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DCMH Foundation donates $10,000 to CU program

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The DCMH Foundation board has voted to support CU Medical School's Rural Track Program, which will help bring a third year medical student to our community for a three-month medical residency rotation, reports Thelma Starner, foundation president.

At the foundation's board meeting on June 21, Tom Huerkamp, owner of Pro Space Interiors and activist on behalf of economic development for Delta County, challenged board members to support the program. They approved a $10,000 donation.

Also a supporter of the Rural Track Program, CEO Jason Cleckler said that bringing in CU medical school students for clinical rotations at DCMH could start a "pipeline of new rural physicians from year to year who may be employed by our hospital."

The first Rural Track program participant is Andi Geedes who is currently rounding with Dr. Jarred Freese, Internal Medicine Associates, and DCMH hospitalists. Next, she will follow Dr. Jesus Ochoa at DCMH Primary Care Family Practice Clinic for two months. Andi will be following Dr. Mandy Swanson at DCMH Family Medicine in Delta for her third month of clinical rotations.

The CU School of Medicine Rural Track was founded in 2005 with the goal of increasing the number of medical school graduates who eventually enter and remain in practice in rural Colorado. This year's graduates included 22 medical and four physician assistant students. Of Rural Track graduates in practice to date, 60 percent are practicing in Colorado, 50 percent are practicing in rural communities and 30 percent are practicing in rural Colorado.

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