By PAAIA Staff
July 19, 2011, Washington, D.C. – The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) would like to congratulate NexGen leader, Amir Bagherpour on getting recognized by former President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative for his commitment to action with the establishment of the MedPulse Foundation. At the CGI America Conference in Chicago this past June, the foundation he created was recognized for its commitment to enhancing the capacity of hospitals and health centers located in underserved communities such Bakersfield, California in meeting the ever increasing shortage of physicians. His foundation has already raised $300,000 in the first year of existence and is targeted to raising $1.4 million resulting from the partnerships gained through the Clinton Global Initiative.
“I personally observed the effects of the primary care physician shortage in underserved areas when I was living in rural Kentucky while serving in the U.S. Army. I realized the severe mal-distribution of resources in rural America–healthcare being just one aspect of it,” Amir explained to PAAIA. “Several years later, I revisited the issue while working on a healthcare reform project as a graduate student at Claremont. It was at this time where I was able to clearly identify and solve the problem concerning the physician shortage.”
The U.S. has a shortage of approximately 30,000 doctors in the primary care fields. In less than 10 years, the shortage will surpass 90,000. But in spite of this shortage, more than 8,000 qualified doctors, approximately 25% of the yearly medical school graduates, are not able to practice medicine because of the government cap in the number of residency training positions. “The problem is that there is a bottleneck that prevents the surplus of doctors from matching the shortage of primary care physicians,” Amir explains.
The MedPulse Foundation opens the bottleneck and connects the surplus of doctors to the shortage of primary care physicians by infusing capital into teaching health clinics and graduate medical education in order to fund additional training slots for primary care residents in rural or underserved areas. “Our goal is to recruit, train and retain additional physicians within those communities,” says Amir. “Although we work with traditional hospitals, our primary target is outpatient primary care clinical settings as a means of training additional physicians while simultaneously meeting the healthcare needs of underserved communities.”
Through their unique yet simple model, the MedPulse Foundation will also decrease the high demand placed upon the Emergency Room by giving patients alternative routes of access to healthcare through enhancement of community health centers, ultimately decreasing the cost of healthcare in addition to helping solve the physician shortage problem.
Amir Bagherpour is an analyst at the Iran Research Desk at Voice of America’s Persian News Network. He is also an associate with the Trans Research Consortium, a group dedicated to the study of power transitions and conflict resolution. Amir is currently a PhD Candidate at Claremont Graduate University. He received an M.B.A. from the University of California Irvine in strategy and is a graduate of West Point. He is the first Iranian-born graduate of West Point. Amir is also veteran. having served in U.S. Army as an Armor officer.
For more details on the MedPulse Foundation’s proposal, please click here.