Family Health Services Creating Pipeline of Home-Grown Physicians Recruitment and Residency Program Mean a Seamless Transition for Patients

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GREENVILLE, Ohio (Oct. 25, 2023) – Four long-time healthcare providers have retired from Family Health Services (FHS) in the last few years, and FHS is working to bring in new, locally-grown providers who want to live and practice in the community. To date, FHS has hired three new primary care providers, which allows it to meet the community’s needs and alleviate some schedule backlog during periods of provider transitions. The ultimate goal is always to provide seamless care for patients.

“It can be difficult to adjust to seeing a new provider when you have become accustomed to seeing the same person for decades,” said Jared Pollick, FHS executive director. “Every provider in our system is dedicated to providing personalized, modern care for our patients regardless of the length of time they’ve been with us. It takes time for a provider and patient to establish routine primary care.”

New providers having recently joined FHS include:

2021 – Dr. Amy Parker, Pediatrics – Greenville and Dr. Hafiz Jawad Rehman, Geriatrician – Greenville 2023 – Dr. Abigail Reigle, Pediatrics – Greenville

FHS has agreements with additional providers who plan to join the system in the coming years:

2024 – Dr. George Matar, Family Medicine 2025 – Dr. Jayden Mangen, Family Medicine 2026 – Dr. Rachel Jamison, Family Medicine

Recent retirements:

2019 – Dr. Karen Swenson, Pediatrician – Greenville and Dr. Doug Riffel, Family Medicine – Arcanum 2021 – Dr. William Osterbur, Family Medicine – Greenville
2022 – Dr. Beth Vehre, Family Medicine – Greenville
2023 – Dr. Don Pohlman, Family Medicine – Greenville (retired from office-based care)

FHS also employs many highly qualified Advanced Practice Providers (APP). APPs are Physician Assistants and Certified Nurse Practitioners trained in various primary care specialties that work alongside FHS physicians to meet the region’s medical needs.

For those faced with selecting a new primary care provider, Dr. Anna Hatic, D.O. and FHS medical director says the first appointment is a good opportunity to review past medical history and identify ongoing health opportunities.

“If a patient has a complicated medical history, it can often take a few appointments to sort through records and develop a mutually agreed upon treatment plan,” she said. “It can be really rewarding to get to know a patient and work together toward better health!”

In addition to the active recruitment of new physicians, FHS started a Rural Family Medicine Residency program in July 2023 with the intention of creating a pipeline of physicians for a seamless transition to backfill vacancies. Each year, three residents will start the three-year program, which means that by 2026, FHS will have a total of nine residents. After their third year, residents will be fully trained on the system and able to take on patients of their own.

“Our retiring doctors have been the backbone of the organization for many years,” said Pollick. “It is challenging to replace an entire generation of dedicated care providers, but at the same time, it opens up the chance for us to recruit new providers with an affinity for our geography’s values and lifestyle. We are identifying providers who grew up here and want to return home to this area to practice medicine.”

These provider transitions are happening in conjunction with a landmark expansion project FHS kicked off in late July by opening bids for the estimated $24 million renovation and new facility at its Greenville campus. The project will increase capacity, improve patient experience, and position providers to care for the community for many years to come.

“One of the many positive outcomes that will come from this expansion project is the creation of a dedicated space for the Rural Family Medicine Residency Clinic,” said Pollick. “This space is something we desperately need if we want this program to grow and to be able to give these residents the tools and resources to flourish in their training.”

Family Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Greenville, Ohio, with additional locations in Arcanum, New Madison, and Versailles, offering a wide range of services, including family medicine, pediatrics, dental, eye care, behavioral health, women’s health, internal medicine, and pharmacy services. Established in 1964, FHS focuses on “building healthy lives together” by working toward positive health outcomes for everyone in the communities it serves.