Feldstein Discusses the Future of Health Care in PA
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Feldstein Discusses the Future of Health Care in PA

June 27, 2023

PCOM's Jay Feldstein, DO, holds a microphone and speaks with two panel membersWith shortages in the healthcare workforce projected to grow over the next several years, leaders from state government and private industry, including Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO '81, came together in Harrisburg, PA, recently for a panel event to discuss solutions aimed at addressing these mounting challenges.

The June 23 event, titled “The Future of Healthcare in Pennsylvania,” was hosted by City & State PA and sponsored by PCOM and AmeriHealth Caritas. The two program panels highlighted critical healthcare issues in the state: reaching the underserved residents of the state and the Commonwealth's increasing health workforce deficit.

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Val Arkoosh, joining the first panel with AmeriHealth Caritas CEO Paul Tufano, highlighted the efforts of PA Governor Josh Shapiro's administration to reenroll or renew Pennsylvania's 3.7 million Medicaid recipients. This effort, complicated by factors including moves, ineligibility or lack of contact with potential program recipients, aims to continue coverage for the state's most vulnerable, with lack of coverage contributing to poor health outcomes.

Feldstein joined Pennsylvania Secretary of Policy and Planning Akbar Hossain to discuss the role of higher education in staving off a workforce shortage that includes doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other critical healthcare professionals. One notable area of need for the state: primary care. An opportunity, Feldstein said, for the state's medical schools, in particular osteopathic medical schools like PCOM, with the majority of PCOM's doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) graduates going into primary care.

“I think everyone knows that primary care is where healthcare starts,” said Feldstein. “The more primary care physicians we have, the better off we will be as a state and as a society.”

PCOM president Jay Feldstein, DO, speaks in front of an audience alongside two other panel members during the “The Future of Healthcare in Pennsylvania" eventFeldstein emphasized the importance of care teams, with healthcare professionals working together to improve patients' health, as well as improving the health of the system as a whole. “Physicians don't work in isolation,” he said. “We're part of an ecosystem. You need healthy communities, you need healthy industries, you need healthy hospitals.”

The expansion of residencies, or graduate medical education, is another important factor in encouraging doctors to remain in the state and contribute to the health of the population. “We have great institutions for residencies in the state,” said Feldstein. “Whatever we can do in a private-public partnership to increase graduate medical education will ensure more physicians stay.”

City & State PA is a multimedia news agency covering Pennsylvania's state and local political scene. Feldstein was earlier this year recognized by City & State PA as one of Pennsylvania's 100 most influential leaders in health care and higher education. This is his second year of inclusion as one of the Commonwealth's top leaders in both categories.

Photographs courtesy of City & State PA

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  • About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

    Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.

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