Family Medicine Clinic marks 40th anniversary

Staff photo / Allie Vugrincic Dr. Ayan Sanyal, left, shows medical student Sean Hauser equipment in an exam room at the new Family Medicine Center at Trumbull Regional Medical Center after the facility’s grand opening Wednesday afternoon. Its sister site, Family Medicine Center at Northside Regional Medical Center, marked its 40th year of operation Thursday.

YOUNGSTOWN — Forty years ago Thursday the Family Medicine Clinic at Northside Regional Medical Center opened its doors, bringing medical access to the community from infancy to the golden years.

Though Northside Regional closed in September of last year, the Steward Health Family Center remains operational and sees patients daily, providing pediatric services, prenatal care, regular checkups and other services that a family doctor would provide.

Since 1979, the residency program through Western Reserve Health Education has graduated 115 family medicine residents, more than two dozen of whom are practicing locally. There are now 15 young doctors in the program, with three more expected to join the ranks next year.

Doctors and residents celebrated their 40th anniversary in conjunction with the grand opening of the family center’s sister site at Trumbull Regional Medical Center in Warren. The new facility in Warren will fill a need in the community caused by a lack of family doctors in the area, according to Dr. Steven Swain, who will rotate between the two sites.

Residents also will be split between the two locations.

“Going through residency… is a very stressful period of time,” said Dr. Paul Rich, director of the Family Medicine Residency Program. He said the current residents have taken in stride the closing of Northside and now fluctuating between two medicine centers — something they didn’t have to do before.

Kim Howe, president of Western Reserve Health Education, said the Family Medicine program is “exceptional.”

“Our board passage rate exceeds national standards,” Howe said.

She said the residency program is helping to fill a physician shortage in the area.