On Monday, June 5, 2017, Trios Health’s family medicine resident physicians and supervising physicians began seeing patients in the newly established Trios Residency Clinic –
Family Medicine on the second floor of the Trios Care Center at Spaulding, located at 216 W. 10th Ave. in Kennewick. The building is connected to the southeast corner of Trios Women’s and Children’s Hospital. The Trios Residency Clinic – Internal Medicine practice will open on the same floor of the facility later this month.
The resident physicians formerly practiced nearby at the Trios Urgent Care Center—Auburn with Primary Care, located on the north side of the Trios Women’s and Children’s Hospital in former Emergency Department space. However, a portion of grant money awarded to Trios Health’s Graduate Medical Education Program for its family medicine residency program expansion was recently used to remodel unoccupied provider space in the Spaulding facility for the Family Medicine clinic.
The $250,000 grant funds awarded to Trios are from a State of Washington developing program assistance fund created under House Bill 2151, passed in 2015. The bill was designed to assist family medicine residency programs accredited by the American Osteopathic Association in transitioning to the Unified Accreditation System under the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
The Trios family and internal medicine residency programs are both currently working on the transition to ACGME accreditation. Family medicine is identified as a particular shortage area for physicians in this part of the state, which the legislation intends to improve through careful investment of program assistance funds.
“It’s a requirement for ACGME accreditation that our residents have an established residency clinic from which to practice and maintain patient panels during certain hours,” said Dr. Heather Phipps, director of Medical Education at Trios Health. “The space we’ve been using, while more than adequate for providing excellent patient care, does not technically meet ACGME’s designated family medicine residency practice requirements. The ability to use these grant funds for practice-specific facility improvements has made the transition to a fully self-contained residency clinic possible for us, and we’re grateful for it.”
“We also determined that in concert with the move of our family medicine residents to the new clinic space, it would make financial and operational sense to invest in a similar move for the internal medicine residents as well,” Dr. Phipps said. “This means that residents in both of our programs will have outpatient practices in the same building, which is advantageous on a number of fronts.”
There are currently nine family medicine residents in various stages of the three-year program at Trios Health, with plans to expand to ten in 2018. Nine internal medicine residents are also working through their programs at Trios; the internal medicine program will add two more residency positions next year.
Current patients affected by provider moves associated with the new residency clinic opening are being notified by mail, and will receive phone reminders before their next scheduled appointments.