LECOM Health and Allegheny Health Network Announce New Pulmonary/Critical Care Physician Training Program

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New Physicians Will Address Critical Care Needs for Patients With Respiratory Illness

LECOM Health, through its teaching hospital Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH), and Allegheny Health Network are working together to prepare new physicians to meet the critical care needs of patients with severe respiratory and related illnesses.

MCH recently received approval for an accredited fellowship program in Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine from the American College of Osteopathic Internists and the American Osteopathic Association. The program is being operated in conjunction with two teaching hospitals within the Allegheny Health Network, Saint Vincent Hospital and Allegheny General Hospital.

This expands the joint post-graduate medical education programs between MCH and St. Vincent. MCH Internal Medicine residents currently train with attending physicians at both hospitals. These are the first of a number of joint physician training programs that the two health systems are anticipating for their teaching hospitals as they work together to prepare and keep physicians in western Pennsylvania.

Respiratory diseases, including lung infections, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are leading causes of illness, hospitalization, disability and death in the United States and across the globe. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute estimates nearly 250,000 Americans die each year from a severe respiratory illness and millions more are admitted to hospital critical care programs.

The new LECOM Health Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship is a three-year program for physicians who have completed an AOA-accredited Internal Medicine Residency. Fellows will rotate at all three hospitals throughout their training. Pulmonary medicine focuses on the causes, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the lungs and related organs. Critical Care medicine involves the diagnosis, management and prevention of complications in patients who are severely ill and who usually require intensive monitoring and/or organ system support.

The program leaders for the Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship Program are MCH pulmonologist and Program Director Gary Esper, DO; St. Vincent pulmonologist and Assistant Director Jorge Mercado, MD; and Allegheny General Pulmonologist and Fellowship Director Anil Singh, MD.

Millcreek Community Hospital has 97 post-graduate physicians enhancing patient care in regional hospitals, physician offices and clinics, while furthering their education as residents and fellows.

MCH residencies include: Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, ENT, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic Surgery, Pharmacy, Podiatry and Psychiatry. MCH fellowships include: Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Integrative Medicine, OMM, Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Sports Medicine.

About Millcreek Community Hospital
Millcreek Community Hospital (MCH), located in Erie, Pa., is part of LECOM Health, and with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM and the clinical practices of Medical Associations of Erie, MCH is part of the only osteopathic academic health center in the United States. MCH is a 218-bed, comprehensive, acute care osteopathic hospital that is the largest provider of behavioral health in northwestern Pennsylvania and is also known for its senior services such as the region’s only Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) unit as well as its transitional care, rehabilitation and advanced wound care units.

About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network, part of Highmark Health, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the Western Pennsylvania region. The Network composes eight hospitals, including its flagship academic medical center Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital, Forbes Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Westfield Memorial Hospital and West Penn Hospital; a research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 17,500 people and has more than 2,100 physicians on its medical staff. The Network also serves as a clinical campus for Temple University School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Stephanie Waite