Mercy Health Welcoming 50 Residents, Expanding Training Program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mercy Health Youngstown’s Graduate Medical Education program is welcoming 50 incoming residents across 10 residency programs and two fellowship programs.

The new class of residents includes those specializing in internal medicine, family medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, general dentistry, emergency medicine, otolaryngology, transitional year and pharmacy.

Family medicine residents interested in rural health care will have the opportunity to train through Mercy’s new rural pathway, operating out of the Mercy Health Columbiana Primary Care facility under the leadership of Dr. Thomas Macabobby and Dr. Alex Heintzelman.

“Mercy Health Youngstown is committed to providing access to high-quality, compassionate health care and training the next generation of physicians to do the same,” said Dr. James Kravec, chief clinical officer for Mercy Health Youngstown. 

“Mercy Health is focused on building a GME program that is on the forefront of medical education and ensures the people of the Mahoning Valley have access to high-quality health care, which starts with educating residents we hope will stay in the Valley,” Kravec said. “We are excited to welcome these new physicians to the Youngstown community and grow the number of doctors we have to treat our patients. We are also excited to welcome Mercy Health graduate medical education to Columbiana County to further extend our mission and grow our existing presence in that county.”

The addition of the rural pathway program will help medical professionals understand that patients in rural communities face different challenges to accessing care than those in urban settings.

“As a Columbiana County native, rural health care was always my calling, and I’m excited to train the next generation in my hometown,” Heintzelman said. “Research in rural medicine training shows us that doctors who are trained in rural settings are more likely to stay, and we know access to care close to home can significantly impact health outcomes for patients. There’s no question that in order to grow access to care, we need doctors first. This pathway is a valuable addition to our GME program and will benefit our rural communities immensely.”

Macabobby also noted the rural pathway program will help improve health care for local residents based on the Columbiana Community Health Needs Assessment, which shows health care priorities that need to be addressed there include chronic disease management, mental health care, obesity and nutrition and substance use disorders.

The introduction of the rural pathway comes after additional efforts by Mercy Health to expand rural health care access, including announcing the opening of a new walk-in care location, Mercy Health East Palestine Primary Care, as well as virtual specialty care sites at the East Palestine location and the Sebring Primary Care location.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.