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Bayhealth and Beebe Healthcare receive federal grants for residency program

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Milton Pratt
/
Delaware Public Media

Two Delaware health systems are receiving federal support to address the state’s family doctor shortage.

Both Bayhealth and Beebe Healthcare are set to receive $750,000 in federal grants over the next three years to start doctor residency programs.

The money is funneled through Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). It’s part of a federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) initiative to develop residency programs in rural parts of the country. Delaware’s health systems were two among 27 nationwide to receive the award. 

Bayhealth announced plans for its residency program earlier this year. President and CEO Terry Murphy says the grant will help with staffing and capital improvements as the health system is set to become a teaching institution in 2021.

“We have a lot of work and a lot of expenses in order to do this well,” said Murphy. “It has been a planned approach over the past two years to put us in a good position and this just financially supports what we’re doing both from a capital and operating standpoint to bringing in the expertise and become a teaching organization.”

The grants come as primary care practices are on the decline in Delaware—dropping 6 percent from 2013 to 2018, according to a recent University of Delaware and DHSS study. And survey data of Delaware PCPs shows that number will likely continue its decline.

Both Sussex and Kent Counties have more than 2,000 patients per primary care physician.

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