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Valley Consortium for Medical Education

Overview

 

Location: Modesto, California

Website: http://www.valleymeded.org/index.shtm

Residency Programs: Family Medicine

Description: The Valley Family Medicine Residency of Modesto became California’s First “Teaching Health Center” in 2011. Located in California’s Central Valley, the residency has a mission of service to the underserved, with our region ranking among the lowest in the state in many health indices. This innovative, 10-10-10 program places residents in a large, well-appointed federally-qualified health center system. The robust clinic system is on track to become a “Patient-centered Medical Home”, and includes an enterprise-wide EHR, group visits, team-based practices, advanced access clinic scheduling and after-hours care. The residents participate in community health via a dedicated home visit program, high-school pre-participation sports exams, school-health clinics and hospice care.

 

 

Program History

 

The Valley Family Medicine Residency of Modesto became California’s First “Teaching Health Center” in 2011. Located in California’s Central Valley, the residency has a mission of service to the underserved, with our region ranking among the lowest in the state in many health indices. This innovative, 10-10-10 program places residents in a large, well-appointed federally-qualified health center system. The robust clinic system is on track to become a “Patient-centered Medical Home”, and includes an enterprise-wide EHR, group visits, team-based practices, advanced access clinic scheduling and after-hours care. The residents participate in community health via a dedicated home visit program, high-school pre-participation sports exams, school-health clinics and hospice care.

The Central Valley of California has substantially higher rates of poverty than many other areas of California and the United States as well, with per-capita income well below the national average, and so, because of its significant economic, social, and health issues, is referred to as “the New Appalachia”. Our region is extremely diverse, with 61% Latino and 7% Asian-Pacific Islanders. The Central Valley has the largest concentration of Laotian and Hmong refugees in the United States, among over 70 ethnicities, and supports a large population of migrant and low paid farm workers, contributing to the region’s unique status as one of the most culturally diverse in the Nation. Locally, Stanislaus County is recognized in a recent survey by the California Medical Board as having the lowest per capita distribution of physicians in the state. We are located in the Northern Central Valley, with a mix of both rural and urban areas of nearly 1,500 square miles and has a predominantly agricultural based economy. It is here that Valley Family Medicine Residency operates seamlessly with Stanislaus County Community Health Centers under the umbrella of the Valley Consortium for Medical Education. 

In May 2009, Valley Consortium for Medical Education (“VCME”) was incorporated with three charter organizations: Stanislaus County as the Stanislaus County Community Health Centers (SCCHC), an FQHC Look-alike; Doctors Medical Center, owned by Tenet Healthcare Corporation; and Memorial Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate. These founding participants came together with the understanding that together they can better address the physician recruitment challenges of the Central Valley of California then they can apart and so they embarked on the creation of a new Family Medicine Residency program and other post-doctoral training programs.

Designated as an FQHC look-alike in 2007, SCCHC is the largest safety-net provider for underserved populations in the county, with 70,000 patients and 230,000 visits annually. We have six clinics, including specialty pediatric, obstetric and medical/surgical subspecialty services. Our modern system uses an enterprise-wide EHR from GE Centricity, and is in the process of completing NCQA-certification as a “Patient-centered Medical Home”.

Our current residency is the successor to a highly regarded family medicine residency program originally established in 1975 within the former county hospital, Scenic General Hospital. This residency evolved through many financial and structural challenges, renaming itself to Stanislaus Family Medicine Residency in 1992 to coincide with a name-change of its hospital facility, and subsequently relocating the principle training site to Doctors Medical Center in 1997 when the former county hospital closed for seismic and economic reasons. Each year, our residents provide approximately 22,500 acute and chronic outpatient visits at four SCCHC sites, deliver 1,200 babies, and manage over 1,500 acute hospitalized patients. Over seventy family physician graduates practicing in the county provide additional impact to our community, which despite this contribution still ranks among the lowest per capita physician-to-patient ratio in the state. Ultimately, the most compelling justification for the community’s investment in this residency asset was the magnitude of the population who would be without a viable alternative to acute health care, preventive services and chronic disease management.