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Millions being spent to find next generation of doctors, medical professionals in New York

Some New York health care facilities are getting a funding boost to help train the next generation of doctors and dentists.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $155 million to Teaching Health Centers nationwide, operating primary-care medical and dental residency programs. More than $12 million will go to centers in New York State.

Carole Johnson, administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, said she is excited to see the centers doing the legwork to develop training programs.

“You have to be able to demonstrate that you have the staff to do the training,” Johnson asserted. “That you have the predecessors, that you have all those critical parts in place so that we’re getting good, skilled clinicians through these programs.”

In addition to medical and dental programs, a special emphasis has been placed on psychiatry residencies, with the hope of providing underserved communities with greater access to mental-health services. The funding comes at a time when health care workers are facing burnout in large numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hope for the programs is medical residents will then stay to set up their practices in the communities where they are trained.

According to Johnson, health-center leaders believe this program will create a conduit to the health care workforce. But she feels it will also allow young health care professionals to understand what it is like to work in different environments.

“We want them to know what it’s like to work with clients who have challenges getting child care, or getting transportation to the clinic to make their health care appointment,” Johnson noted. “To really experience how to provide care to individuals who lead complicated lives and have other challenges in accessing health care services.”

The bulk of the funding for these awards comes from the American Rescue Plan, approved by Congress in March 2021.