The Recorder – Freedom Credit Union backs Baystates’ new family medicine department. with $ 15,000

Published: 11/18/2021 2:20:45 PM

GREENFIELD – The Freedom Credit Union has committed $ 15,000 over five years to support a new family medicine program at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

“We care not only about the financial health of our members and communities, but also about their overall health,” Freedom Credit Union President Glenn Welch said in a press release. “Franklin County is an underserved area when it comes to primary health care, and many of the local providers are older and close to retirement. We are happy to help attract new physicians to our area through this endeavor.”

Baystate Franklin announced last year that it was developing a family medicine center that would offer a mid-2022 residency program to physicians seeking to train in family medicine. Dens 48 Sanderson St. facility currently has a family practice on the first floor.

Dr. Robert Baldor, founding chairman and professor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate Department of Family Medicine, said earlier that the education program will not only attract new faculties, but it will likely also result in young physicians remaining in the area after their three-year residency. .

“Historically, 85% of residents who practice in family medical residences practice as primary providers, and 39 percent of these physicians remain close to the community where they trained,” Baldor said in the release, noting that this marks the first Baystate Health- academics. department outside Springfield and the first accredited family medicine education program in the region. “We are excited that Freedom Credit Union is supporting this new program, which will have a real and lasting impact on the health of our entire community.”

The $ 15,000 Freedom Credit Union donation is among the $ 245,700 donated to support the hospital’s $ 4.2 million investment in creating an advanced clinical / educational facility, the release said.

In addition, two federal government funding grants will support medical education at 48 Sanderson St. One of the grants is a $ 750,000 grant to the Health Resources and Services Administration, which will assist in the development of family medical residency, while the other is a $ 100,000 Area Health Education Center grant, supported by medical students’ experiences.

Baldor said earlier that renovations on the second floor, which are scheduled to begin just after Thanksgiving, will create a new classroom as well as offices for residents and faculty. These renovations are expected to be completed in the spring of 2022, in time for the first round of interns to arrive.

Renovations on the first floor, where the family practice is currently located, are scheduled to begin one year from now and will be completed in the fall of 2023.

Four residencies a year will be offered to start, according to Baldor, so over the first three years, it will grow to 12 enrolled participants.

Young doctors – either doctors or doctors in osteopathic medicine – will be admitted to the program. These people will have completed four years of medical school and be ready to take a residency required to be licensed.

“An effort like this requires the support of the whole community,” Welch said. “We are proud to join the ranks of other local donors – including the medical staff at Baystate Franklin, who contributed $ 25,000 – to bring this project to life, and we encourage others to do the same.”

Reporter Mary Byrne can be contacted at or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


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