FOLEY – South Baldwin Regional Medical Center held an open house and ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Aug. 21 for the opening of the new South Baldwin Medical Group Family Medicine Residency Practice …
FOLEY – South Baldwin Regional Medical Center held an open house and ribbon cutting on Tuesday, Aug. 21 for the opening of the new South Baldwin Medical Group Family Medicine Residency Practice located at 1851 North McKenzie Street in Foley.
“This is a very exciting start of a culmination for a lot of different people and a lot of hard work that’s gone on,” said Daniel McKinney, CEO at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center. “Today is really about workforce development 101. You see all these young residents in their white, shiny coats, this is a beautiful sight to a hospital administrator. It means a lot about healthcare in our community.”
The new practice has been in development for approximately ten years, and has opened with eight residents. Next year will see 16 residents finishing training, while the following year will see 24. The facility is made up of five doctors: Program Director Doctor Timothy Mott, Doctor Michael Linder, Doctor Cary A. Ostergaard, Doctor Christine Bogar, and Doctor Carol P. Motley.
“Primary care physician shortage in the United States of America is a huge problem,” said McKinney. “The estimates out there say that the U.S. will be short between 12 and 31 thousand primary care physicians by the year 2025. This doesn’t necessarily affect big metropolitan areas, this affects places like Foley and Southern Baldwin County. That’s why this program is so important to the success and sustainability of our community.”
McKinney stated most physicians end up about 50 miles from the location they did their residency, remarking he hoped the eight new residents would find homes within Baldwin County for years to come.
“We are thrilled to do this and to be here because we have a passion with family medicine residency education,” said Doctor Timothy Mott. “As mentioned, there’s a healthcare shortfall that’s happening nationwide in primary care, and we just feel blessed about this opportunity to help address that, teaching these young resident physicians to be board certified in the specialty of primary care family medicine.”
The process to choose the residents began with interviewing 58 applications for the eight inaugural positions, taking place over the course of a few months. The interviews took place round robin style with at least four faculty staff members present.
“Our faculty and staff’s vision is to have a program that is sought after across this country,” said Designated Institutional Officer Rhonda Turley. “Therefore we knew we had to pick a special class to be our inaugural class. The residents we chose had to be eager to learn, they had to possess integrity, a great work ethic, and be ready to be outstanding role models for the next years incoming residents. But most importantly, they had to be kind, compassionate, and empathetic individuals. This was because we knew if they had these characteristics, patients would come to us, and they would come back. Patients want to be listened to, they seek skilled providers, and they want to be cared about.”
The residents chosen come from all across the country, from as close as Florida to as far as New Jersey and California.
One of the key players in helping to support and fund the development of the residency program was Doctor Will Baker, previous Associate Dean at South Alabama, who went to work at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation after retirement. After the formation of a committee, Baker and the committee went before the Alabama governor at the time to present an idea originating from South Baldwin Regional from Doctor Ken McLeod.
“The governor said it was a great idea, he would support it, and he gave us $320,000 to start a medical school without walls,” said Baker. “That medical school without walls has evolved into a successful entity, and today has 324 physicians. Disciplines go from neurosurgery to family medicine, with the greater number of those being in family medicine. So a piece of this journey started here at South Baldwin with Doctor McLeod.”
The medical school without walls now has a new mission to develop 12 post graduate medical education programs, two which have started: one in Dothan, and the new facility at South Baldwin Regional. The following year has plans for three new programs in Florence, Guntersville, and Mobile.
For more information on South Baldwin Regional Medical Center and their Residency Program, visit their website at www.southbaldwinrmc.com.