HAZARD – The University of Kentucky’s East Kentucky Family Medicine Residency Program has announced the arrival of five new physicians.
Dr. Angela Hignite, a native of Clay County; Dr. Crystal Fletcher-Jones, a native of Hazard; and Dr. Morgan Birch, a native of Corbin; are all graduates of University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Jennifer Chaney, of Hazard, is a graduate of Spartan Health Sciences University; and Dr. Ankit Patel is a graduate of Medical University of Silesia.
After graduating from medical school, doctors must perform a residency before they can become specialized in a particular field of medicine. In the case of family medicine, the residency lasts three years. The mission of UK’s Hazard-based family medicine residency program is to prepare family physicians for careers in rural medicine, with a focus on meeting the health care needs of the people of rural Appalachia. Nearly 62 percent of its 61 graduates now practice in medically underserved areas, primarily in Appalachian counties of Kentucky.
The residency program’s host clinic is the UK HealthCare North Fork Valley Community Health Center, located at 750 Morton Blvd. in Hazard. It offers primary care, sports medicine, women’s health, behavioral, dental and pharmacy services to residents of Perry and surrounding counties. As a federally funded health center, it is required to deliver care regardless of patients’ ability to pay, and charges for services are based on patients’ respective income levels.