care nurse practitioner residency training programs across the country, of which, 34 are FQHCs. To date nationally there have been over 450 graduates of primary care NP Residency Programs.


A few years after implementing the family nurse practitioner residency program, CHC, Inc. launched a Postdoctoral Clinical Psychology Residency program to provide comprehensive training in the provision of psychological care to uninsured and underserved populations under the CHCI patient-centered medical home model, with a focus on positive client outcomes and building healthy communities. CHCI believes this is the future of psychology and is training the next generation of behavioral health providers to a high performance model of care. Since its inception, CHCI has graduated 34 postdoctoral clinical psychologists. CHCI is well-positioned to provide the programmatic support to health centers wishing to implement a Postdoctoral Clinical Psychology Residency program at their organization.


In 2015, CHCI's launched its Psychiatric Mental Health NP residency program in response to increased interest and demand from new PMH NPs seeking a formal residency opportunity similar to the family nurse practitioner residency program. The Psychiatric Mental Health NP residency program provides intensive training to both the clinical complexity of integrated primary behavioral health care, and training to a high performance PCMH model for primary care. CHCI is currently remotely hosting the Psychiatric Mental Health NP residency program at an FQHC in Woonsocket, Rhode Island and has future plans to remotely host programs in the states of New York and Hawaii in September 2018.


During the upcoming NWRPCA Spring Primary Care Conference, participants will learn more about each of these postgraduate residency training programs and how to replicate them at their health centers.


 2017-2018 Postgraduate Residents and Staffm Middletown, CT September 2017



The Community Health Center, Inc. (CHCI) is cultivating a model of care with the patient at the center of it all. To do so effectively, CHCI has recognized the need and opportunity to train the next generation of health care professionals who are committed to providing the highest quality care within the Patient Centered Medical Home model of integrated care. CHCI has developed residency training programs for family nurse practitioners, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists, to create a pipeline of highly skilled health care providers across multiple disciplines who are passionate about meeting the needs of diverse and underserved populations.


The leadership of CHCI shares a common belief that the near and long-term shortage of primary care providers and behavioral health providers, coupled with the predicted aging of the current physician workforce and the increasing demands for primary care by newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act, calls for new and innovative approaches to address clinical workforce. Beginning in 2007, CHCI and its Weitzman Institute developed postgraduate residency training programs to provide the training bridge between education and practice. From the beginning, CHCI's intent was to create programs that could and would be nationally replicated. During the conference, participants will learn how to replicate these programs at their health centers.




NWRPCA welcomes and regularly publishes white papers and articles submitted by members, partners and associates with subject matter expertise. The appearance of any guest publication in our Health Center News database represents the views of the author and does not constitute endorsement by NWRPCA of the stated opinions or perspectives, nor does it suggest endorsement of the contributor's products or services.

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