Some hospitals in Illinois could lose federal funding under a program aimed at helping those in pediatric residency training. As the Feb. 13 deadline nears for the president to unveil his 2013 budget, there’s concern that funding will again be cut for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program, which funds pediatric resident training.
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Hospitals in Illinois that could be affected by a cutback include Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Children’s Hospital of Illinois at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, St. John’s Children’s Hospital in Springfield, Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago and La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Funding for the CHGME program has been cut since Fiscal Year 2010 from a high of $317 million to the current level of $268 million. Jennifer Page, mother of 7-year-old Max Page, a child actor who is a pediatric heart patient, is trying to rally support to call attention to the program. She acknowledges it’s not a lot of money, but the program is critical. “It’s a drop in a bucket in the big scheme, but it’s life-saving and life-changing for those of us in the pediatric medical world,” Jennifer Page said.
Created in 2000, CHGME is designed to align the supply of pediatricians and pediatric specialists with the increasing demand for their expertise. The nation’s population of children is projected to increase by 10 percent over the next decade.