HRSA Invests $11 Million to Expand Medical Residencies in Rural Communities

Today, HRSA announced awards of more than $11 million to 15 organizations to strengthen the health workforce in rural areas. Administered through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy, located within HRSA, the Rural Residency Planning and Development Program supports the planning and establishment of new residency training programs in family medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry, preventive medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery.  HRSA-funded research has found that more than half of rural U.S. counties lack hospital obstetric services. In response to the declining rural access to maternal health care, one of the awards will be used to create the first obstetrics and gynecology Rural Track Program in the country. Another six of today’s 15 awards will be used to develop new family medicine residency programs with a focus on enhanced obstetrical training in rural communities. Award recipients will each receive up to $750,000 over three years to establish new rural residency programs. They will use this funding to support accreditation costs, curriculum development, faculty recruitment and retention, resident recruitment activities, and consultation services to inform program development. These awards complement efforts by the Administration and by Congress to reform and expand Medicare payment policies for residency training.