FMEMC Announces Transition to Donor-Advised Fund
Ukiah, CA – Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County recently announced its plans to transition from the non-profit organization that served as a catalyst to launch the Adventist Health Family Medicine Residency Program to a donor-advised fund managed by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County dedicated to supporting health care in the region.
President, Mary Anne Landis said, “We’re very proud of the role we played. Through our efforts, we inspired almost a half a million dollars in donations between sponsorships, donations, matching funds, and ticket sales to Rural Health Rocks.”
FMEMC’s original goal was to raise $100,000 toward the program. This would both support the cost of starting the program and to demonstrate the community’s broad enthusiasm for it, thereby encouraging Adventist Health to invest the more than $2 million needed to create the infrastructure required to sustain the program. Landis said, “In addition to supporting the Residency Program, we have donated $50,000 to the Mendocino College Nursing Program and helped garner $20,000 in grants to purchase software and form a collaborative that allows local organizations to better coordinate their care of our homeless population.”
FMEMC began in 2015 in response to a nationwide physician shortage that promised to get worse with each passing year, especially in rural areas. Community members inspired by Dr. Mimi Doohan formed the non-profit Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County (FMEMC) to support the creation of a local family medicine residency program in partnership with Adventist Health Ukiah Valley (AHUV) and the University of California at Davis.
Dr. Doohan said, “Studies indicate that more than half of family physicians stay and practice within 100 miles of their family medicine residency programs. We believed that with such a program, we could attract and retain the physicians we so desperately need.”
FMEMC sponsored visits to Ukiah by national leaders like Dr. Richard Roberts, past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). With strong community partners, FMEMC also began the annual benefit concert Rural Health Rocks (ruralhealthrocks.com) headlining Michael McDonald which raised more than $100,000 for program development, funds matched by Adventist Health.
In the fall of 2016, AHUV received institutional accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to become an official teaching hospital. A year later, together with UC Davis, AHUV submitted the Family Medicine Residency program application to ACGME, the body that oversees post-medical-school training for physicians. In 2018, the ACGME accredited the residency program.
Today, the residency program is up and running with its first cohort of six physicians. It has already interviewed its second cohort of six more physicians to start in Ukiah in July. The program has also brought family medicine doctors to the area to serve as faculty for the program. According to AAFP, in addition to improving the health of a community, each new family medicine doctor who comes to town creates an accompanying $1 million in economic development. With 12 new residents and additional faculty, the Residency Program will improve our community significantly.
FMEMC has more than fulfilled its goal and will now end its operations. Remaining funds will be used to create a donor-advised fund through the Community Foundation of Mendocino County to be used in accordance with donor wishes.
FMEMC Vice President Daphne Macneil said, “We want to thank all those who donated and volunteered to make this dream a reality. It’s another example of how we make things happen and take care of our own here in Mendocino County.”