Categorized | Health

Family medicine residency program welcomes first class

(Photo courtesy of Hilo Medical Center)

(Photo courtesy of Hilo Medical Center)


Hilo Medical Center has announced the first class of resident physicians for the Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency Program (HIFMR) are Hamed Ahmadinia, Svetlana Shchedrina, Kavita Rama Nathan and Kaohimanu Akiona.

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) notified the residents and program officials March 21 that they have been matched with the following partners: The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, The University of Hawaii at Hilo’s School of Nursing, The University of Hawaii at Manoa’s School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, and I Ola Lahui, a behavioral health training program.

“We are proud to announce our first class of Family Medicine resident physicians, and extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who worked so very hard to bring our program to fruition,” said Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. “These four individuals come to us with diverse backgrounds and life experiences. We are excited about this moment in our program’s history and we look forward to our residents’ journey in their training and incorporation into our community.”

“We are really excited about the commitment of this group of physicians to meeting the needs of Hawaii Island and the neighbor islands,” said Dr. Kristine McCoy, HIFMR Director. “Their training will be tailored to give them the skills to keep our communities as healthy as possible.”

“Recruiting for the HIFMR Program began immediately after the October 22 accreditation,” said Boyd Murayama, HMC Assistant Hospital Administrator and Medical Group Practice Director. “In the initial application process, a total of 112 applications were received for the four family medicine residency positions. Through this process, we believe we have a good fit with the caliber of doctors that possess the intelligence and personality to develop our program.”

HIFMR officials narrowed the pool down to interview 30 applicants via skype and selected 19 applicants for on-site interviews in Hilo. The four residents that emerged out of the March 21 match were based on the combined preferences of the applicants and HIFMR officials’ scores.

According to a report by the “Hawaii Physician Workforce Assessment Project” presented at the 2013 Legislative Session, Hawaii Island saw a 34 percent physician shortage in 2012 with 341 physicians in supply compared to 514 physicians in demand or needed to adequately care for the island’s population.

Statewide, the shortage was 18 percent or 2,955 physicians in supply compared to 3,590 physicians in demand.

Among other findings, the report concluded the physician shortages were especially acute in the area of primary care. A 2012 survey by Karen Pellegrin, PhD of the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy found that Hawaii Island will lose 32 percent of its current physicians within the next five years due to retirement or other causes.

The HIFMR Program will provide a unique interdisciplinary team approach and greater access to primary care that will manage 5,000 patients, compared to 2,000 patients by one doctor in solo practice setting.

The HIFMR physicians and their teams will provide routine screenings and proactive care for debilitating diseases, such as diabetes and coronary heart disease, that when caught early can prevent avoidable emergency room visits and hospitalizations and keep the community healthy.

Since the 2006 revival of the HIFMR Program, hospital leadership and the HMC Foundation have garnered across-the-board support from the community, local businesses, medical community and county and state legislators.

In the 2014 legislative session, $2.8 million in funding for the HIFMR Program, legislatively known as the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation Primary Care Training Program, is currently being considered under House Bill 1700.

Last year, the state released $1.8 million in appropriations for the program with an additional $250,000 donation from UnitedHealthcare made to the HMC Foundation to manage.

In 2006, significant seed funding to revive the program started with the offices of Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka facilitating a Centers for Medicaid and Medicare grant and additional funding by TriWest and HMSA Foundation, respectively.

In 2009, the HMC Foundation organized a campaign to raise funds to continue the program through countless private and public donors, businesses, local and state government, organizations and grant writing.

All funds raised have been managed by the HMC Foundation since the beginning of the Foundation’s commitment to the program in 2006.

Resident Background Information

* Hamed Ahmadinia – Attended the American University of Antigua College of Medicine and Masters in Physiology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Medical Missions to the Philippines, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Indonesia.

* Svetlana Shchedrina – Attended the Russian National Research Medical University, previously Internal Medicine Residency in Russia, and has a Masters in Business Administration from Dowling College in New York. Has lived in Hilo since 2011.

* Kavita Rama Nathan – Attended the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine and Dentistry in the United Kingdom and is currently practicing medicine in Christchurch, New Zealand.

* Kaohimanu Akiona – Attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and previously received her Bachelors of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Bachelors of Arts in Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Born on Oahu.

HIFMR Program Timeline

1990s — First push to create the Hawaii Island Family Medicine Residency (HIFMR) Program

2006 — Support revived to create the HIFMR Program

2009 — Hawaii Island Family Health Center established at 45 Mohouli Street to care for patients and house the HIFMR Program

2011— The East Hawaii Regional Board, governing Hilo Medical Center, voted to assume the HIFMR Program as a part of the region’s responsibilities and commitment to the community.

2013 — October 22, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) notifies the HIFMR Program notified of 2-year accreditation, starting July 2014

2014 — March 21, the National Resident Matching Program matched first class of residents

2014 — July 1, the HIFMR Program will welcome the first class of residents

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