SoHum Health partners with UC Davis to host future health care professionals in local clinic
By Chelsea Brown,
Future physician assistants (P.A.) and family nurse practitioners (FNP) now bring their enthusiasm and energy to the providers and patients of SoHum Health. A new partnership between SoHum and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis enables students to learn in a real setting, while opening the possibilities of, one day, practicing in Humboldt County.
“We know that rural areas need quality primary care providers. At the same time, Humboldt County provides robust learning experiences for our students as they partner with patients to provide high-quality primary care,” explained Teresa Thetford, assistant director of the P.A. program at UC Davis. “When we create clinical education experiences that allow students to live in these areas and immerse in the communities, we increase the chances that they will decide to return and practice in these areas.”
The School of Nursing’s P.A. and FNP programs emphasize community-based, primary care clinical experiences.
Students are paired with preceptors during their clinical rotations at the Southern Humboldt Community Clinic in Garberville. Preceptors are health care providers who volunteer their time to teach, evaluate, serve as role models, and aid in developing competencies in students working to become future providers. This year, eight students will rotate. Beginning next year, 10 students a year will learn with SoHum providers.
The School of Nursing’s P.A. and FNP programs emphasize community-based, primary care clinical experiences with clinical rotation sites in urban and rural settings throughout California. In order to expand the number of rural sites, school leaders began partnering with health organizations and providers in Humboldt County in 2015.
Across California, many rural communities face a provider shortage. With many rural physicians and advanced practice providers nearing retirement, expanding the pipeline of providers is critical to fill the needs to residents.
UC Davis is committed to improving the availability of culturally relevant primary health care to underserved populations throughout California. At the same time, SoHum Health’s mission is to provide high-quality local medical services, to engage community members with education, activities, and lifestyle opportunities that promote optimal health.
Thanks to a grant from the Health Resource and Services Administration, the students’ housing is paid for.
“We feel lucky UC Davis reached out to include us in this partnership. The students have so far been a welcome injection of enthusiasm and new perspectives, and their questions keep us on our toes! All of our staff have enjoyed the chance to show off the joys and curiosities that come with working here,” said Dr. Seth Einterz, Clinic Medical Director at SoHum Health.
Thanks to a grant from the Health Resource and Services Administration, the students’ housing is paid for, which enables them to focus 100% on learning about and delivering excellent patient care.
“The funding for this grant has not only allowed us to provide housing for our P.A. and FNP students rotating to SoHum, it also allows us to bring additional training opportunities to the Southern Humboldt community,” said Deb Bakerjian, director of the PA PROMISE program. “Over the next several months, we will work with the clinics to develop experiential training designed to enhance clinician competencies in mental health conditions and substance use disorders, which are common problems in many communities.”
SoHum Health is a California Special Healthcare District that operates Jerold Phelps Community Hospital, Southern Humboldt Community Clinic, Southern Humboldt Family Resource Center and Garberville Pharmacy. For more information, call (707) 923-3921.
Chelsea Brown, submitted on behalf of the SoHum Health’s Outreach department.