The Wright Center’s partner institution in Arizona recognizes Dr. Frederic N. Schwartz with academic honor

Dr. Frederic N. Schwartz, who played a central role in the creation and success of The Wright Center’s Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Safety Net Consortium’s multi-state National Family Medicine Residency, has been honored by his longtime employer in Arizona for his distinguished service to medical education.  

Dr. Schwartz, who retired in January 2022, was recently appointed as an emeritus faculty member by A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA).

The honorary title recognizes Dr. Schwartz for his “years of dedication and service to this institution and the greater osteopathic medical education community,” said Dr. Sharon J. Obadia, interim dean of ATSU-SOMA.

Striving together to address America’s primary care physician shortage, misdistribution and related health disparities, ATSU-SOMA and The Wright Center collaboratively launched an innovative, pioneering National Family Medicine Residency in 2013, using a Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Safety-Net Consortium model to prepare primary care physicians to serve and work in rural and other medically underserved communities. 

Currently, 51 resident physicians are enrolled in the National Family Medicine Residency, training at four national Federally Qualified Health Centers: El Rio in Arizona; HealthPoint in Washington; HealthSource in Ohio; and Unity Health in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Frederic N. Schwartz

Dr. Frederic N. Schwartz

Dr. Schwartz, who at the time of his retirement was a professor of family medicine and senior advisor to the ATSU-SOMA dean, consistently served as an enthusiastic partner and ally in developing the coast-to-coast residency program. He was also notably the founder of The Wright Center and ATSU-SOMA Residency Training Alliance for Community Care, a primary care focused, multi-institution graduate medical education alliance. 

“Dr. Fred Schwartz has been a visionary force and stalwart supporter of our efforts to increase the primary care physician workforce in rural and other underserved communities across our country,” said Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, president and CEO of The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education. “He’s also been a trusted and treasured sounding board, mentor, and friend to myself and our Wright Center team, and he is most deserving of this academic honor.”

Prior to his employment in Arizona, Dr. Schwartz worked in Maine, where he was a founder in the late 1970s of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. He served as president of the Maine Osteopathic Association, receiving its Distinguished Service Award, and as the first osteopathic board member of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine.

He was later recruited to the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he served as chairperson of Family Medicine and vice president for the Ambulatory Care Network, building the latter project into a network of 33 urban and rural community health centers. While operating the Midwestern University Ambulatory Care Network, he founded and served as president of the Southside Health Consortium of 11 hospitals and 60 community provider and resource agencies focused on care coordination and case management for the most at-risk and underserved residents.

Dr. Schwartz oversaw development of the clinical training network for Midwestern University’s new Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, moving to Arizona in 1994 to work with the new campus and programs. He received multiple student-choice clinical teaching awards.

In 2008, Dr. Schwartz joined ATSU-SOMA. Among other responsibilities there, he held the role of project director on multiple federal grants, stewarding funds to develop faculty, deploy distance-learning equipment, and enhance primary care undergraduate and graduate medical education to better prepare the primary care physician workforce of tomorrow that America needs. 

Clearly, Dr. Schwartz is a legend in medical education to be celebrated.

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