LECOM and Uniontown (PA) Hospital Announce Clinical Education Affiliation

LECOM has added Uniontown Hospital (UH) to its network of affiliated teaching hospitals where medical students go for their third and fourth year clinical training. To help attract students to the new program, the hospital has remodeled a house where the students can live - just blocks away from where they will train.

“Today’s announcement reaffirms Uniontown Hospital’s mission to serve again as a medical education teaching hospital,” Hospital President & CEO Paul Bacharach said. “This program will serve as the conduit to attract, train and nurture talented physicians and assure quality medical care in our community for generations to come.”

“Our area has been declared as a health professional shortage area (HPSA),” Bacharach said. “By having a clinical rotation program, we hope to reduce the shortage by attracting more physicians to the area.”

According to Sarah Lumley, DO, a graduate of LECOM and President of the Fayette County Medical Society who also serves Uniontown Hospital’s Director of Medical Education, “through this affiliation the hospital will serve as a clinical training site for third- and fourth – year medical students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has campuses in Erie, Seton Hill University in Greensburg and Bradenton, FL. The students will gain experience in both the hospital and physicians office settings.”

Sarah Lumley, DO, LECOM 1998 Grad (Center), welcomes Allison Daigle, OMS4 and Jeff DeFranc, OMS4 to the Medical Student Residence in Uniontown.

Since this past July, LECOM students have been performing clinical rotations and receiving valuable first-hand experience, while observing and working alongside physician mentors at UH and in their offices. Two student doctors are enrolled at present. One resides in the Medical Student Residence on Berkeley Street. The medical society donated $100,000 to help pay the $180,000 needed to purchased the residence and refurbish it. Further funds came from the hospital and LECOM, Bacharach said.

One student, Jeff DeFranc of Coal Center near Uniontown, hopes he can come back to this area when he completes his schooling and training. Focusing on emergency room medicine, DeFranc said the student program "has exceeded all my expectations. It was because of this hospital that I decided to get into emergency medicine,'' he added. "I was able to learn with the Uniontown Hospital physicians than I did at some larger hospitals.

Allison Daigle of Maine is the first student to live in the new medical residence. She plans to specialize in neurology.

"This is a fantastic program and there are great physicians here,'' Daigle said.

Dr. Dennis Agostini discusses future clinical rotations with Briana Catalalono, OMS1 from LECOM at Seton Hill and her mother Rebekah.

Dennis Agostini, DO, Associate Dean of Clinical Education says the UH program will involve at least ten LECOM students on rotations every four weeks. "This is a valuable learning experience that these students can only have through the dedication of physicians who have made teaching part of their medical practices," Dr. Agostini said.

The students will be performing rotations in internal medicine, surgery, OB/GYN, pediatrics, emergency medicine, family practice, and medical and surgical subspecialties.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

September 17, 2010
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