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Letters to the editor: Support Primary Children's Hospital

By Kerry Whittemore
Salt Lake City


Any Utah parent who has a child with a serious medical condition can attest to the importance of Primary Children's Medical Center as the place for excellent pediatric care. I am writing to alert the readers of the Price Sun Advocate to the ominous implications of a component of President Obama's proposed federal budget.

Primary Children's Medical Center is one of 60 free-standing children's hospitals throughout the United States that receive funding through the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program. Even though these 60 hospitals constitute less than one percent of all hospitals, they train more than 40 percent of the nation's general pediatricians and the majority of the pediatric sub-specialists. The budget proposed by the President would eliminate the CHGME funding, which totals about $317 million per year.

Utah needs at least 16 new pediatricians each year to keep pace with the state's population growth, and the training programs at Primary Children's and the University of Utah provide most of this workforce. The loss of the CHGME funding will interrupt the supply of well-trained physicians who are required to provide high-quality pediatric care. We ask all who care about children and child health to contact their senators and congressmen to urge full support of the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program.

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