Feldstein Discusses the Future of Health Care in PAJune 27, 2023
With 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.”
Feldstein 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
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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