La Clinica has received $2.8 million in federal funding for its recently launched program to provide training and experience for new nurse practitioners and physician assistants. The grant from Health Resources and Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will cover costs over the coming four years while La Clinica starts the program and makes it financially sustainable.
The Oregon Employment Department projects that the Rogue Valley will likely need 503 new healthcare providers by 2031, nearly all of them nurse practitioners and physician assistants. La Clinica’s Advanced Practitioner Residency Program aims to help fill this need by bringing new providers to the area and provide them with training to build skills and experience. This will help ensure access to confident and well-trained healthcare providers for Jackson County residents.
Susan Hearn, officer for The Learning Well, La Clinica’s education and support service, says, “La Clinica’s residency program allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to be better prepared, more resilient, and practice confidently. We believe the program will benefit La Clinica patients and the greater Southern Oregon healthcare system.” Susan says that La Clinica provides a robust teaching environment for residents who will be mentored by providers with similar special interests in several diverse primary clinical settings.
The HRSA Nurse Practitioner Residency grant will primarily fund salaries for the program residents and its two leaders, Kathryn Warner, residency director, and Sarah Bieniek, residency manager. The grant will also fund the costs of additional provider preceptors and administrative support for the program. To train four to eight nurse practitioner residents each year, many La Clinica providers will serve as preceptors and mentors teaching and guiding the new residents. The program will include classroom and case study education, leadership, health equity, and resiliency learning opportunities. The HRSA grant will fund most of these expenses for four years and enhance La Clinica’s ability to build our provider workforce and serve more residents.
La Clinica’s residency program is the first of its kind in Southern Oregon. In the state, the only nurse practitioner residency program accredited through the Consortium for Advanced Practice Providers is at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Portland.
About La Clinica
La Clinica offers wellness-focused medical, dental, mental health, and substance use disorder care at 26 sites: six primary health centers, an Acute Care Clinic, East Medford Dental Clinic, 17 school-based centers, and a mobile center. Although its mission focuses on providing access to low-income people, La Clinica is open to everyone. La Clinica was founded in 1989 to serve the primary and preventive care needs of migrant and seasonal farm workers in Jackson County. In 2001, in response to an increasing need for affordable primary health, La Clinica expanded its scope to serve every member of the community. All services are offered regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, and on a sliding-scale basis for the uninsured and low income.