Healthier Tomorrows: The Campaign for Baystate Health
Your health is intricately tied to all of the things that make you, you: your community, where you live, your social network, what you do, your family.
And yet, so often the interconnected nature of health is lost in the larger and increasingly specialized healthcare systems of today. Additionally, more than 95% of medical students choose to pursue a specialization after graduating—creating a shortage of primary care physicians that is already being felt acutely in our region.
Enter Family Medicine, a medical practice that transcends the typical boundaries of today’s healthcare—including age of the patient, area of any concern, and type of care needed—and treats the whole person. Family Medicine is a powerful, time-tested, and effective way to recenter healthcare on you.
As with many of our communities, Franklin County is an intricate cross section of people: old and young, urban and rural, increasingly medically complex. It is a place where access to medical care has been declining, even as the population’s needs rise. Baystate is committed to providing the most effective kind of care possible. Particularly in dynamic places like Franklin County, it is critical that medical practitioners understand the whole person in order to understand their health—an outlook that family medicine practitioners are trained to embrace. Built around serving people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, medicine physicians have a unique skillset that allows them to provide routine, chronic, and acute care, including for mental health, along with prevention and wellness services for infants, children, adults, and the elderly.
This broad skillset has the potential to fundamentally improve access to healthcare for our communities and is a foundational part of Baystate Health’s vision for the future in this region.
We are making a transformative investment in Family Medicine. With careful planning, Baystate Health has established the first Family Medicine Residency program in western Massachusetts. The residency is housed in Greenfield and, in addition to providing an immediate increase in medical services in the area, the program will provide a vitally needed pipeline of primary care clinicians to the Pioneer Valley, with particular benefit to Franklin County.
The education and practice space for the residency is being built as part of a multimillion-dollar expansion of Baystate Health’s offerings at 48 Sanderson Street in Greenfield. This investment will bring world-class medical care to the doorsteps of many of the area’s most diverse community members, both in the immediate and long term.
Building A Vital Primary Care Pipeline
In fall 2021, Baystate Health launched the Greenfield Family Medicine Residency at UMass Chan Medical School. The Residency, housed at 48 Sanderson Street in Greenfield, is the only program of its kind in the Pioneer Valley with a defined mission to prepare health professionals to serve the under-served populations of western Massachusetts. And, with 85% of family medicine residents staying in primary care, and 50-60% staying in the area they studied, the program will significantly bolster primary care in the area.
“The idea to develop a formal family medicine residency training program at Baystate Franklin Medical Center grew out of a planning process to not only help support the hospital services provided to the Franklin County community, but to provide a vitally needed pipeline of primary care clinicians for the Pioneer Valley. I believe this could be a game-changer and a major positive force to engage the community there," shared Dr. Robert A. Baldor, Founding Chair, Department of Family Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate.
Doctors specializing in family medicine undergo a broad base of training in order to care for all members of a family. This training includes experience in specialties like pediatrics, geriatrics, orthopedics, and dermatology. This skillset is particularly valuable in communities where various specialists and subspecialists may not be as common. Family physicians adapt their practices to meet the specific medical needs of their communities with an emphasis on outpatient medicine, continuity of care,
health maintenance, and disease prevention.
The three-year program accommodates four residents in each cohort, for a total of 12 residents at one time. A key decision factor in the admissions process, behind academic excellence, is interest in remaining in the community after completion. Many of the residents have previous connections to the area and an interest in coming back. In its first two years, the program has had excellent interest, with a highly engaged first class and more than 800 applications received for its second.
The Residency transitions Baystate Franklin Medical Center into a full-service teaching hospital, a critical draw for skilled physicians and specialists dedicated to being at the top of their field and continuously learning and honing their skills.
Uplifting Franklin County and Beyond
Our investment in the Family Medicine Program bolsters the sustainable future of healthcare in Franklin County. In addition to increasing the number of physician appointments available to patients, the program will graduate four highly qualified family medicine physicians per year—all of whom have spent the last several years building ties in the area.
These physicians will have the expertise to treat people of all ages and for a broad range of health and wellness related considerations. This program broadens and deepens access to world-class primary care, as well as Baystate Health’s larger ecosystem of award-winning specialty services, when necessary. All of this culminates to create an effective, innovative, and patient-centered model that will uplift the health of our communities long into the future.
A gift toward the Family Medicine Program is a long-term investment in the health of Franklin County and beyond. Baystate Health seeks $750,000 in community support toward its $5 million investment in funding for the Family Medicine Residency program and affiliated spaces for education, training, and patient care.
From diagnosis to treatment, the Residency will provide more access to care and a holistic, comprehensive practice where patients of all ages can go for broad-spectrum care. Not only is this an investment in Franklin County’s economy, it is a forward-thinking investment in the healthcare of your community.
For more information and to learn how you can be part of this important initiative, please contact Baystate Health Foundation at 413-794-6414 or email Jennifer Gruszka, Stewardship Manager. Recognition opportunities within the facility begin at of $10,000.
Thank you for considering a gift in support of the future of patient care at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.