CHI Franciscan's New Family Medicine Residency Program Commences

Inaugural Class of Physicians Begin Their Three-Year Residency on the Kitsap Peninsula


BREMERTON, Wash., July 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The inaugural class of the CHI Franciscan's Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency Program (NWFMRP) begin their residency program this month. The residency program, based in Bremerton, is designed to train the next generation of family physicians, addressing the urgent local and national shortage of primary care physicians. The program will create the single largest collection of primary care physicians on the Peninsula, increasing access to care for families across the region.

The residency program will add eight new residents each year, for a total of 24 students within three years. Residents will be based at Harrison Medical Center in East Bremerton until 2020, then move to CHI Franciscan's new state-of-the-art outpatient clinic in West Bremerton. The inaugural class of residents will graduate June 30, 2021.

"This comprehensive, community-based training enables physicians to care for the whole person over a lifetime," said Michael Watson, M.D., F.A.A.F.P., founding program director. "Our goal is to train people who can care for everyone, and we know that if we embed them into the community, it makes it easier for them to slip into practice here and stay long term. Statistically, about 60% of residents remain to practice within 50 miles of their training site."

Eight residents from across the country - including right here in Washington - were selected from more than 1,100 applicants for the NWFMRP three-year training program. One resident in particular has a unique connection to health care in the Pacific Northwest. For new resident Jacob Van Fleet, MD arriving in Bremerton this summer was a homecoming of sorts; before moving to Texas as a child, Van Fleet was born at Naval Hospital Bremerton, delivered by one of the NWFMRP's faculty members, family medicine physician Ronald Dommermuth, M.D.

"During the interview process, I saw that the program's faculty are passionate about their work and invested in the local community," said new resident Jacob Van Fleet, MD. "For me, it highlights the culture of family medicine and the types of relationships I want to build with my patients over a lifetime." He also stated that a residency program affiliated with CHI Franciscan Health was a natural fit.

The community-based program, which will serve the primary care needs of the peninsula, has built an experienced, well-respected group of faculty members who will train residents in obstetrics, pediatrics, cardiology, endocrinology, sports medicine, geriatrics, substance abuse, and a host of in-office procedures. Resident training will include caring for patients in the outpatient clinic, making hospital rounds at Harrison Medical Center, and working with other local health-related agencies. Residents will also engage in various volunteer opportunities at local non-profits such as the food bank.

"It is our pleasure to welcome the inaugural class of medical residents to our program," said David Schultz, market president for the peninsula region at CHI Franciscan Health. "Our residency program was designed to address the urgent need for primary care on the peninsula. I am confident we will train the next generation of outstanding primary care physicians to meet our growing community's needs."

CHI Franciscan is also addressing the long-term needs of the Kitsap Peninsula through its half-billion-dollar investment to expand Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale, to include a state-of-the-art facility that is an integrated, sustainable part of the community it serves. The new facility is expected to open in 2020.

The Northwest Family Medicine Residency inaugural class:

  • Casey Kernan, D.O. from Salem, Oregon
  • Khuyen Tran, D.O. from Lakewood Washington
  • John Rambo, M.D. from Gurnee, Illinois
  • Jacob Van Fleet, M.D. from Houston, Texas
  • Justin Carlson, M.D. from Phoenix, Arizona
  • Neel Chheda, D.O. from Youngstown, Ohio
  • So Lee, D.O. from Henderson, Nevada
  • Jonathan Amkraut, M.D. from Seattle, Washington

About CHI Franciscan Health
CHI Franciscan Health is a nonprofit health system based in Tacoma, Washington, with $2.45 billion in total revenue and a team of more than 12,000 doctors, nurses and staff that provide expert, compassionate medical care at nine hospitals and over 200 primary and specialty care clinics in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties. This includes St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw; St. Francis Hospital, Federal Way; St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; Harrison Medical Center, Bremerton and Silverdale; Highline Medical Center, Burien; Regional Hospital, Burien; and Rehabilitation Hospital, Tacoma. Started in 1891 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, today CHI Franciscan Health is one of the largest health systems in Washington state. The system is comprised of more than 1,200 hospital beds and over 4,000 credentialed providers offering cardiovascular care, cancer care, orthopedics and sports medicine, neurosciences, women's care and other health care services. CHI Franciscan's mission focuses on creating healthier communities, including caring for the poor and underserved. In our 2017 fiscal year, the organization provided $188 million in community benefit, including $20 million in charity care. Follow CHI Franciscan on Facebook, Twitter @FHSHealth and Instagram @franciscanhealth or go to our website for information

About Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency
Northwest Washington Family Medicine Residency is approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and sponsored by CHI Franciscan Harrison Medical Center in collaboration with the University of Washington Family Medicine Residency Network, comprised of 31 family medicine residency programs across Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Harrison Medical Center is a member of the Association of American Medical College's Council of Teaching Hospitals and is well-positioned to provide quality training for a complement of eight residents per year over three years (for a total of 24 residents in the mature program).
Learn more at


View original content with multimedia:

SOURCE CHI Franciscan Health


Back to news