A generous donation from Saint Alphonsus to the Primary Care Initiative (PCI) will allow the non-profit foundation to continue its efforts to improve access to healthcare for Idahoans by encouraging new doctors to practice in rural and medically-underserved areas of Idaho through scholarships and medical education debt repayments.
Established in partnership by the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine and Blue Cross of Idaho, the PCI aims to raise $25 million over the next five years in support of its mission. The foundation, which launched in August of 2022, has since awarded $45,000 in scholarships to medical students and is supporting a family medicine physician in Jerome, ID through medical education debt repayment.
“We can’t do this alone. We need leaders from throughout Idaho to join us in supporting this effort to attract more physicians to Idaho,” said Dr. Tracy J. Farnsworth, Board Member of the PCI Foundation and President of the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. “The PCI is extremely thankful to Saint Alphonsus for this generous donation that will directly impact the future of healthcare in Idaho.”
Idaho and its rural communities face a chronic shortage of physicians. In fact, the Gem State ranks 45th in the nation for the number of primary care physicians per capita, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 State Physician Workforce Data Report. This dire need for primary care physicians in Idaho, and especially in its rural communities, is what motivated the creation of the Primary Care Initiative.
“Saint Alphonsus understands the importance of high-quality medical care close to home, regardless of where one lives, and we’re pleased to help fund a scholarship for a current ICOM and, importantly, Idaho resident student with demonstrated commitment to practicing rural primary care in our state in the future,” said Odette Bolano, President and CEO of Saint Alphonsus Health System.