The area Physician Recruitment Incentive Grant has found its first applicant.
Jamestown Area Medical Associates is hoping to secure the $10,000 rebate in its recruitment of Dr. Tomasz Woloszyn, who started his internal medicine practice recently in the Riverwalk Center.
Dr. Lillian Ney, chair of the area health care action team, announced the first response from its call for applicants only four weeks prior. A $30,000 grant will be split among three agencies that follow through with hiring a new physician to the area.
"Every little bit helps when these massive recruitment fees start piling up. We are glad to get as many recruitment applications as we can," said Dr. Ney.
She added that when the current round of money is spent, she would make an appeal to the foundations in the community again for more support. A stipulation for the grant required any applicant physician to have affiliated service with WCA Hospital, and Dr. Ney reported the hospital credentialing committee is meeting Oct. 4.
Members of the action team that will make the final decision include Randy Sweeney, and doctors Garone, Rappole, and Ney. Dr. Woloszyn's emphasis on general internal medicine - adult illness and its prevention - corresponds with the action team's determination that primary care physicians are the most needed profession in the community. Other needs in their survey form the summer included specialists in OB/GYN, orthopedics and ears, nose and throat doctors.
A favored route of local recruitment is to seek foreign-schooled physicians who can take advantage of the Jamestown's distinction as a Professional Shortage Area. Dr. Woloszyn, granted a visa to perform his residency in New York state, would otherwise have to return to his native Poland for two years.
But Kevin Saff, executive director of JAMA, said the process of obtaining the visa waiver adds a 12-month process of application and an immigration attorney to the standard recruitment process. The action team's incentive grant is therefore very useful.
"Before Dr. Woloszyn even shows up on the job, we have expended thousands and thousands of dollars in recruiting fees," Saff said. "We are very excited to be able to offset some of the significant expenses as a practice."
The current grant still has two awards of $10,000 remaining. Applications are available at www.crcfonline.org.