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As the demand for primary care physicians continues to grow faster than its supply, Erie Family Health Centers continues work toward narrowing the deficit by investing in the next generation of the primary healthcare workforce.

As one of the first Federally Qualified Health Centers to host a Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program, Erie has continuously added training programs to its healthcare system and is currently host to more than 200 medical and dental providers in training.

Erie has scaled its training programs and has added two more residency programs – the University of Chicago (NorthShore) Family Medicine Residency and Advancing Practice – allowing for nearly 30 more professionals to further their training in primary care and community health.

Residents in the University of Chicago (NorthShore) Family Medicine Residency, launched this summer, will be helping care for the growing number of Erie patients at the recently expanded Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center, as well as serving patients within the NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Erie recently received a four-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to train advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners and midwives, to provide care and community health leadership in underserved communities.  The program, AdvancingPractice, is a collaborative effort between Erie and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing to create a dynamic one-year fellowship program for newly graduated APRNs.

The program will offer the opportunity to provide patient care in clinic and through specialty rotations with Erie preceptors, to receive robust ongoing education on both clinical and leadership topics and to participate in quality improvement projects supporting Erie’s mission to improve the health of underserved communities.

 “Physicians trained in community health centers are three times more likely to work in similar settings upon graduation. By investing in the next generation of medical providers and advanced practice registered nurses that will deliver primary care in medically underserved areas, we are ensuring that our ever-growing patient population will continue to have access to the high quality healthcare everyone deserves,” said Erie’s Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Caroline Hoke. “Additionally, here at Erie, we are committed to recruiting, training and retaining a workforce that is reflective of the communities we serve and are ensuring opportunities that lead to a diverse and inclusive environment for our staff and patients.”

With Erie’s extremely diverse population of patients, providing culturally sensitive healthcare and employing a diverse medical workforce is a priority.