Maine Medical Center of Portland has been awarded a federal grant to develop new rural residency programs as part of an initiative to expand the physician workforce in rural areas.

The $725,933 grant was awarded through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Residency Planning and Development Program, according to a joint news release from Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King issued Tuesday.

“As one of the oldest and most rural states in the country, Maine faces significant challenges in providing access to high-quality health care,” Collins and King said in a joint statement. “This important funding will help Maine Medical Center expand the reach of (its) health care programs through the establishment of new rural residency programs.”

Maine Med spokesman Matt Wickenheiser said the grant will be used to establish a psychiatry residency program at Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport over the next three years.

The initiative’s goal is to expand the physician workforce in rural areas by developing new, sustainable residency programs in family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry, according to the release.

Grant recipients include rural hospitals, community health centers, health centers operated by the Indian Health Service, Native American tribes or tribal organizations, and medical schools, it said.


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