College of Medicine partners with KSB Hospital

Partnership creates Illinois’ first accredited rural track residency program

Illinois’ first rural track residency program, designed jointly by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford and Katherine Shaw Bethea (KSB) Hospital in Dixon, has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education.

The residency program is a tremendous boost to the College’s ongoing efforts to train medical professionals for service in underserved rural communities throughout Illinois, the nation and the world. A specialized rural medical education program was started in 1993 and in 2000, the College began facilitating the training of nurses, dentists, pharmacists, mental health social workers and public health administrators to work in rural communities.

The new residency will add two residents each year to an existing family practice residency housed at the College’s L.P. Johnson Family Health Center and SwedishAmerican Hospital. The residents will spend their first year in Rockford and travel to Dixon for their continuity clinics. The remaining two years of the residency will be completed at KSB.

The program will be facilitated by Farion Williams, M.D., from the College of Medicine and Timothy Appenheimer, M.D., from KSB. Williams commended staff at both the College and KSB for their hard work in making the residency a reality. “ There was a need to train physicians with the appropriate skills to meet the challenges of practicing in rural America,” Williams said. “And we feel there is a need to expose them to what practicing medicine will be like in that environment.”

Officials at KSB Hospital share the enthusiasm. “This is a very proud day for KSB Hospital,” Darryl Vandervort, KSB president & CEO, said. “”We are delighted to get this opportunity to expand KSB’s mission and help in the advancement of access to quality health care in rural communities. This is a designation that establishes the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford as a leader in rural health training. It is our hope the Dixon program will become a true asset to that effort.

The first two physicians to be admitted to the new program will begin in July 2004.

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