Wausau Agency Gets Grant To Train Much-Needed Psychiatrists

One in five Americans suffers from mental health issues. But a shortage of psychiatric help across the nation is leaving some patients high and dry. There is some good news though, as one local Wausau agency just got a half million dollar grant to train much-needed psychiatrists.

North Central Health Care is getting $550,000 to develop a psychiatry residency program. With help from The Medical College of Wisconsin and area health care providers, North Central Health Care plans on accepting its first psychiatry resident students by 2017.

The goal is to draw more students and eventual psychiatrists to our area. Their plan to meet this goal is to accept a class of three students into the four year program each year. Then, by 2024 they hope to have graduated 12 students.

"The really good news is that data shows that when psychiatrists complete their resident training, 66 percent stay where they were trained," North Central Health Care CEO Gary Bezucha explained.

Bezucha says once they begin graduating their first class, they'll be adding two psychiatrists to the man power pool in our area every year.

Bezucha adds not only will this new program help address the shortage of psychiatrists in our area, it's also a great opportunity for a lot of health systems that normally compete with each other to work together for the better good of the area. In addition to North Central Health Care and The Medical College of Wisconsin, Marshfield Clinic, Ministry Health Care, Bridge Clinic, the Tomah VA and Portage and Wood County mental health services will all participate in the new program.

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