Grants expanding training programs for doctors, nursesby Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Hennepin County Medical Center will receive nearly $2 million in federal money to expand its residency program for primary care doctors.
The grant is part of the health care reform efforts to increase the number of physicians who work as general practitioners, family doctors and pediatricians.
Dr. Allyson Brotherson, director of HCMC's family medicine residency program, says the grant will allow hospital to train two additional primary care doctors per year.
"The way that we do this is one resident at a time," she said. "So even though it seems like a small number we think that the effect that it has will pay off in the long run."
Primary care doctors are in demand. But by 2014, it's expected that the nation will need many more when an estimated 32 million additional Americans become insured under the health care law.
Duluth's College of St. Scholastica will also get $1.3 million in federalgrants to expand its advanced nursing program.
Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama called on nurses nationwide to "spread the word" about health care reforms and to push prevention in their communities.
Linda Hamilton, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said Obama's call was helpful because as a nurse she gets asked about reform a lot.
"We have patients that ask us, 'wWhat do you think's going to happen when the new bill comes in effect?' And they have heard bits and pieces; they don't understand it," she said. "So I think her attempt to actually educate us in what the bill does is important because people do look at us for those answers and I think that is appropriate."
Obama had a 40-minute nationwide conference call to brief nurses on provisions in the health law.