Press Releases

Pine Rest to Launch Residency Program

West Michigan will soon be home to another new medical education program. Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services will be seeking accreditation for a psychiatry residency program that will launch with its first class in July, 2014.  

“This is a direct response to community demand for more psychiatrists, along with more training opportunities to support the expansion of medical schools in Michigan,” says Pine Rest President and CEO Mark Eastburg, PhD.  

Medical school graduates are required to complete a residency - additional training in their specialty - before entering practice. “The breadth of services offered at Pine Rest and in our thriving medical community provides an outstanding training experience that will equip physicians to work in a variety of settings when they leave this program,” added Dr. Eastburg. “We are hopeful that many will choose to stay in our community.” Up to 60% of new physicians take jobs within 100 miles of their residency program site.  

The need for psychiatry is great both at Pine Rest and in the community. Both the public and private sectors struggle to meet the demand for psychiatric assessments and treatment for individuals that are in need of psychiatric care. Pine Rest receives hundreds of calls each month from people who need to see a psychiatrist and yet have to experience long waits.    

Pine Rest was recently designated as a new teaching hospital by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. As a result, Pine Rest can build a new residency program and receive reimbursement primarily from Medicare.  

The proposed Pine Rest four-year program will have capacity for eight residents per year, post-graduate year one through post-graduate year four. Residency for psychiatrists consists of didactic and experiential training. Clinical rotations include psychiatric inpatient and outpatient care, general medicine experience, consultation liaison in acute care hospitals, and exposure to neurology.  
Pine Rest is the primary sponsor of the psychiatric residency program, but the program represents another example of collaboration among healthcare systems that again responds to deeply felt community need. Over 15 years ago Pine Rest and Saint Mary's joined forces to create a strong inpatient psychiatric care service.  

“Once again Saint Mary's Health Care played a crucial role in helping this project move to the next stage of development,” says Dr. Eastburg. “We are grateful for their ongoing support and this fine example of collaboration and leadership.”   Other organizations providing significant support to the program include Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, the academic and research partner; and Grand Rapids Medical Education Program, which will provide accreditation support. Many others will participate in this community collaborative, and share in the benefits realized by the community through this new residency training program.  

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services has been an institutional provider of mental health services to West Michigan for 100 years, since its incorporation in 1910. Its history reflects a strong commitment to health care education, having operated a nursing school and a psychiatry residency training program under Michigan State University from 1975 to 1995. Pine Rest continues to provide a highly successful pre-doctoral psychology internship program and award winning medical student clerkship rotations and elective experiences in a variety of health care specialties. Pine Rest will carry on this tradition with the development of a four-year psychiatry residency program.  

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About Pine Rest
Pine Rest is one of the five largest free-standing behavioral health providers in the U.S., offering a full continuum of services including inpatient and partial hospitalization, residential and outpatient services, addiction treatment and recovery, extensive child and adolescent programs, senior care services, as well as specialized assessment and treatment clinics. In addition to the main campus in Grand Rapids, Pine Rest also has 16 outpatient locations throughout Michigan and two in Iowa.  

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