Durbin, Duckworth Announce Historic New Federal Investment In Community-Based Medical Residency Program At Lawndale Christian Health Center

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC), located on Chicago’s West Side, has been awarded $960,000 in federal funding to support its community-based medical residency program. By training physician residents in a Community Health Center setting, rather than a traditional hospital, this program will help address racial health disparities and workforce shortages by expanding the pipeline of health care providers in underserved areas. This funding was provided through the American Rescue Plan and awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program.

“Community Health Centers, like Lawndale Christian Health Center, are a vital resource for so many families, especially in neighborhoods that have been historically underserved and hit hard by COVID-19,” Durbin said. “This American Rescue Plan funding will support a unique residency program in Chicago that trains the next generation of doctors right in the community.  Senator Duckworth and I will continue advocating for federal investments that expand and diversify our health care workforce and help improve health equity.”

“Before and throughout this pandemic, Illinoisans depend on community-based healthcare centers for accessible care,” Duckworth said. “And every American—no matter their zip code—should have access to high-quality health services, which is one of the reasons I’m proud that support from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is helping providers on Chicago’s West side. I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to help ensure all Illinoisans have access to the care they need.”

“People on Chicago’s West Side face health disparities that should not exist. A few miles to the east or west of our neighborhood, average life expectancy rises more than a decade. Our vision is to equip the next generation of family medicine physicians to address these disparities. From our integration of primary care, behavioral health, and hospital care, to our senior day services and emphasis on caring for people experiencing homelessness, substance use disorder, and serious mental illness, LCHC is uniquely set up to provide resident training to better the health of our community,” said Dr. Benjamin Preyss, Lawndale Christian Family Medicine Residency Program Director.

Earlier this year, LCHC announced the first cohort of Family Medicine Residents to its Teaching Health Center program. The three-year Family Medicine Residency will begin training six residents in July 2022 to provide preventive care, chronic disease management, substance use disorder treatment, health care for people experiencing homelessness, and more. Whereas traditional Graduate Medical Education funding and training is based out of hospitals, this THCGME program—one of just two in Illinois—is based in the community, prioritizing care for high-need communities and vulnerable people.