Warwick just gained three new doctors.
On Friday, Kent Hospital celebrated the graduation of its second class of residents from the Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine Graduation Medical Education programs, as well as its first graduate of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship program. Eight doctors graduated from Kent, and three will remain here to practice.
In addition to the graduation of eight doctors, Kent welcomed 13 new residents and interns Friday, presenting them with white lab coats, gifts and praise.
Being a part of the Kent family was a recurring theme, and speakers at the graduation talked about the growth and change of the hospital’s staff, residents and interns.
“You’ve really been a part of the hospital,” said Sandra Coletta, president and CEO of Kent Hospital at the ceremony. “Kent is a family and you have been a part of that family.”
Coletta remembered that some of the residents took care of her own mother during her time at the hospital. She said she formed a special bond with the graduating group of doctors.
The ceremony took place in a tent on the grounds of the hospital, a stone’s throw from the new wing set to open in the near future. Coletta said the graduating residents were there throughout the literal expansion of the hospital, while they acted as “bricks and mortar” to the hospital’s metaphorical growth.
Mayor Scott Avedisian addressed the assembly, saying he was delighted to hear that three of the new doctors will be staying in Rhode Island to practice.
“You’re about to join an incredible family here at Kent,” he said. Avedisian said the graduates of the Kent residency program would continue to make the hospital and the city proud.
Dr. Michelle McKenney, a Warwick native and family medicine graduate, was one of the eight to graduate on Friday.
“It’s always good to be home,” said McKenney of her experiences at Kent. “Kent is a community hospital.”
McKenney said it was surreal to see and care for people she had grown up with from the Warwick community. McKenney attended public schools in Warwick, going from Wyman to Aldrich to Pilgrim, before she headed to Providence College for her pre-med schooling. McKenney currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, and hopes to practice in Rhode Island or southern Massachusetts.
Other graduates included Dr. Melissa Monte, a Cranston native who will become an Emergency Medical Attending at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in Connecticut; Dr. Douglas Kuxhausen from Nebraska, who will be moving to Indiana to join Indiana University’s Health Physicians at Ball Memorial Hospital, and Dr. Tucker Lienhop, who will head back to his home state of Missouri to join a trauma center in midtown Kansas City. Dr. Emily Cloyer, originally from Texas, will stay at Kent as an attending emergency medicine physician; Dr. Katy Welzbacher, from Illinois, will also become an attending emergency medicine physician and academic faculty member, and Dr. Chris Mozdzanowski, from Massachusetts, will be Kent’s newest fellow in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.
Coletta said the hospital has helped the residents help the patients, a trickle-down effect that will stay with the new doctors forever.
“Your legacy of Kent will travel with you wherever you go,” said Coletta. “You are the voice of Kent, and I know you’re going to affect so many lives and touch so many people.”
The 13 new residents do not include any native Rhode Islanders, but doctors from Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Hampshire.
The graduate medical education program began at Kent, an affiliate of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, in 2008 and honored its first group of graduates last spring. The hospital currently has 38 residents and one fellow enrolled in the Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine and Internal Medicine residency programs.