Bothwell Regional Health Center has received a nearly $1.1 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Residency Planning and Development Program.

Funds will be used to create a single site for Bothwell’s three Sedalia family medicine clinics, as well as for medical student and resident teaching, at Bothwell’s Healing Arts Center.

Bothwell Family Medicine Associates, the health center’s largest family medicine practice, will move from its current location at 3401 W. 10th Street to the Healing Arts Center at 3700 W. 10th Street, and join Bothwell Family Health already located at the center.

Bothwell Eldenburg Family Practice, currently at 700 S. Limit, will also move to the center. All three clinics will combine to become Bothwell Family Medicine.

Bothwell’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phil Fracica said the grant application was made in coordination with the University of Missouri School of Medicine and is a continuation of efforts between Bothwell and the university to increase the number of family medicine physicians serving rural and underserved Missouri.

“Dr. Robert Frederickson has worked with the university’s School of Medicine for years to attract new physicians to Sedalia,” he said. “Shortly after I began working at Bothwell in 2015, we were able to formally establish Bothwell as a training site for MU medical students through the MU Rural Training Track program under the direction of Dr. Kathleen Quinn, MU School of Medicine associate dean for rural health.

The funding is the latest in an ongoing successful collaboration between Bothwell and MU to enhance the rural physician workforce in Missouri. In June 2017, Bothwell received $40,000 in salary support to be a Rural Training Track site for third-year medical students assigned to the health center for their core clinical training.

In 2018, the university received a $1 million grant from HRSA over three years to start a Rural Family Medicine Residency program, the first of its kind in Missouri. MU selected Bothwell as the first site for the program, and the first two resident physicians started this past July. In three years, there will be six resident family medicine physicians practicing at Bothwell caring for patients.

In 2019, Bothwell was chosen as the community partner to collaborate with MU to develop and implement a new curriculum for training third-year medical students. Bothwell subsequently received additional funds for that initiative as well as for facilities improvements at the hospital that support medical student lectures and conferences.

Fracica said when the university approached Bothwell about the new grant opportunity, they decided to “think big” and submitted a request to completely build out and equip unfinished space at the Healing Arts Center.

“Bothwell Family Medicine Associates’ current space is adequate for four physicians, but the expansion of our medical education activities has resulted in growth of our full-time physicians at that clinic from three to six,” he said. “That growth along with the addition of two resident physicians and two to three medical students on site each year meant more exam rooms are needed. In addition, two other family medicine physicians will be supervising the resident teaching in the clinic, so room is also needed for them and those teaching activities."

Specifically where the three clinics will be inside the center and the renovation timeline are still under development. Fracica said Bothwell is grateful for the grant funding, which will allow the health center to better meet physical clinical needs and accommodate anticipated growth.

“We also are optimistic about the prospects for future collaboration with MU in the rural health education arena,” he said. “In the current environment of labor shortages, the access to health care in rural areas has become and is expected to remain a top priority for federal funding incentives, and MU cannot get these grants without a reliable rural health care partner. We have made it a priority to become that reliable partner."

Physicians at Bothwell Family Medicine Associates include Dr. Robert Frederickson, Dr. Jeffrey Sharp, Dr. Julie Cahill, Dr. Alyssa Emery, Dr. Meredith Norfleet and Dr. Lisa Wadowski. Dr. Steven Eldenburg is at Bothwell Eldenburg Family Practice, and Dr. Ashley Tardieu is at Bothwell Family Health.

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