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North Central Heath Care gets $550,000 in grants to set up new psychiatric training program


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- A pair of grants will help North Central Health Care in Wausau set up a brand new psychiatrist residency program.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Medical College of Wisconsin are combining grants to give the group $550,000 to pt a program to train new mental health professionals into place. The new program will start training three residents a year in central Wisconsin once it is set into place in 2017.

North Central CEO Gary Bezucha says training doctors locally is always preferable to doing it out of the area. "When they finish their training, 66 percent stay where they trained. That means in 2021 we can be potentially be adding 2 psychiatrists to the manpower pool every year." He says that's important in a field where the entire country is struggling to keep up with the demand for mental health services. "Well I think it's important to be able to deliver services where people are. I think they're more likely to use services if they're more immediately available."

Bezucha says it should be no surprise that this program will be coming into place at the same time as the Medical College of Wisconsin's MD programs, and classes at Northcentral Technical College and UW-Marathon County aiming to train physician assistants. "Together we'll be able to offer an excellent training experience for psychiatry residents here be working together collaboratively and using all the resources, the inpatient and outpatient resources we have throughout the area."

The grant funding will go towards the foundation of the program and the setup for continuing the training into the future once it get started. Classes are expected to start in 2017.