Allegiance to Bring Teaching Capability, 140 Jobs, $21 Million to Jackson

Allegiance Health announced at its Breakfast for Business meeting today that it will become a teaching hospital in 2014, bringing 140 new physicians to Jackson.

Allegiance Health announced at its Breakfast for Business meeting today that it will become a teaching hospital in 2014, bringing 140 new physicians to Jackson. These physicians will elevate quality of care in the community and generate an estimated $21 million annual impact for Jackson.

New Physicians to Improve Access and Quality of Care

Allegiance Health has begun the multi-year process of developing a Graduate Medical Education (GME) Program. As a teaching hospital, Allegiance will educate recent medical school graduates, commonly known as “residents,” to become specialists in a particular field of medicine. In the case of Allegiance Health, physicians will be trained in the areas of family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology. After completing their years of education with Allegiance, physicians will be eligible to take their examination to become “board certified” in their specialty.

Through partnerships with local physicians and clinics, the Center for Family Health, Jackson Community College, Michigan State University and other educational partners, Allegiance will educate 140 physicians. The first group of residents will begin in July 2014.

“Health care for Jackson residents will definitely improve because of the GME program,” said Ray King, MD, chief medical officer for Allegiance. According to King, advantages of providing physician residency training include:

The community will have an ongoing supply of quality physicians from which to recruit. On average, health systems with GME programs retain 50 percent of the physicians they educate in their community. With shortages of physicians projected in the near future, the physician recruitment advantages of a GME program hold significant benefit for Jackson.

Expanding the number of physicians in the community by approximately 35 percent (there are currently 400 physicians on Allegiance Health’s medical staff) will provide community members with increased access to high quality care.

GME Administrative Director Pam Royston, PhD, said, “It is exciting to build residency training programs in an organization committed to quality and patient safety. We will be able to prepare our residents to be the type of physician we all desire and want to keep in our community.” 

Program Improves Economic Development for Jackson

Allegiance estimates the economic impact to the Jackson community will be approximately $21 million annually, $3.9 million of which will be new tax revenue. 

"Allegiance has always been privileged to serve two roles in this community. We provide quality health care, and with 4,200 staff members and physicians, also serve as the largest economic engine in Jackson,” said Georgia Fojtasek, president and CEO. “The GME program is the latest example of Allegiance accomplishing both goals simultaneously.”

State Representative Mike Shirkey, stated, “When 140 new professional jobs are added to a community the size of Jackson, the ripple effect is tremendous. These 140 physicians will bring families to town, live in Jackson housing, shop in our stores, attend our churches, pay local taxes, frequent our restaurants and donate to our non-profit organizations. The impact to our community will be substantial.” 

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