As part of Project Medical Education, legislators and government agency representatives toured medical facilities around Grand Rapids on May 15 to better understand the needs within health care.
During this event, tour guides from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s had the unique opportunity to provide a group of Congressional Aides, State Legislators, state legislative policy staff members and staff members from the Governor’s office with a greater understanding of the importance of Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding, and how it plays into training tomorrow’s doctors.
The federal government, through the Medicare program, is the single largest explicit financial contributor to GME through payments to teaching hospitals. These funds cover expenses related to resident physicians’ education, trainee stipends, supervising physicians’ costs and administrative costs. GME payments also help cover costs incurred by teaching hospitals recognizing they treat more severely ill patients, and perform complex, expensive medical research.
This experience enabled residents and our health care representatives to share their personal stories of what led them to want to become a doctor, and how GME funding is helping or will help them receive their training.
Those who toured Grand Rapids facilities (not all came to Mercy Health Saint Mary’s):
- Rep. Rob VerHeulen
- Sen. Curtis Hertel
- Sen. Pete MacGregor
- Rep. Brandon Dillon
- Jennifer Ungrey and Jordan Bush, from Congressman Justin Amash’s Office
- Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker
- Greg Mathis, from Senator Gary Peters’ Office
- Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright
- Matt Lori, Michigan Department of Community Health
- Rep. Roger Victory
- Keith White, from the State Budget Office
- Matt Kooiman, from Congressman Bill Huizenga’s Office
- Robert Hovenkamp and Keith White, Department of Technology, Management and Budget
- Tori Whiting, from Daniella Garcia’s Office
- Jared Dashoff, Public Affairs Specialist, Association of American Medical Colleges
Thanks to our clinical staff for guiding the legislators on hospital tours:
- Stan Sherman, MD
- John Collins, MD
- Matt Biersack, MD
- Mary Schubert, RN
- Tracy Sloane, MD
- Brian Berryhill, PharmD