"We are very excited about consolidating and expanding all our physician training programs through our affiliation with the FSU College of Medicine."
—Dr. Paul Baroco
FSU assumes sponsorship of Sacred Heart Residency Programs
by Rachel Christofel
PENSACOLA, Fla. - The partnership between Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola and the Florida State University College of Medicine has expanded to include the medical school's sponsorship of Sacred Heart's residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology and in pediatrics.
The two institutions have been partners since 2003, when FSU's inaugural class of medical students first began training in the Pensacola area.
The hospital's obstetrics-gynecology residency program was established in 1964, and the pediatrics residency program began in 1969. The pediatric residency program provides three years of training to young physicians who want to specialize in pediatrics, while the Ob/Gyn residency program is a four-year program. The residency programs are based at Sacred Heart Children's and Women's Hospital.
The programs have operated since 1995 under the sponsorship of the University of Florida College of Medicine. The transfer of sponsorship of the programs to FSU will be completed in June.
Due to the presence of FSU's regional medical school campus in Pensacola and the distance between UF and the residency programs, it made sense to both medical schools and to the hospital for FSU to assume sponsorship of the programs.
"We are very excited about consolidating and expanding all our physician training programs through our affiliation with the FSU College of Medicine," said Dr. Paul Baroco, chief medical officer for Sacred Heart Health System. "Sacred Heart will be exploring the addition of more residency programs to train physicians in internal medicine and general surgery. We believe our status as a teaching hospital helps to keep us on the cutting edge of medicine. These programs also benefit the community by training young physicians, many of whom will want to remain here to serve the people of Northwest Florida."
Under the new affiliation, both the residency faculty and the residents will become employees of FSU. They will also gain full access to the medical school's extensive Charlotte Edwards Maguire Medical Library, more than 90 percent of which is accessible online.
Residents in the two programs who complete their training this June will graduate as UF residents, while the hospital's other current and future residents will graduate as FSU residents.
The pediatrics residency program has a total of 18 residents while the obstetrics-gynecology program has 12 residents. The two programs have a total of 70 faculty and staff. The obstetrics-gynecology program is under the direction of Dr. Clyde Dorr, and the pediatrics residency program is under the direction of Dr. Edward Kohaut. Dr. Alma Littles, associate dean for academic affairs at the FSU College of Medicine, is the designated institutional official responsible for oversight of the medical school's sponsorship of the programs.
Dr. J. Ocie Harris, dean of the FSU College of Medicine, views the medical school's involvement with residency training at Sacred Heart as a welcome addition to the continuum of education offered by the medical school.
"Many of the residency program faculty at Sacred Heart already had faculty appointments with the FSU College of Medicine for the clinical training of our medical students," Harris said. "Now, we have two programs in which FSU students, residents and faculty are working together."
Paul Payne and Chris Sundstrom, two members of the medical school's Class of 2006, which will graduate May 20, will begin their residency training at Sacred Heart in obstetrics-gynecology in July.