North East Medical Services Celebrates the Official Openings of its Internal Medicine Residency Program and Sullivan Clinic at AHMC Seton Medical Center and Calls for Congress to Extend Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Funding
Daly City, CA—North East Medical Services (NEMS), AHMC Seton Medical Center, Congressmember Kevin Mullin, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, and other health and community leaders celebrated the official openings of the NEMS Internal Medicine Residency Program and Sullivan Clinic at AHMC Seton Medical Center.
NEMS Internal Medicine Residency Program at AHMC Seton Medical Center is funded in part by the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program. Unless Congress enacts new legislation, funding for the THCGME program will expire on September 30, 2023. Established in 2010, the THCGME program is the only federal program that invests in the training of physicians in community settings other than hospitals. For more than a decade, more than 80% of graduates of the THCGME program have remained in primary care practice compared to 23% of traditional residents. Today, there are 81 Teaching Health Center programs across the United States that are training approximately 1,096 medical residents. The uncertainty of the program’s continued funding may impede NEMS and other programs’ ability to plan and recruit future residents, which is why it is critical that Congress extends funding for THCGME along with funding for the Community Health Centers Fund and the National Health Services Corps, which also expire on September 30, 2023.
U.S. Congressmember Kevin Mullin, who represents Congressional District 15, highlighted the importance of this program for the community. “Since 1893, Seton Medical Center has provided essential health care services to some of the area’s most vulnerable populations in my district,” stated Congressman Mullin. “I am excited to see Seton continue this legacy by partnering with NEMS to train the next generation of community-based primary care physicians. As Congress resumes later this month, I remain committed to advocating for more resources that will help support community initiatives in the Peninsula, like the NEMS Internal Medicine Residency Program at Seton Medical Center.”
NEMS achieved the Sponsoring Institution accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in January 2022, and they received ACGME accreditation on September 9, 2022. After an intense review with the recruitment committee, the first class of five residents started their three-year journey to become primary care physicians earlier this year; they are expected to graduate from the program in 2026. The residents hail from New York, Florida, and California and can speak various languages including Mandarin, Cantonese, and Burmese.
“At a time when the shortage of primary care physicians is expected to worsen,” said NEMS Chief Health Officer, Dr. Kenneth Tai. “We are doing what we can to address this problem by training the next generation of primary care physicians through the NEMS Internal Medicine Residency Program. This program has taken almost a decade to come to fruition, and I am grateful to each person who worked diligently to make this program a reality. We are excited to train the next generation of primary care physicians in a community-based setting here in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Tim Schulze, AHMC Seton Medical Center’s Associate Chief Operating Officer (COO), added, “AHMC Seton Medical Center is delighted to be the teaching facility for NEMS’ residency program. This milestone reflects our unwavering commitment to training the next generation of primary care physicians to fill the growing need in our community. Our dedicated team has put countless hours into preparation for this residency program, and we are excited to see the resident physicians embark on their journey here at AHMC Seton Medical Center.”
Additionally, NEMS recently opened a clinic located at 1850 Sullivan Avenue, Suite 150, which is in AHMC Seton Medical Center’s Medical Office Building (MOB). The clinic offers primary care, acupuncture, and behavioral health services and is expected to serve an estimated 2,500 additional patients. NEMS is also in the process of remodeling its clinic located at 211 Eastmoor Avenue in Daly City, which will add 10 additional medical exam rooms as well as dental and optometry services at this location.
“As the Medical Director for both NEMS’ Eastmoor Clinic and the new Sullivan Clinic at Seton,” shared NEMS Medical Director Dr. Helen Wong, “I am excited to expand primary care, behavioral health, and acupuncture services in North San Mateo County. I am proud to be part of an organization that provides high-quality, linguistically appropriate, and culturally competent healthcare services for people who have Medi-Cal or who may not have insurance in this community.”
In March 2020, when the future of AHMC Seton Medical Center was uncertain, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to approve $20 million in funding to keep the Daly City hospital open. Supervisor David Canepa, whose District represents AHMC Seton Medical Center and North San Mateo County, played a important role in keeping the hospital open during this critical time. “San Mateo County is fortunate to have partners in Daly City and North County such as NEMS and AHMC Seton Medical Center; they provide high-quality patient care from top to bottom.” Supervisor David Canepa said. “I’m proud of the collaboration that exists between the county and all our healthcare providers in North San Mateo County to prioritize public health and keep our communities healthy and safe. I am particularly excited about the launch of the NEMS Internal Medicine Residency Program at Seton as five of its residents start their three-year journey to become doctors. Without NEMS and Seton, there would be a healthcare void in North San Mateo County, which would jeopardize the public’s health and endanger our most vulnerable. Simply put, we need NEMS and Seton in our communities.”
North East Medical Services (NEMS) is one of the largest non-profit community health centers in the United States targeting the medically underserved population of the San Francisco Bay Area. NEMS offers comprehensive health care services to a variety of patients, a majority of whom are low-income, access Medicaid, and are limited English proficient. NEMS providers and staff offer linguistically competent sand culturally-sensitive services in many languages and dialects other than English, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Toishan, Vietnamese, Burmese, Tagalog, Spanish, and Hindi. NEMS operates 22 clinics and service sites in San Francisco, Daly City, and San Jose. For more information, please visit www.nems.org.
About AHMC Seton Medical Center
AHMC Seton Medical Center is a 398-bed hospital owned by AHMC Healthcare and has been serving the healthcare needs of San Francisco and northern San Mateo County since its founding as Mary’s Help Hospital in 1893. Seton offers a comprehensive range of medical subspecialties on both an inpatient and outpatient basis as well as emergency and urgent care services. During PGY-1, 2, and 3, residents will complete the following rotations at this site: Inpatient Medicine, ICU, Emergency Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonary, Nephrology, Hematology-Oncology, Medical Consult, and Hospice/Palliative Care.