DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the creation of three new Psychiatric Medical Residency Programs to recruit and retain psychiatric professionals in Iowa. These residency programs will be formed at Broadlawns Medical Center, UnityPoint Health in Des Moines and Mercy Medical Centers in Des Moines. Dr. Sasha Khosravi from Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Larry Severidt from Broadlawns Medical Center, Dr. Douglas Dorner of UnityPoint Health and Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health Gerd Clabaugh joined the governor and lt. governor for the announcement.
In his 2013 Condition of the State Address, Gov. Branstad asked the legislature to support funding to create medical residency programs to train and retain physicians, including all types of physician and physician specialists such as psychiatrists. Since 2013, the legislature has funded medical residency programs each year. In 2015, the governor signed into law provisions that reduced barriers for medical residency programs to receive funding and increase the ability for significant investments to be made into more costly residency programs like psychiatry.
“From my experience as the former President of Des Moines University, I know that specialized physicians are more likely to remain in Iowa if they do their residency here,” said Branstad. “Iowa is taking steps to ensure that these health care professionals remain an important fabric of our communities, both urban and rural.”
Reynolds continued, “More public investments into modern mental health services are being made than ever before. We want our best and brightest to stay in the state, and also recruit mental health professionals from around the country.”
The medical residency programs are being funded by state appropriation dollars at approximately $4 million. The money was awarded through a competitive Request for Proposal process and were awarded as follows:
Broadlawns Medical Center – $1.5 Million
UnityPoint Health – $1 Million
Mercy Medical Center (Des Moines) – $1.5 Million