The Scripps Mercy Family Medicine Residency Program has been selected to receive $2.85 million in grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The residency program will use the funds over the next five years to develop and implement initiatives to enhance physician training in family medicine obstetrics and maternal and child health along the U.S.-Mexico border of San Diego and Imperial counties.
The Scripps training program is one of 31 medical residency programs in the U.S. recently selected as an award recipient in HRSA’s highly competitive grant funding opportunity, which was open to primary care residency programs nationwide.
“This new funding will play a vital role in expanding our efforts to make an even greater impact on the health and well-being of our underserved communities,” said Ghazala Sharieff, MD, MBA, Scripps Health chief medical officer for acute care, clinical excellence and experience.
With the grant funding, Scripps aims to increase the number of primary care physicians trained in public health, enhanced obstetrical care and general preventive medicine with maternal health care expertise. A number of expanded physician training opportunities are planned, including new educational tracks and clinical rotations. The ultimate goal of Scripps’ expanded resident and fellow training is to increase the number of residency program graduates able to care for women and children to improve maternal health outcomes.
“We need to improve maternal health outcomes and close the health disparity gaps in our community,” said Shaila Serpas, MD, director of the Scripps program. “With a focus on advanced training and quality improvement, we will create a future workforce of dedicated family physicians with the passion and skills to implement changes and advocate for their patients.”
The residency program will also use these funds to help give underserved patients greater access to health education and care, including expanded patient access to prenatal clinics and labor-and-delivery care.
The family medicine residency program is based at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista. For more than 20 years, it has trained physician residents to provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive medical care, with a focus on underserved populations of the south San Diego border region. Residents in the three-year graduate medical education program complete inpatient rotations at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista and outpatient rotations at San Ysidro Health Center, along with providing care at other community clinics.