Health Care Team Talks Recruiting Doctors

The need for physicians and specialty care medical professionals in the greater Jamestown area has been a need for a number of years.

That is why local health care professionals and community stakeholders have been working for a number of year on the Grown Your Own program to ensure the health care needs of local residents are met.

On Thursday, the Health Care Action Team discussed summer internship programs that several community groups collaborated on together, which included Chautauqua Works Workforce Development Board, UMPC Chautauqua, Jamestown Area Medical Associates-Great Lakes Physician Practice, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Sheldon Foundation, the Chautauqua County Health Network, The Chautauqua Center and Jamestown Pediatrics.

Katie Geise, Chautauqua Works Workforce Development Board executive director, said this year 24 applicants applied for Chautauqua Works summer internship program, with 12 being selected. She said 10 of the students interned in the Jamestown area, with eight at UPMC Chautauqua, one at The Chautauqua Center and one at Jamestown Pediatrics. She added that two other students were located in the Dunkirk area, with one at Brooks Memorial Hospital and the other at The Chautauqua Center.

Geise said funding for the program comes from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, which has already pledged $10,000 for next year’s program, and the Sheldon Foundation, who will be determining this fall whether to continue funding for the program in 2019. She said the Chautauqua County Health Network can also help provide funding for the internship program.

“It is a first come, first serve program,” Geise said about the application process for the students. “We look at how much funding we have and determine how many people we can place.”

Dan Tota, UPMC Chautauqua physician services director, said of the eight interns at the hospital this summer, six were in physician rotations, one was in nursing and one was in physical therapy. He said the six students in the physician rotations were able to learn in the cardiology, pathology and respiratory departments, to name a few.

“They were able to see a little of everything,” he said.

Kelly McDonald, GLPP division administrator, said at the JAMA Riverwalk Center in Brooklyn Square, several students also intern there, but she didn’t know the exact number. She said some of the students do job shadowing and some work as paid or unpaid interns.

“We have tons of students here all the time,” she said.

Dr. Lillian Ney, HCAT chairwoman, said these internships help continue the interest of premedical and medical students from the area in potentially returning to the Jamestown area once they are medical professionals.

“It is a real good use of money and time,” she said about the internship program.

HCAT, which is a subcommittee of the Jamestown Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission, was formed to focus on the impact of health care on development in the community, as well as accessible, high-quality health care for residents. Partners on the team consist of City Council members; various foundations; UPMC Chautauqua WCA; Jamestown Area Medical Associates; The Resource Center; Jamestown Primary Care; Chautauqua County Health Network; The Chautauqua Center; Mental Health Association of Chautauqua County; Workforce Investment Board; SUNY Fredonia; Evergreen Health; Jamestown Community College Nursing Program; and Chautauqua County Health & Human Services and Mental Hygiene departments.